IGA extra Famille Duchemin nestled in Montreal’s Saint-Laurent borough is taking its rooftop garden, the largest organic supermarket green roof garden in the country, to a whole new level. Customers can now see the produce they want to buy harvested before their very eyes.
Using a digital kiosk that’s accessible to customers, you can now choose the produce you want and see it harvested live via a camera located on the roof…the products are then shipped down to your cart less than five minutes later. This service will be offered Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, between 8 a.m. and noon.
“Food freshness is important for our customers. When you stop to think about the thousands of kilometres some foods need to travel to get to our plate, our rooftop crop totally takes fresh to a whole new level: the fruits and vegetables are literally picked before our customers’ eyes!” explains IGA extra Famille Duchemin co-owner Richard Duchemin.
The project was a resounding success last year. Every single fruit and vegetable harvested on the roof was sold without fail. Most popular products included spring salad mixes (⅓ of total sales), kale, red bell peppers, and tomatoes. The rooftop garden won two awards in the 2018 DUX Grand Prix Awards under Projets and Coups de cœur du public.
“We are proud to have such innovative merchants. This project has helped us shorten the gap between consumers and product with unrivalled freshness. Technology here is for our customers’ benefit so they can enjoy a customized harvest. This idea was inspired from our online grocery service, which we’ve been offering for over 20 years already,” says Sobeys Marketing VP, Carl Pichette.
2018 is set to be especially promising as garden sales are five times higher than this time last year. New this year: ground cherries, radicchio, and sweet peas.
The community is also invited to join in gastronomic brunches and suppers that will be held directly on the roof and organized by project partner La Ligne Verte. Products farmed on the roof will of course take the spotlight in these exceptional culinary events.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/ligneverte/
IGA extra Famille Duchemin’s rooftop garden was inaugurated in July 2017. With its 25,000 square feet of Ecocert certified products, it’s the largest organic rooftop garden in Canada. IGA extra Famille Duchemin is a pionner in the industry, being the first food retailer to launch a project of this kind.