City Bites

A behind-the-scenes tour of Farm Boy Rideau

Attention mall shoppers! Saturday is the day.

It has been one of the most-anticipated food launches in the city. Announced in September, Farm Boy has been in full construction mode ever since, putting together its flagship urban food market in the Rideau Centre.

Now, just in time for the Christmas season (when, let’s face it, no one has time to make lunches or dinners) the doors will swing open to reveal what’s in store at Farm Boy Rideau, the province’s 24th Farm Boy location. Find Farm Boy Rideau at the mall entrance off Rideau Street at Sussex Drive.

A wall of glass allows shoppers a panoramic view of the new grocery store, which is located in the Rideau Centre, at the mall entrance off Rideau Street near Sussex Drive. Photo by Sarah Brown.

The store offers convenient grocery shopping for all the condo dwellers in the vicinity, but it’s the custom prep stations that might take a bite out of food-court attendance. Those stations will be tempting shoppers with made-to-order wood-fired pizzas, grilled sandwiches, and stir-fries. The chain’s salad and hot bars are also on site.

City Bites got a front-row look at the last-minute preparations — and checked out the brand-new pizza oven — just ahead of the Saturday opening.

Packaged goods are already on the shelves, with all the fresh produce due just in time for opening. Photo by Sarah Brown.

For the Morning Crowd
While the grocery store doesn’t open for business till 8 a.m. (9 a.m. on Sundays), the front section will be open at 6:30 a.m. (Monday to Friday) so commuters can zip in and grab a meal from the hot breakfast buffet (think eggs, bacon, sausages, breakfast wraps, and sandwiches). Long-term plans include omelette and pancake stations. 

The bright red pizza oven is being tested all day. In the foreground, the grilling station. Photo by Sarah Brown.

For the Lunch Crowd
The Fresh X-press Station opens at 11 a.m. Along with a pizza oven, there’s a grill where staff will be cooking up warm lunches to order. The offerings change each day, with gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, and stir-fries in regular rotation. 

For the Dinner Crowd
Starting at 3 p.m., the Fresh X-press area will become a wok station.

For the Regulars
Farm Boy regulars will be familiar with the salad bars and hot-food bars at all their stores. They’re here, too, for anyone looking for lunch or dinner on the go.

The store includes a large deli section and, around the corner, a cheese counter. Photo by Sarah Brown.