Windsor getting popup micro-grocery store

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Windsor Star/Mary Caton

 

This isn’t your typical roadside fruit stand.

An online Kingsville grocer is planning a pop-up micro store housed inside a refurbished shipping container for one Windsor neighbourhood.

Go Produce has delivered fresh local fruits and vegetables to more than 600 homes throughout Windsor and Essex County since the service started two years ago.

Now, company president Josh Mastronardi plans to have a popup store open by early May in one of three underserviced Windsor communities vying for it through an online vote.

In consultation with City of Windsor officials and local Business Improvement Associations, Go Produce will place its container store in Ford City, Walkerville or the downtown core.

Mastronardi said the idea came to him after travelling to Europe and experiencing other popup businesses and restaurants.

“We’ll be using this one as a pilot to see how it goes for the upcoming season,” he said.

If successful, he can envision several popup locations in the future, perhaps stretching into Chatham-Kent.

Mastronardi said the container store would operate from May to October to coincide with the local growing season.

Go Produce works with a network of more than 10 local farms to ensure freshness and quality.

Amy Saba, the company’s marketing specialist, said the popup will be stocked with 80 to 90 per cent local produce while also providing other sought after items not locally grown such as bananas.

“This would be a great coup for Ford City,” said Bridget Scheuerman, of the Ford City BIA. “Nothing would be better than having fresh vegetables on an ongoing basis that neighbours could just walk over to.”

Scheuerman said there is no grocery store within the Ford City BIA boundaries and that a seasonal market fell by the wayside.

“This would be an excellent replacement,” she said.

Saba said Go Produce is currently working on obtaining a permit to start construction.

The shipping container was acquired from Coxon’s Towing Services and is being redesigned by Carla Somogyvary, owner of Designer DNA and interior designer Alice Nohra.

Choosing a final site by online vote was Saba’s idea “to engage city residents and let them know it’s coming.”

The online vote to choose a store location opened Monday and closes Friday, April 6 at www.goproducenow.com.