How a 40-year-old store with lots of competition remains successful
It was a beautiful day in March when we scheduled a visit to Leopoldo, a fruit and vegetable store in the Jean Talon market. I go there often during the summer months and I always wonder how so many vendors in such close proximity can sell seemingly similar products and stay in business. Now I have my answer.
Leopoldo is a small store with a huge personality. It has been in business for over 40 years. Three years ago Gigi bought the store.
Gigi has been working at the Jean-Talon market since the age of 6. Coming from a family of ten kids, there were always mouths to feed. When he started working, his pay was a bag of cherries. If the cherries were anything like they are today, he struck gold!
Gigi starts all his days at 2 am, setting out to personally source each item his store stocks. He wants to ensure that his store is stocked with the city’s best and freshest produce by opening time at 5am. Gigi is probably the only person left in the city who personally buys his fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Being out there buying at 2 am ensures he is there before anyone else!
Gigi leans over, picks a couple of grapes and offers them to me. As I taste them I feel like I have been transported to a vineyard in Napa Valley.
Aside from the delicious fruits and vegetables, Leopoldo has established a reputation for unrivaled service due to its attentive staff. Gigi, Debbie, Henri, Tony and JP are always all so inviting to their customers, engaging with them like they are part of the family. We were granted the same hospitality.
In order to bring their business to the next level they created an online delivery service. This started one year ago with two customers and has now expanded to over 50 customers. Gigi hand picks and personally prepares all online orders ensuring excellent quality control. Orders of $50 or more have free delivery or you can place your fruit and vegetable order online and pick it up.
We needed a scale and this is what was offered to us. However over time we had to change cash registers but never our scales.
As part of our product photography session we asked if we could take some pictures in their stockroom. We were pleased to see how clean and organized it was. But then again, it was no surprise as everything they do, they do with pride.
The team at Leopoldo loves their Kilotech scales. They currently have the KRS 1000, KRS 1000P and an S2000. When I asked them why they chose Kilotech, they said "We needed a scale and this is what was offered to us. However over time we had to change cash registers but never our scales."
When we left the store I ventured to the other side of the Jean Talon market where all the stalls are located. Kilotech scales were found at every stall. I stopped to ask a staff member why he had chosen Kilotech. He said “Kilotech is known as the brand of choice in the Jean Talon market because the scales are reliable, the company is local, and they offer great service.”
I left the market with a smile on my face. I had gotten to enjoy the fruits of my labor and knew that this had been one plum assignment!