Commitment. It’s a word that’s tossed around a lot, but often misses the mark in practice. Not so at Commisso’s Fresh Foods in Niagara Falls. When they say they’re committed to delivering a unique and exceptional grocery experience, they mean it. Customers need only to walk through their meat department to appreciate this for themselves.
Directed by Miro Urge, the approach for the meat case combines Commisso’s desire to provide for that unparalleled experience together with their commitment for supporting Ontario’s pork farmers. In fact, Commisso’s uses only 100% Ontario pork. “We believe customers can taste the difference, and we are not interested in offering them anything but the best,” says Miro.
The Commisso family has been in the Niagara region for quite some time and have understandably developed a strong relationship with the community. It’s not uncommon to visit the store on a weekend and find a local supplier on hand to meet with customers, as a couple of Ontario’s pork farmers did recently in September. The family originally operated 16 grocery stores in the Niagara and Hamilton areas before deciding to move on and eventually open a new store, inspired by consumers’ desires for a concept that offered fresh, healthy and unique products.
Transparency is fundamental at Commisso’s. Whether in the bakery or meat department, staff are completely visible while preparing the foods that will shortly end up in the counter and eventually into a customer’s grocery basket.
Even their popular store-made sausages are prepared directly behind the meat counter, using meat from whole muscle Ontario pork shoulder. Since this level of attention to detail cannot be accomplished without the cooperation of several skilled tradespeople, it’s not surprising to often see upwards of five to seven meat staff in the department at once. Miro believes that having them available to customers is crucial. According to him, “it allows our meat staff to interact directly with shoppers, to answer questions, recommend meat selections, and offer cooking guidance”. Given that many of the staff members have been working in the industry for over a decade, it stands to reason they are ideally suited to provide this guidance.
For customers who prefer this level of service, store management is passionate about sharing the story behind their procurement practices and their commitment to sourcing local food.
For pork, this is accomplished by proudly displaying the point-of-sale materials from Ontario Pork, which are available at no cost for retailers and foodservice organizations. The easily identifiable green circle with the grey checkmark is a quick and meaningful way for Commisso’s to inform their customers that their pork is local, fresh, and raised on a family farm. Miro has “no doubt” that the point of sale materials have had a positive impact on his fresh meat counter and believes that customers appreciate this visual display of the stores local pork commitment.
Location: 6161 Thorold Stone Road, Niagara Falls, Ontario
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