Gentrification heats up in Little Italy as glam grocer Pusateri’s opens new store

Over the last 60 years, Torontonians have continued their love affair with Pusateri’s, the gourmet grocer that introduced locals to imported Italian goods and speciality products they couldn’t find anywhere else. And now, the glam grocery store is rejoining the community where it all started.

In the summer of 2023, Pusateri’s will return to its roots, opening a new store on College Street in Little Italy. Considered to be a very special neighbourhood to the Pusateri family — it’s where the original store, Pusateri’s Supermarket, opened in 1963 — the new location at 899 College St. will encompass approximately 10,000 square feet and feature sections dedicated to wide variety of everyday items and specialty products.

And, while the new store will be similar to it’s other locations including authentic fresh meats and cheese, prepared foods and florals, it will also include a  selection of hot foods that customers can take to go, or enjoy in the store’s indoor and outdoor seating spaces.

Armed with the mantra, “exploring artisan foods brings a sense of happiness” the new location will also include a café concept offering breakfast, a coffee bar with signature brews as well as a daily menu, with the hopes of creating a neighbourhood hub for the local community.

Promising a more modern, urban format, Paolo Pusateri says it’s only fitting that to celebrate their 60th anniversary, that they reconnect with the community they started with in 1963.

“We’re eager to once again become part of the fabric of this vibrant neighbourhood with our offer of the best quality products and selection we’re known for,” he said.

The Connoisseur room located at Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s at CF Toronto Eaton Centre.

Salvatore Pusateri immigrated to Toronto from Sicily in 1958 and five years later, opened his first store — a produce market in the Corso Italia neighbourhood. In 1986, Salvatore’s son Cosimo transformed the shop from a simple fruit stand to a gourmet grocery store chain, when he opened a 6,000 square foot location at Lawrence and Avenue Road. He is credited with helping to introduce Toronto to a number of delicacies, including caviar from the Caspian Sea, Wagyu beef and Spanish Iberico ham.

Since then, the luxury grocery chain has seen a number of successful openings, including its food hall location at Saks Fifth Avenue Queen Street in the CF Toronto Eaton Centre as well as some closures — in 2018, the Oakville location shuttered after a two year run, and just last month, its food hall location at CF Sherway Gardens permanently closed.

You can follow along on Pusateri’s Instagram for updates on the new location.

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