Montréal-based Goodfood Market, an online grocery and meal-kit startup, has signed a lease for a new first fulfillment centre in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This represents the company’s third operating location outside of Québec.
“The demand for online grocery delivered directly to customers’ doors has seen a strong uptick in recent weeks.”
Goodfood plans to hire more than 300 new employees for the facility. Fulfilment of orders at the 42,000 square-foot facility will begin before the end of this month. The startup said this lease is part of its plan to grow its capacity and expand its countrywide operating footprint. Goodfood president and COO Neil Cuggy said the company is also on track to build a larger fulfillment center in Toronto in 2021.
“In the wake of accelerating penetration of online grocery in Canada resulting from the current pandemic, we are thrilled to have found a facility to service our current and future members in the GTA and Southern Ontario,” Cuggy said.
Goodfood has a production facility and administrative offices in Montréal, one production facility in Calgary, and opened a Vancouver fulfillment center in March, after seeing “strong uptake” in the region and cementing a partnership with the Vancouver Canucks.
The move comes as the online grocery industry is expected to see a boom in activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In British Columbia, the Digital Technology Supercluster recently launched a project focused on creating an e-grocery delivery service for essential workers and citizens in quarantine during the pandemic.
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“The demand for online grocery delivered directly to customers’ doors has seen a strong uptick in recent weeks,” said Jonathan Ferrari, CEO of Goodfood. “This rapid acceleration in adoption is changing how Canadians shop for groceries now and in the future, and it has motivated us to be closer to our members and to offer our services with more flexibility to a larger number of Canadians.”
“We firmly believe these changes in consumer habits are here to stay and that Goodfood is well-positioned to play a leading role in this transformation,” Ferrari added.
Goodfood was established under the original name Culiniste in 2014 by Ferrari and Cuggy, who were previously investment banking analysts at RBC Capital Markets. In 2016, the company rebranded itself under the Goodfood name, and in June 2017, it became publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
While its business initially centred on preparing meal kits delivered to subscribers, it has since expanded its offering to include ready-to-eat meals, grocery items, and breakfast products. The most significant rivals to Goodfood include Germany-based HelloFresh and MissFresh, a grocery giant subsidiary that is also based in Québec.
Last month, Goodfood launched a partnership with the University of Montreal Health Centre Foundation to supply medical personnel and volunteers with a variety of Good Food meals.
Image source Goodfood.