Founder Gus Longo and family reprise first store jobs to commemorate Longo's 60th anniversary

Diamond anniversary to be marked by new products, new locations,
long-standing customers and store celebrations

VAUGHAN, ON, April 11, 2016 /CNW/ - Gus Longo, one of three brothers who opened the first Longo Brothers Fruit Market in 1956, will be working some of his first store jobs as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations at the Longo's Leaside store on April 21st. He will be joined by Toronto city councillor Norm Kelly and two generations of Longo's family members, including his daughter and company spokesperson Rosanne Longo, helping bag groceries, stock shelves, and serve prepared foods.

Beginning with one store on Yonge Street near Castlefield Avenue in Toronto in 1956, today the Longo's family operates 29 Longo's stores and 5 Longo's Market stores in southwestern Ontario. Longo's also owns and operates Grocery Gateway, Canada's oldest and most successful online grocery delivery service. The Longo's chain of grocery stores is known for offering fresh and local foods and great customer service.

"We've always sold food we want to serve our own families," said Gus Longo, founder of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets. "Meals were a lot more basic in the '50s and you would have to go to specialty stores to find yogurt, kale or even quinoa. We've grown a lot and food habits have changed too but part of our recipe for success is staying focused on quality foods and treating people and shoppers like family."

Longo's will be opening its first location outside the GTA in 2016 in Ancaster. There are also plans to open two additional locations in 2017 in Guelph and Ajax.

In the last 10 years, Longo's and the Longo's Family Charitable Foundation donated more than $10 million to charitable organizations, hospitals and sponsored events across the GTA. Their giving exemplifies a legacy of commitment and investment in our communities that began with Tommy, Joe and Gus Longo in 1956. Additionally, since 2009, Longo's Team Members have volunteered their time to assemble over 500,000 pounds of food which has been donated to local food banks.

60th Anniversary Celebrations

Birthday Party:

Longo's family members will join team members and Toronto city councillor Norm Kelly at the Leaside store to celebrate sixty years of business alongside some of Longo's longest customers. This Longo's Leaside location was featured as one of 25 grocery stores to visit before you die by Canadian Grocer in 2016. Sixty years of business means that many customers have been Longo's shoppers for much of their lives. These shoppers will be joining the family to celebrate many more years of shopping at Longo's stores.

Specialty Private Label Products:

Longo's 60th anniversary year will be marked with a range of anniversary Private Label products introduced each month that reflect the brand's Italian heritage and focus on offering a wide range of high quality foods. Anniversary products being unveiled throughout the year will include homemade Campari Tomato Sauce, specialty dips, Italian sodas and Sicilian pizzas to name a few.

Celebration Event:

Later in 2016, Longo's will be hosting a food event in honour of Longo's 60th anniversary where local chefs will join forces to showcase recipes featuring local Ontario ingredients with an Italian twist in honour of the Longo's family's Italian heritage.

The Longo's family would also like to acknowledge the support its 60th anniversary sponsors: Kraft Canada Inc., Maple Leaf Poultry, Dempster's, Coca Cola Bottling, Nestle Enterprises, Parmalat Canada Inc, Kruger Products, Pepsi-QTG Canada, Campbell Company of Canada, Procter & Gamble Inc. Kellog's Canada Inc. & Conagra and Aurora Importing and Distributing.

About Longo's 
A family-owned organization, Longo's first opened its doors in Toronto in 1956 and now boasts 29 stores across the GTA including 5 small format "The Market" by Longo's. Grocery Gateway, the leader in online sales of home delivered groceries, is owned and operated by Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc. since 2004. Inspired by their Founders and their commitment to a Fresh Tradition, the Longo's team hand selects fresh produce for its stores six days a week. Longo's food experts are dedicated to exceeding customer expectations by offering the best food experience and a great value to every customer, every time by providing Fresh & Unique Offerings, Everyday Foods & Groceries, Services for Ease, Education and Ideas.

SOURCE Longo's

Image with caption: "Longo's (CNW Group/Longo's)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160411_C2399_PHOTO_EN_661076.jpg

For further information: or to set up an interview please contact: Pascale Gordon, Media Profile, pascale.gordon@mediaprofile.com, Office: 416-342-1814, Cell: 647-328-6603; Julia Ranalli, Media Profile, julia.ranalli@mediaprofile.com, Office: 416-342-1820, Cell: 416-819-6460

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