Grocery Wars Heating Up in Cornwall Ontario – Will Consumers Win? POLL by Jamie Gilcig

freshcoCORNWALL Ontario –  Grocery stores are duking it out in Cornwall Ontario.  The latest entry has been Freshco.  The Sobey’s owned chain features more aggressive prices.

As a impoverished savvy consumer I try and make my dollars spread the furthest so I tend to shop at different stores.  Local management aside, I tend to like the design and offerings of Freshco.   In particular I find a nice choice of fresh fruits and veggies; a good selection of bread products, and some pretty good deals if you search.  In particular I find more International offerings than some stores.   Less than perfect is overall selection and access to the store.   Getting through the cash has been pretty smooth as our store never seems that busy.  They do charge for bags.

food basicsFood Basic$ has two stores here in Cornwall.   The grand dad of discounting in our city.   They are part of the Metro chain and clearly are different than our Metro store that is rumored to be leaving our fair city.

Again, lower priced produce, and lots of sale items.   I find not as large a selection of fresh meat & seafood; but lots of discounted prices for pre-packaged frozen.   Great access and pretty good service in Cornwall.   They do charge for bags.

no frillsNo Frills is Loblaws offering to Cornwall.   The franchisee owned store is now in the Eastcourt Mall with rumors that the Cornwall Square store is leaving after their lease ends this Spring.    The store has taken a beating since the second No Frills and Freshco opened with less staff and anecdotal evidence of  less deals compared to before.   This is the closest grocer to where I live and other than the parking garage I’ve always enjoyed running in for stuff.   The new NoFrills seems to be the real deal.  One peeve, fruit and vegetable offerings can be better.   They charge for bags.

metroMetro gets a bad rap for being expensive, and having the slowest service in Cornwall.

Best place in the city to purchase Lamb.

Has some of the most offerings of Organic food and carries some higher end products.

Again, may be a casualty of too many grocers, especially when the 800 pound gorilla that will be Walmart opens.  They charge for bags.

your independent grocerBaxtrom’s Your Independent carries the President’s Choice brand of products  from Loblaws.  They aren’t a discount chain, and have a full offering of foods and pharmacy.

They also have a wine store in the building which is almost never a bad thing except that they only offer a narrow range of product.  Service can be slow.  They charge for bags.

farmboyI love Farmboy, but you are paying for convenience.  Many times I don’t have a problem with that and the service is amazing.   They also tend to focus more on quality than lowest price which also isn’t a crime.

When I entertain it’s usually on my list of places to shop.

One of my fave restaurateurs locally would buy his produce there and we’d have great chats in the aisles.

The lay out is friendly and the samples are smart when available.  They DO NOT charge for bags.

Cornwall being a border town we have some interesting options just over the mini bridge in Massena NY.   Hannaford’s, Price Chopper, BJ’s, Tony Lakroix’s fave place to shop for cheese, (and mine too!) Aldi’s, and of course Walmart.  None of the US stores or Wal-Mart charge for bags.

So dear viewers of CFN.   Which is your favorite Grocery store?  You only get to pick one!

Which is your fave Cornwall Ontario regional Grocery Store?

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  1. There is no indication Metro is leaving. The store here is NOT on the list of stores closing.

  2. Not sure if this is true , if someone knows what really happened I’d like to know . I heard that Fresh-Co lodged a complaint against the dollar stores because they undercut them on bread prices .. Last time I was in a dollar Store was in Oct. They did have bread a dollar a loaf and up .. this is great for low income people … but they ( the dollar stores ) are no longer allowed to sell bread because of the Fresh-Co complaint .. Anyone hear about this ?

  3. @mike welsh………….
    Sort of. If it’s the dollar store in the same plaza as Freshco there is usually a clause in the contracts that says the dollar stores, etc cannot sell products that the the other store sells if they are told not to sell certain products. The same thing exists with the dollar store and the No Frills at Eastcourt Mall.. The dollar store cannot sell bread products. This is not just in force with dollar stores. In most malls the contracts state that two stores cannot sell the same products if one store asks the other to do so. Perfect example is restaurants and snack bars. The restaurant will sell french fries, but the snack bar would not be allowed to sell them.

