Anyone passing through Liberty Village in the last month and a half may have noticed the cute little flower market that’s popped-up in the parking lot behind the Brazenhead Pub. The place is crammed to the awnings with potted plants of every description with a mass of cut flowers ready for Mother’s Day. The hottest selling item was a large pot stuffed full of flowers for $40.
The parking lot behind the pub is private property that’s owned by the complex and therefore not subject to the myriad rules and regulations imposed by the municipalities on temporary stores. The flower shop is just temporary though, and indeed this place is a bean sprout of a much bigger business venture moving into the neighbourhood. Look at the name on the shirt in the cover photo above and remember that logo.
Liberty Organic Market is opening July 1st 2017 at 151 Liberty St E in the exact center of the mews if you will, and this all-natural grocery store is yet another shade of green in the urban oasis that’s taken root here in the downtown core of the city. Its hip to be sustainable and the smart little cloth shopping bags the flower store dispenses is just one more prop in their sophisticated marketing plan.
When METRO learned that their flagship Liberty Village supermarket location would soon have competition from an upstart organic market in the neighbourhood they announced plans to make a fully organic meat and produce section inside their store.
Liberty Organic Market First ‘Popped Up’ as a Flower Shop
On Friday the 13th of May 2017, this author had the pleasure of meeting Andy Ientile the proprietor and visionary behind Liberty Organic Market.
We met at the flower shop and walked to his retail store now under construction. Andy the entrepreneur is now in the design phase and has the difficult task of massaging what store fixtures he can afford with what consumers expect inside the exigencies of the location.
There are many things on site that Andy cannot change and although his suppliers have fantastic money saving ideas he cannot really adopt their recommendations without renovating the shape of the space.
For example, Andy really cannot change the location of the front door or the position of the coolers and refrigeration units and so adopting sophisticated floorplans to comfort finicky organic food shoppers is a difficult design challenge.
Jack Lin from Ablelin Store Fixture Corp delivered wall racks. Jack is helping Andy and was on site when we arrived delivering racks and together we measured the floor for counters before sourcing materials and making from scratch what he cannot buy through an international marketplace of store furnishings.
John Conn from Standard Telecom was busy installing a phone network for the business wiring the space for flat screens and front desk utilities including fiber optic digital resources.
Andy Ientile’s Vision For Liberty Organic Market
Andy enjoyed some steep discounts when he secured ‘used’ refrigerator display counters which have never been used; they were made for another market or have some small surface defects which makes them incongruous with the chain stores. They are the wrong colour or the wrong shape and so Andy was able to get these hard-to-find pieces at really good prices.
Packaging is something else that Andy considers when stocking shelves with consumer products – he reads all the labels to determine if the companies are either helping or hurting Mother Earth. You wont find anything made from palm oil in the Liberty Organic Market if Andy can help it, as that industry is definitely on the wrong side of history, and so equally verboten are petroleum products and ALL genetically modified foods (like American corn-on-the-cob).
The vegetables will be grown locally and when fresh fruit from the Niagara region is not available, the best and greenest imports will be secured for the market. The beef and pork and poultry will all be locally raised and fish specials will be seasonal and supply driven to reduce the carbon footprint of that food source.
Authentic olive oil (not the fake ‘olive oil’ you get in the supermarket) is to be supplied by Sarafino Fines Foods – Olive Oil importers from Italy and its around these authentic artisan food stuffs that the market will try a small deli counter at the front with four stools and two tables.
Andy agrees with the experts’ ideas about bringing the community into the store and plans to offer specials the locals wont soon forget. It starts with the hemp shopping bags and expands in generosity as this entrepreneur hopes to impact and improve the lives of all the high-rise condominium residents living and working in the area.