Ottawa-based Farm Boy to add eight new stores in southern Ontario

Ottawa-based Farm Boy said Tuesday it plans to open eight new stores in southern Ontario over the next two years as it continues its bid to expand beyond its traditional market base in the National Capital Region.

The grocery chain known for its fresh baked goods also said it plans to relocate its Ottawa Train Yards store from its current home at 665 Industrial Ave. to 830 Belfast Rd., about a block farther north. The new 38,000-square-foot store is slated to open next year.

In addition, Farm Boy confirmed that its new 28,000-square-foot location in the base of a condo tower at 193 Metcalfe St. will open next spring. The store was previously a Sobeys Urban Fresh supermarket.

The chain’s southern Ontario expansion includes five stores in Toronto, along with others in Burlington, Newmarket and St. Catharines, where Farm Boy will open its first location in the Niagara region. The locations range from 12,000 to 34,000 square feet, with opening dates in 2020 and 2021, the company said in a news release.

The new additions will bring Farm Boy’s total store count to 37.

“Farm Boy is entering an exciting phase of our growth plans as we expand our presence in the GTA and Ottawa, while also entering new markets like the Niagara region,” Farm Boy co-CEO Jeff York said in a statement.

Sobeys parent company Empire Co. acquired Farm Boy in an $800-million deal last year. When the acquisition was first announced, Farm Boy co-CEO Jeff York moved to reassure customers that the brand wouldn’t change under new ownership. Since then, Farm Boy outlets have become some of the company’s best-performing stores, according to CEO Micheal Medline.

This summer, Farm Boy made headlines when it purchased the Rideau Bakery after the venerable family business announced it was closing its doors for good. The acquisition was named the city’s retail deal of the year at the Best Ottawa Business Awards last month.