Inside Toronto’s first Farm Boy, Etobicoke’s new 20,000-square-foot supermarket

Inside Toronto’s first Farm Boy, Etobicoke’s new 20,000-square-foot supermarket

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The company that started as a family-owned produce stand 35 years ago in Cornwall just opened a 20,000-square-foot store in Etobicoke. It’s Farm Boy’s 25th location, but the first in Toronto—though up to 15 GTA and Golden Horseshoe locations are in the works, including one at Lakeshore Blvd. E. and Leslie. We stopped by on opening day to see what’s quite literally in store for Farm Boy shoppers, including goods from more than 100 local producers and over 500 of Farm Boy’s private label products.

Farm Boy’s newest store is located in the Shoppes of Alderwood plaza at Brown’s Line and Evans Avenue:


Farm Boy’s mascot, Lulu the Cow, was there to greet customers on opening day:


There’s a sizable produce section:


Part of it is dedicated to organic produce:


Here’s the berry wall:


Farm Boy–branded paper bags feature specially priced fresh produce. Last week they were filled with Pink Lady apples and roma tomatoes:


Shoppers can enjoy free samples from the store’s various vendors:


Shelves are stocked with the brand’s own small-batch private label products:


Here are a bunch of the brand’s own sauces and dressings:


And spices:


The brand’s number one seller is their lemon-garlic dressing:


In the snack aisle, fan favourites include Farm Boy’s double-baked pita crackers…


…and Farm Boy’s tortilla chips that are made using a recipe from Tamazula, Mexico:


Farm Boy’s motto is proudly displayed above their bulk candy display:


Farm Boy’s executive chef Josh Drache shares that the milk chocolate–covered, double-roasted almonds are sold in small portions because they’re so addictive. The 43-degree-roasted nuts have a thin, customized Callebaut chocolate coating:


Where’s the beef? Here, most likely:


Customers will find suggested Farm Boy private label products nearby for meal prep solutions, like jars of fermented garlic flowers. (Drache thinks they’re great with steak.)


Head to the butcher counter for cuts of meat, and organic and specialty meat items…


… including 10 varieties of house-made sausages:


Popular ready-to-cook items include seasoned and flattened chicken, gourmet burger patties…


…and these stuffed, Ontario-grown portobello mushroom caps:


The seafood counter carries sustainable seafood, including some pre-marinated stuff:


The refrigerated section is stocked with house-made sauces and dips, salads and 18 varieties of soup:


In addition to locally made ice creams (the ones pictured are from London) there will be cocktail-flavoured freeze pops for sale this summer:


There is also a section for vegan products and supplements, including some from local vendors like Live and Nona:


The cheese counter has over 400 kinds of cheese, including the store’s own small-batch aged cheddar (unfortunately sold out for the season) and popular house-made cheese balls:


Fresh cheese curds from St. Albert are delivered daily:


The salad bar has over 60 freshly prepared ingredients from the store, including produce, meat and seafood, all priced by weight ($2.19 for 100 grams). “In our store, the number one supplier of our kitchen is our produce department; our number two supplier is the meat department. We’re all customers of each other,” says Drache:


Here are just some of the mix-ins:


Meats in the salad bar include chicken, Atlantic salmon and nitrate-free roast beef:


The hot counter offers a bunch of prepared things that could include butter chicken, vegan curry, bison shepherd’s pie, Farm Boy’s ever-popular jalapeño cream cheese won tons, and rotating features (last month was Italian, this month is all about Spain):


March’s Taste of Spain menu includes arroz a la Española (Spanish rice), pisto manchego con pollo (stewed vegetable with chicken) and fabes con cerdo (pork and beans stew):


Wood-fired pizzas are made to order in an Italian stone pizza oven, using the brand’s own tomato sauce and other products from the store. The pies take four minutes to bake, and start at $7.99:


There’s also a sushi station and a deli counter stocked with daily-made sandwiches and wraps, which can be toasted:


At the stir fry station, shoppers can build their own bowl using their choice of produce, protein (chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu), starch (brown rice, white rice, rice noodles) and sauce:


Customers will find European-style breads, tart squares, sticky toffee pudding, and more, in the bakery:


Including Farm Boy’s house-made loaves in flavours like lemon-thyme and banana-chocolate:


The drink aisle stocks Farm Boy’s own private-label soda, organic kombucha and fresh-pressed juices (the newest line includes a charcoal-infused one). Beer and cider are coming soon:


A section near the checkout counters has tables and seating for those who would rather dine in:


Farm Boy’s executive chef Josh Drache (shown here high-fiving Carolyn Trudel, director of PR and market development) says that Farm Boy’s goal is to share their love of great food:


And here’s where you part with your money:

841 Brown’s Line Rd., 416-253-9379, farmboy.ca