  4. you have forgotten one of the smaller independent operations in cornwall, although i tend to shop at baxtroms for staples i prefer my meat and poultry purchased at GOSSELINS due to their quality of meats and friendly staff, they often have specials on steaks and will custom cut to your liking, their pork is to die for, perfect cuts with just the right amount of fat, hamburger is always at sale prices when purchased in bulk, we normally pick up 8 to 9 lbs when we buy it, and separate it when we get home. their meat is always tender and cooks to perfection easily. when we BBQ its a GOSSELIN steak porkchop or hamburger on the grill for us.. if you haven’t shopped there yet, you should, and they are a locally owned family business. go in and talk to GEORGE GOSSELIN, hes usually behind the butchers counter with his staff of highly qualified and friendly butchers. take time to check out his prices on staples too, and remember your supporting a local businessman not the CEO of a large chain

  5. And now with Moise’s Red and White leaving us, Gosselins is going to be the place to go for the freshest curds, pickled pork tongue, and pickled eggs.

  6. Mr. Rothwell is right that Gosslins has excellent quality and we used to shop at that store while living in Cornwall. We go by there while going into Cornwall on visits and we always say how good their products are and the good service.

    Here in Ottawa we shop at a variety of stores which are Metro, Loblaws, Farm Boy and Your Independent Grocer and of course our Middle Eastern stores. We like Metro’s products but very expensive and Farm Boy is an excellent store to go and I saw someone (one of the workers of Farm Boy from Cornwall) one time and he recognized us by our appearance. Loblaws is an expensive store as well and not too often that we go there. We also shop at Food Basics for certain things but not meat and we like Wal Mart as well for certain things. This morning we stopped into Metro to get some luncheon meats and some fancy bread that my husband wanted to try with the luncheon meats since we have been on the hop lately.

    Here in Ottawa the Dollar Stores sell bread, can goods, etc. and also Rexall Pharmacy and the other drugstores are doing the same thing even though there are grocery stores nearby.

  7. For once a post by Jules that doesn’t slam Cornwall and / or the people living here. Has she turned a corner?

    In regard to dollar stores selling bread, etc. it depends on their contract with the mall and if there are any grocery stores in that mall.

  8. Regarding GOSSELIN I go back when his dad [FERN] had the store the founder. It was good then when George took over the family bussiness it was the same.Im not sure if his son will continue.

  9. Hugger you don’t know me at all how I really feel and I can slam Cornwall for its mentality and the ones who are running it into the ground and that is what I slam Cornwall. The town has been mighty neglected for many years and I know because I was born and brought up there whereas you are an Ottawa person and don’t know what Cornwall used to be like and all you see is what it is now. Cornwall used to thrive and I don’t kid you and I tell you the truth.

    As for the Gosselin market they are good in their products – meat and everything and we used to go there a lot. For those who want to save on canned goods, cereal, and other things go to Food Basics and if you get a Wal Mart that sells food then go there as well. We get our detergent, toilet paper and other things as Wal Mart and I could do the same thing at Food Basics but we like Wal Mart. For meat we like Farm Boy, Metro and Your Independent. In order to cut your grocery bills you have to go where it is cheapers. Metro is a nightmare in price (my husband let out a yell a few times) but there stuff is very good.

    It is a good thing that you don’t have Boston Pizza down in Cornwall. Over a year ago I went there with my daughter to pick up a pizza and their medium pizza with the toppings that we chose was at least $30. or more dollars. When we got home my husband was very upset with the price. It is a nice fancy place for those with the deep pockets. Just a while ago my daughter saw Starbucks coffee shop where we went to the doctor and I said no way Jose we already been burned by their high prices and we went to Tim Hortons instead which I prefer.

  10. Jules….I guess we agree to disagree. I’m just tired of you repeating the same stories over and over again about Cornwall and it’s people. It gets tiresome.

    As for Boston Pizza, it’s on its way to Cornwall, opening in late April. Watch your wallets.

  11. I’m not really an Ottawa person. I haven’t lived there in 22 years. From 1992 to 2004 I lived on an old farm on the outskirts of Orleans. Then from 2004 to 2010 we lived in a village / town / bump in the road in between Ottawa and Cornwall. I’ve been in Cornwall since 2010.

  12. None of these places can compare to shopping in the states as for prices not even close so enjoy shopping in these places we hit the walmart supercenter there

  13. Author

    Jim that’s not true. There are far more items that are less in Cornwall than over in Massena and your super centre lacks many choices in other stores and actually is more expensive than many. There are pros and cons to each store generally.

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