Longo Bros. Fruit Market (Mississauga, Ont.) built its first store in 1956, a 2000-square-foot location on Toronto’s Yonge Street. Since then, the chain has expanded and the stores have gone suburban and become larger (as much as 40,000 square feet), though the emphasis on freshness has never been abandoned.
Recently, the retailer went smaller – and urban. Its Market by Longo’s on the concourse level in Toronto’s downtown BCE Place presented three challenges: to build the same selection and appeal into a smaller space, to appeal to urban shoppers and to maintain its storied reputation for freshness and quality.
Watt Intl. Inc. (Toronto) helped create the Market by Longo’s concept, convincing in-city shoppers that they were getting the same freshness and quality of product that they had come to expect of Longo’s large-format stores. The space also gives those hurried urban shoppers quickness and convenience. Merchandise adjacencies were shifted around so fully prepared home meal replacements were at the front of the store for an easy in-and-out experience.
Fresh juices, produce and other grab-and-go items were also placed near the checkout counters for easy accessibility. And the usual full range of products – including fresh meats, international cheeses and fresh bakery products – were moved to the back.
But with only 4000 square feet, Longo’s challenge was to offer as much of its product as possible, maximizing space efficiency. Floor-to-ceiling shelving provided merchandising density along with special fixtures that wrapped around support columns in the store plus built-in bakery baskets.
The focus is on natural materials – rich woods, river rock, cultured stone. Signage is simple and clear, offering wayfinding and yet showcasing what Longo Bros. wants to stand for: quick and healthy foods – and quality – for the urban shopper.
Client: Longo Bros. Fruit Market, Mississauga, Ont.
Design: Watt Intl., Toronto – Jean Paul Morresi; Sam Chan; Kim Clark; Steve Van Rooy; Matt DeAbreu; Carla Conte
Architect: Bregman & Hamann Architects, Toronto
General Contractor: RFB Construction, Burlington, Ont.
Fixtures: ALU, New York; National Millworks Inc., Tucson, Ariz.
Visual Elements: Canadian Sign Systems, Port Perry, Ont.
Photography: Si Hoang, Toronto