EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Pusateri’s John Mastroianni previews what’s in store at the new Saks Food Hall at Sherway Gardens
Friday, March 04, 2016
By Sally Praskey
The stage is set for the March 7, 2016 grand opening of the first-ever
Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s, at Toronto’s Sherway Gardens mall.
The 18,500-sq.-ft. location, situated within the Saks store, will
feature restaurant-style seating so shoppers can enjoy their food in-store, or
take it home.
And more growth is on the horizon: Pusateri’s will be opening another
Food Hall at Saks’ new flagship location on Toronto’s Queen Street in the
spring, as well as a store with restaurant-style seating and a direct entrance
from the parking lot at Oakville Place mall. (Oakville, Ont., is just west of
“We think our partnership with Saks is a great addition to the city
because we’re showing how two great brands can work together on a project that
hopefully will open up the gates for others to do the same in the future,” says
John Mastroianni, Pusateri's general
manager. “It was a great way to get people to come together and talk about
fashion and food.”
In an exclusive interview with Grocery
Business, Mastroianni discussed what customers can look forward
to in these new-concept stores.
What is the mix of prepared foods to
It's around a 70/30 split – 70 per cent fresh and 30 per cent on
grocery. Our focus is heavy on fresh and prepared foods because that’s what time-pressed
consumers are looking for.
Once people purchase their prepared meals,
will they be able to "dine-in"?
Yes, we will have restaurant-style seating so customers can actually
enjoy a meal and get together with friends to make it more than just a shopping
experience; the store truly becomes a place to meet people.
Will there be a butcher, deli
Absolutely. We will have all those services available. Our focus is
always about giving the consumer the choice to have something ready-made where
they can eat in or takeout. But they can also get a great steak for grilling at
Will it be the same breadth of products
that are offered at your other locations?
Actually, the Sherway store will be more of a hybrid. I would say it’ll
be like the offering of our North Toronto store, but with a heavier focus on
natural and organic offerings. The location itself is approximately 18,500 sq. ft.
It’s a full-line store.
What are some of the store's unique
We’re going to have a prosciutto bar at the Sherway Garden location,
which is going to be very different and very exciting. It will have locally
inspired prosciuttos coming from the Niagara region. It will also be full
service – there’s nothing else like this out there. There's also a champagne
and raw bar.
And there will be even more offerings at our new Toronto Queen Street
Saks location when it opens in a few months.
Will there be similar offerings at
the new Oakville Place store?
The Oakville store is scheduled to open in the spring and it will also have
restaurant-style seating. Plus, the store has its own separate entrance from
the parking lot so customers can come in whether the mall is open or not.
You’re rebuilding the North Toronto
store, which suffered fire damage last summer. When will it re-open
Late spring is our target date. It’s under construction as we speak.
What will customers enjoy most the
most about your new stores?
The shopping experience itself because shopping for food doesn't need to
be a chore. We will offer a high-level of service and a sense of entertainment.
And it will be social, "Come on in and enjoy a charcuterie board and a
glass of wine!"
Raising the Bar: What's in Store
Saks Food Hall by Pusateri's hosts 10 unique culinary stations, mixing
proprietary offerings with some of Toronto’s favourite local gourmet vendors.
Champagne and Raw
Bar: With top-shelf champagne, artisanal red and white wines,
and craft beer alongside cheese and charcuterie platters, seafood towers and
rotating tapas menus by Pusateri's corporate chef Tony Cammalleri.
Bar: An eclectic mix of exclusive high-end sushi creations made
to match the luxe ambiance of the Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s.
Pusateri’s Cafe: Exclusive
coffee blends roasted just for Pusateri’s, loose-leaf teas, and freshly baked
La Cucina: Full-service
hot food counter with innovative and trendsetting recipes developed by the
Pusateri’s Kitchen Team.
Bar: Showcasing a collection of local charcuterie by Pingue
Prosciutto, sliced fresh for eat-in or take-away.
Signature Spatchcock Rotisserie: Using a state-of-the-art rotisserie
procured in France, Pusateri’s will offer internationally inspired dishes
featuring naturally raised, grass-fed Ontario chickens.
Greenhouse Juice: Raw,
100 per cent organic, cold-pressed juices, superfood smoothies, probiotic
tonics, and plant-based snacks that taste as great as they make you feel, from
Canada's leading cold-pressed juice company.
Nutella Café by
Pusateri’s: An exclusive assortment of fresh, handmade crepes and
unique delicacies featuring Nutella, all specially crafted by the Pusateri’s
Prepared Foods: Featuring a wide variety of grab-and-go single and
family-sized offerings, as well as a breadth of premium proteins, creatively
prepared daily by Pusateri’s Kitchen Team.
Catering: Renowned catering
services featuring à la carte, corporate, holiday, private, event and