Greenbank Road Farm Boy now open

By Charlie Senack

Barrhaven Independent

Barrhaven’s second Farm Boy location has opened in the former Sobeys location, becoming the company’s first location to ban single-use plastic bags entirely.

The 35,000 square foot space will employ 135 people and features “outstanding eat-on-the-go options” including grilling and pizza stations. Full-service salad and hot bars are also part of the company’s 39th location — similar to other new Farm Boy locations, including in the city’s east end and at the Rideau Centre.

In the last decade, Farm Boy has grown as a chain and hopes to build roughly 20 new locations in Ontario over the next three years as part of a $2.1 billion retail portfolio. The company is currently on track to have 43 stores in the province by the end of 2021.

Jean-Louis Bellemare, President and General Manager, at Farm Boy said their expansion efforts are thanks to community support.

“We’ve received so much support from our Ottawa shoppers over the years – we’re thrilled to share that we are opening another location to better serve an area that holds some of our longest-standing customers,” he said. “Those visiting our new Greenbank location can expect the same exceptional farm fresh shopping experience that many in the Ottawa area have come to know and love, with a few additional upgrades we’ve recently tested.”

Farm Boy has been taking steps in recent months to ban “wasteful single-use plastics such as cutlery, straws, and some food containers.” As of June 1, all their stores will begin working to phase out single-use plastic grocery bags and will instead switch to paper. Customers are also encouraged to bring their own reusable shopping bags as a way to help the environment.

The new Barrhaven Farm Boy located at 1581 Greenbank Road near Strandherd Drive, was announced last summer when Empire Company Ltd — which owns multiple grocery retailers — announced that three Sobeys locations in Ontario would close for a rebrand.

The Barrhaven Sobeys, which had been in the community for more than a decade, closed on October 2, leaving many of their employees without work. Multiple former staff members wrote to the Barrhaven Independent to express their discontent with how the situation was handled.

“Some of us are sad because we’re losing a great management team full of great people to work with and we’re losing a family aspect of all things,” former Sobeys cashier Nicholas Carchidi told the Barrhaven Independent back in August. “Some of us are angry at corporations because of the fact that there is already a Farm Boy on Woodroffe. I don’t see a point personally in shutting down Sobeys Barrhaven.”

The other Barrhaven Farm Boy, located at 3033 Woodroffe Ave, will remain open and has also banned all single-use plastic grocery bags as of Monday, May 17.

According to a press release, the Greenbank Barrhaven Farm Boy offers: local farm fresh produce with organic in-season products; hundreds of Ontario fresh dairy, meat and grocery products; plenty of plant-based, vegan and vegetarian fresh foods; wide variety of local farmstead, international, and Canadian cheeses; and hundreds of popular Farm Boy private label products throughout the store.

Farm Boy was started out as a small produce stand in Cornwall, Ontario, in 1981. The chain is now made up of 39 stores which stretch throughout the province. Another location is scheduled to open in Stittsville later this year.