Tag Archives: Kudrinko’s grocery store

Kudrinko’s plays host to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Kudrinko’s received a special visitor Thursday afternoon – one who shares a similar passion for the environment.

Dr. Dianne Saxe, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, toured the independent, family-owned store in Westport, Ont. this week, with Leeds-Grenville MPP, Steve Clark.

Clark brought Dr. Saxe to his riding to raise public awareness about the Environmental Bill of Rights and the role of her office. The Environmental Bill of Rights came into force in 1994 and establishes the process for public participation in decisions that affect the environment.

Dr. Saxe visited the Frontenac Arch Biosphere office in Lansdowne earlier in the day, and then was hosting a public meeting in Portland Thursday evening about the Bill.

Clark said he was keen to bring Dr. Saxe to tour Kudrinko’s to showcase what entrepreneurs are environmentally capable of in small communities. “The work that Neil has done with the store has resulted in him having a reputation as a leader in energy conservation,” Clark said of owner, Neil Kudrinko.

Kudrinko toured the commissioner through the store, including into the new meat room and cooler area, noting energy conservation measures along the way. He also expressed concern about the cost of operating a grocery store in small rural communities, high set up costs and access to capital – all aspects that ultimately determine the viability of such business ownership.

In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and being Canada’s first grocery stewardship certified store, Kudrinko also noted the switch to entirely LED lighting throughout the store. Previously, the grocery store incorporated four, 28-watt florescent tubes in each ceiling light panel, but now each light runs on 50-watts total. The first area to switch over to LEDs was the freezers, then the horizontal cases, followed by the ceiling lights.

Kudrinko has earned accolades in the past few years, for reducing carbon emissions, electricity consumption, food waste and storm water. He said leading the way as an independent in Canada shows the opportunity that lies ahead as an industry. “It provides a chance to show how we can make a difference, making the exception the norm,” Kudrinko said.

For more information on how Kudrinko’s is making green initiatives a priority at the store, click here. To read about how Kudrinko’s was named the first store in Canada to earn the Grocery Stewardship Certification, please click here.

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Localize brings food facts to Kudrinko’s customers

Localize shelf labels are shown here at Kudrinko's on locally-made product, Wonton Crunch.

Localize shelf labels are shown here at Kudrinko’s for locally-made product, Wonton Crunch.

Neil Kudrinko knows how important information about food sourcing is to his customers. That’s why Kudrinko’s is beginning to adopt an in-store program that puts those details directly into the hands of its customers.

The independent grocery store in Westport, Ontario is launching the Localize labelling system which highlights locally grown and produced foods. Kudrinko, who owns and operates the store, said Localize is about empowering customers to make more informed choices while also helping grocers better communicate and promote their local products.

At face value, Localize is essentially a shelf labelling system. But in seconds, a customer can scan the label’s QR code and the product is brought to life with a story about everything from its ingredients to the distance it has travelled.

“It’s an awareness platform for shoppers,” said Kudrinko. “Localize highlights quick answers to customer questions about where a product was made, what went into it, who made it and how it was made with a keen focus on sustainability.”

He said it takes the guess work out of the food buying process for consumers. That’s an important next step for Kudrinko’s, as the local grocer has proven time and again that supporting local food producers, sustainability and green initiatives are at the forefront of the business.

“It’s a great tool to get food facts to customers so they can make fast, details-based choices,” Kudrinko said, noting he understands the importance of communicating key food information to his customers.

Stop by Kudrinko’s to test drive the new shelf labelling system. The initiative will grow as the season progresses, so stay tuned for more information as the launch of Localize continues at Kudrinko’s.

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