By Shazia Malik
Brampton – The opening of the new Chalo! FreshCo store at Financial Drive, north of Steeles Avenue in Brampton, was a very happening affair. A large number of customers had come not only to shop at the new outlet but to also enjoy a Bollywood dance performance. The atmosphere was imbued with a metropolitan-chic allure where the community enjoyed samosas and hot tea. Prior to the store opening, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place that was also attended by Sonia Sidhu, MP for Brampton South.
The Weekly Voice talked to several customers on this occasion who were loading their carts with items that were marked down to make it extra special for first time customers. Mothers were happy to pick up healthy snacks in large quantities to keep kids well-fed as March break continues. Some men just dropped in even without their wives to buy specials fearing stocks might end by the time they go home and return with their spouses.
Talking to the Weekly Voice, John Kendrick, franchisee, Financial Drive Chalo! FreshCo said the community lacked a proper grocery store in the vicinity and so finding the niche, this new outlet was opened. He pointed out that the store not only offers an international mix of products but a wide variety of Asian stuff. This, he said, has been done to cater for the large South Asian community residing in the area. He also informed not only the residents will find the produce fresh but halal meat, non-halal meat, fresh seafood and even medicines have been made available at their doorsteps. The store has an in-store pharmacy where customers can fill in their prescriptions while they shop. On the question of expansion, John said with the right marketing mix and research, it has been possible for Chalo! FreshCo to not only augment products but open stores at strategic locations.
On the question of competition, he was of the view that they are monitoring closely but Chalo! FreshCo is confident they will always attract the customers with their reasonable prices and offering of fresh products throughout the year.
John added: “Once customers see the amazing variety and unbeatable value, we know they will say ‘Vah!’ and come back for more!” Mike Venton, General Manager, FreshCo said: “At Chalo! FreshCo, we work hard to help our customers make every dollar count and offer a great assortment of South Asian products. Our Chalo! FreshCo stores have become such an important part of the community, and we’re proud to continue growing in Brampton.”
On the eve of grand opening, the first 500 customers received a free pack of 18 eggs and throughout opening week shoppers spending CAD$50 or more will receive a coupon for CAD$5 off their next visit to Chalo! FreshCo. The celebrations with continue well into the weekend with a Halal Food Truck offering free samples to customers.
The ongoing specials, food sampling and in-store demos will continue also. The store has also donated $500 to the Seva Food Bank, a local food bank in Peel region. Chalo! FreshCo now has four stores in Peel Region – three stores in Brampton and one in Mississauga. The new store is open 7 days a week from 7am to 11pm.