The Newton (pictured above) and the Strawberry Hill Chalo! FreshCo locations officially opened Thursday, July 1. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey Chalo! FreshCo locations officially open

Discount grocery stores geared 'heavily' toward South Asian community

Shoppers were coming in “droves” to one of the two new Chalo! FreshCo locations for the official openings.

The Newton and Strawberry Hill locations opened to public Thursday (July 11), with the Strawberry Hill store hosting an “opening ceremony” that included a ribbon cutting and a bhangra performance. The first 1,000 customers at each store received a free one-pound stick of butter.

READ ALSO: Surrey FreshCo locations to open in July, June 6, 2019

READ ALSO: Discount grocery store FreshCo to replace Surrey Safeway locations, Jan. 29, 2019

The Chalo! locations are an extension of the discount grocery chain, FreshCo. The stores have replaced the previous Safeway locations.

Newton and Strawberry Hill are the first two Chalo! stores in B.C. There are currently four already in Ontario.

The franchisees at the stores also each donated $5,000 in Chalo! FreshCo gift cards to the Surrey Food Bank.

READ ALSO: New location for Surrey Food Bank hits a snag, July 11, 2019

Chris Phillipson, franchisee for the Newton store, said that customers were coming in “droves” into the store from opening at 8 a.m. through to midday.

“Generally in the grocery industry, the highest points of the day are 3 to 6 p.m. or 3 to 7 p.m., so I’m a little nervous,” Phillipson said with a laugh. “I don’t know if we can get much crazier. The parking lot is full.”

The two stores are branded as Chalo! FreshCo locations, which are geared “heavily” toward the South Asian community.

“Obviously where we are located here in Newton, as well as in Strawberry Hill, is a heavy population of South Asians, so we’re just catering to the surround community,” he said.

Phillipson said “chalo” means “let’s go” in Hindi and Punjabi. He said some of the customers throughout the day picked up on the name meaning.

“They were excited. They read that to believe that this would be a heavy South Asian in the way of what we have.”

Both stores, according to a release about the openings, will stock an “expansive” South Asian product assortment, and will feature products from two local businesses – TaQwa Halal Foods and Fraserview Meats and Seafood.

SEE ALSO: Crews work on two former Safeway locations in Surrey, March 16, 2019

SEE ALSO: Safeway closures at two Surrey stores will end 251 jobs, Jan. 24, 2018

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