We chatted with the store manager of Granville Street’s Meinhardt to get the lowdown on what it’s like serving up delicious fresh food in the heart of the city. Hear about what’s next for the grocery chain and what their day-to-day looks like at Granville and Dunsmuir!
1) First off, tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been with Meinhardt and how did you get started in the business?
My name is Marissa and I am the Store Manager of the Pacific Centre Meinhardt; I have been with the company for the past 8 years. Even to this day, I’ll never forget the first time I stepped into the store.
My very first impression of Meinhardt was the gorgeous cascade of white orchids on a very large vase covered by fresh florals, the beautiful pastry showcase, accompanied by an extensive salad selection that connects to the Deli and cheese array across from it. It’s what drew me farther into the store.
I remember thinking to myself “I would love to be a part of this establishment”.
Fast forward 4 years: one day as I was walking down the street, I encountered an ad that stated “Meinhardt is hiring”. I knew I had to be there, I applied immediately and the rest – is history.
2) Now tell us about your business. What is Meinhardt, and what is the key to its success?
Meinhardt Fine Foods is a place where passionate people create culinary excellence, provide a compelling line of signature items and deliver it all in a fresh and exciting environment to “feed your curiosity”. Back in 1996, Linda Meinhardt founded our specialty food store and gained its success and reputation by filling the store shelves up with the most beautiful, unique and exclusive grocery items.
Today, consumer’s dietary needs are continuously shifting. Our chefs at Meinhardt strive to keep up with the health trends and are constantly adapting with the everchanging needs. The ingredients we use in our food are local, sustainable, and ethically sourced; we believe in the “Think globally, act locally” mindset. To add to that, most of our food items are made fresh from scratch and with love in our kitchen (yes, even the salad dressing!).
3) Why did you choose to locate on downtown Granville Street?
We made the decision to open a location at Pacific Centre in 2012 because we wanted to be in the heart of Vancouver. Without a doubt, Vancouver is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. We want to be able to grow together with Vancouver.
We saw that there was a gap in the marketplace where people are looking for convenient, fresh, on-the-go selections. We have been the go-to destination for locals to source premium grocery products typically not found elsewhere for the past two decades for our South Granville neighbourhood. We wanted to be able to bring that to downtown as well.
4) What’s next for your business? Any plans for changes or expansion?
Upcoming in June 2018, we will be opening our third location at Ambleside Beach! As some of you may be able to tell, each of our stores cater to a very different demographic. While our South Granville location caters to families and Pacific Centre location caters to the working population, our beachside location will incorporate an upscale café concept. Our goal is to introduce a unique café and shopping experience in West Vancouver. This location will have 28 inside seats and 20 seats on our outdoor patio, a full-service barista coffee bar featuring a custom-designed premium coffee and loose teas menu, complemented by a wide selection of house made fresh-baked goods. Our Ambleside location will also feature an artisan ice cream bar with special flavours to match your seasonal needs.
As for our Pacific Centre location, we’re looking to expand our catering offerings in the coming year. Our patio will be opened again for the warmer days in Vancouver for you to enjoy the sunshine!
Moreover, we have begun implementing a new program where we prepare food tastings and samplings almost every weekday not only to introduce the products but also the owner and producer behind each brand. We believe in supporting local entrepreneurs and want to be able to bring our local brands closer to our community. You can find all of our food demonstrations on our Twitter @meinhardtfoods!