BeaverTails Expands Rapidly Across Canada with New Locations and More on the Way [Interview]

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BeaverTails continues to aggressively expand its brand across Canada with new locations opening and more to come.

Recently, the maker of unique pastries, opened six new locations in the Greater Toronto Area – two in Mississauga, one in Halton Hills, one in Milton, one in Burlington and one in Kitchener-Waterloo.

“The western GTA and Kitchener-Waterloo are some of the most dynamic regions in Canada. They are fast-growing and prosperous but retain their identities and charm. Expanding our presence within this thriving region was an obvious strategic decision and we are proud to be a part of these vibrant communities,”  said Pino Di Ioia, CEO, BeaverTails.

BeaverTails Queen Street South, Mississauga (Image: BeaverTails)
Pino Di Ioia

Today, there are 196 BeaverTails points-of-sale in four countries.

Di Ioia said five or six more stores are expected to open before the end of this year including in Whistler, BC, “which is way overdue to construction delays,” and on Calgary’s busy 17th Avenue S.W. high street near Mount Royal Village. The two stores are opening soon. The company is also opening a new location in White Rock, BC., near Vancouver.

He said a recent location opened in Charlesbourg around Quebec City. 

“In our opinion, Canada is 350 (locations),” said Di Ioia of the potential number of locations eventually in the country. “So we still have a long way to go. And the reality is there is, as much as 200 sounds like a big number, we always remind people about a third are mobile trailers. About another third are amusement parks.

“So in fact we don’t have much brick and mortar. These series that we are opening – 10 stores – all of these are brick and mortar. Those are our home runs. Our classic stores. When you look at places like Charlesbourg or Mississauga, the 350 seems very conservative for Canada.”

BeaverTails at Kitchener Waterloo Boardwalk (Image: BeaverTails)
BeaverTails Toronto Waterfront – 145 Queens Quay W (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Based on an old family recipe, BeaverTails pastries are a Canadian icon – a unique and delicious treat. Served hot and topped with numerous choices, including cinnamon and sugar, chocolate hazelnut spread, Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter, BeaverTails pastries aim to satisfy indulgences of all tastes.

Grant and Pam Hooker began serving the BeaverTails artisanal pastry in 1978 at the Killaloe Fair, just west of Ottawa.

Today the brand is known internationally with intense interest sparked after U.S. President Barack Obama visited Ottawa’s Byward Market in February 2009 and indulged in the iconic treat.

“The brand is just continuing to be established,” said Di Ioia. “We used to think we’re becoming mature. I guess at 45 years we’re not mature any more – we’re north of that. But the brand just keeps getting known more and more. 

“We’re doing more and more to keep the brand relevant and fresh. So whether it’s our ice cream program or our poutines or our BEAVER BITES® and our take home product, there’s more there that satisfies not necessarily more day parts like traditional competitors would talk about because for us really the snack industry is afternoon and after supper. Not that we don’t have a breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

BeaverTails Erin Mills (Image: BeaverTails)
BeaverTails Trenton, Ontario Construction (Image: BeaverTails)

The number one consideration for new locations is pedestrian traffic, said Di Ioia. 

“When you are used to the tourist zones, the pedestrian was given. You’re not going to go to Blue Mountain (Ontario) and not get pedestrians. You’re not going to go to Whistler and not get pedestrians. It comes as part and parcel of the reality,” he said. 

“But now as we expand further afield when you look at places like White Rock of course it’s the beach and there’s lots of pedestrians. But you look at 17th Avenue in Calgary. Why did we choose that? Because there’s a pedestrian zone there.”

BeaverTails Niagara Falls (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
BeaverTails in Byward Market in Ottawa (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

BeaverTails began its strategy of opening ‘community’ shops’ – new locations principally in suburban retail plazas – in early 2020. Now, it is making the BeaverTails experience more accessible to people in residential neighbourhoods.

“Building on 45 of years of history, we work hard to keep the BeaverTails brand relevant and appealing to our customers,” said Di Ioia. “Most recently, our ‘community’ shop approach is intended to bring the BeaverTails magic to where our customers live, work and shop.”

BeaverTails ‘destination’ shops, including Grouse Mountain, Banff Avenue, Toronto Waterfront, Mont Tremblant and Cavendish Beach represent the company’s heritage and remain central to its brand. The experience of enjoying BeaverTails treats is often associated with a vacation or an outdoor activity.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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