This is great news. For a list of buy-local Toronto markets, visit MyMarket.
Dale Kropf calls it Independence Day: On July 3, his five grocery stores in southwestern Ontario ceased to be Sobeys franchises.
Corporate policies prevented him from buying local products, he says, so he joined forces with four other former Sobeys franchisees and formed the independent Hometown Grocers Co-Op.
“We feel that local food, local presence is huge in our market and we wanted to take advantage of that,” Kropf says.
Canadians are increasingly subscribing to the “buy local” and “100 mile diet” philosophies due to concerns over imported food, Kropf adds. “The pressure was always mounting — the more recalls, the more bad press from China or wherever the product was coming from. I know that in our case, our private label pickles are made in Indonesia. I couldn’t believe that.”
As a franchisee for a large grocery chain, Kropf says, corporate policies stipulating that he only buy federally inspected meat prevented him from stocking local products. Most federally inspected meat in Canada comes from large corporations such as Maple Leaf, Cargill and Tyson.