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A taste of Adonis downtown?


Marché Adonis, the Montreal grocer popular for its Mediterranean-style prepared food, is expected to open its first downtown store in 2013, sources tell me.

Supermarket chain Metro Inc., which bought a 55 per cent stake in the ethnic supermarkets last year, is looking at opening the first urban-format Adonis on the ground floor of the sold-out Seville condo project on Ste. Catherine St., just east of Atwater St. Like the condo project, a new Adonis store would go a long way towards revitalizing the once struggling strip of Ste. Catherine St., just west of Guy St.

Adonis’s founders, Lebanese Canadian brothers Jamil and Elie Cheaib, are staying on with a 45 per cent stake in the business that has five stores, located either in the suburbs or in the Ville Saint Laurent area.


This proposed 20,000-30,000 square foot store in Montreal’s multi-ethnic, bustling Shaughnessy Village could be a model for future Adonis stores. Metro has said it plans to grow Adonis at the rate of two stores a year, both in Quebec and in Ontario.

Adonis’s wide selection of prepared food would make an urban format a hit in Toronto, where downtown residential neighbourhoods are growing with the largest condo boom in North America, one analyst tells me.

Jonathan Sigler, co-president of Groupe Prével, which is developing the Seville, declined to comment, referring me to Metro.

Marie-Claude Bacon, a spokesperson for Metro, confirmed that the retailer would be opening a supermarket on the ground floor of the three phase, 477-unit condo project, but wouldn’t say whether it would be an Adonis store. Besides its Metro namesake, the chain also operates under the high-end 5 Saisons, discount Super C/Food Basics and rural Marché Richelieu banners.

“There will be a grocery store within the Metro family but which one hasn’t been determined,” she said, noting that the supermarket would only open in spring 2013.

And the other options? A regular Metro grocery store wouldn’t stand out in the area, which already has three supermarkets located walking distance from the Seville.

Although Adonis stores run as large as 50,000 square feet (the one in Brossard), this one would be a smaller urban format and a good fit in an area teeming with a growing number of young condo-buying professionals and university students who either don’t have the time or the inclination to cook.

During the second quarter of 2012, Adonis and its distributor, Phoenicia, contributed $59 million to Metro’s sales, boosting the grocery operator’s profits which grew by 12 per cent.





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