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Fresh St. Market opens in West Van today

Gary Sorenson, chief operating officer of H.Y. Louie, the company that owns Fresh St. Market, holds a bunch of peppers the day before grand opening.  - Michaela Garstin
Gary Sorenson, chief operating officer of H.Y. Louie, the company that owns Fresh St. Market, holds a bunch of peppers the day before grand opening.
— image credit: Michaela Garstin

West Vancouver is now open to a new concept supermarket that will compete with nearby Whole Foods and Osaka Supermarket, as well as other big chains in North Vancouver.

Fresh St. Market, which took over Safeway on Marine Drive and 16th Street, will open today at 10 a.m.

The supermarket focuses on fresh, local and hard-to-find food, but will also have a small grocery section for essentials like canned goods, baking ingredients and cleaning supplies.

"We're making organic and fresh food affordable to everyone," said Gary Sorenson, chief operating officer of H.Y. Louie, the company that owns Fresh St. Market, IGA and London Drugs.

It's the price points, as well as a unique selection of fresh food, that will make Fresh St. Market competitive with other stores, Sorenson adds.

After extensive renovations, Fresh St. Market sits in the same building as Safeway but is barely recognizable inside.

While the store won't have an extensive grocery section similar to others such as Save-On-Foods, Sorensen said, it will offer more fresh food, something customers are increasingly looking for.

Unique products like a self-serve balsamic vinegar bar, a chili pepper station and cheese from local artisans are also available. Eighty per cent of the seafood is Ocean Wise, sourced from nearby water and live lobsters and crabs can be steamed on site for free.

H.Y. Louie, which also owns the property, had originally wanted a mixed-use development on the site, but the plans were quashed last summer because residents were concerned the buildings would block the view of the waterfront.

The options presented to the District of West Vancouver council at the time included a 41,000-square-foot underground grocery store, 16,800 square of ground-level retail and office space and around 150 residential units.

mgarstin@northshoreoutlook.com
twitter.com/michaelagarstin

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