By Allie Murray
As Cousins Gourmet Market celebrates its 40th anniversary, the family behind the successful store is reflecting on its history serving the community and future expansion plans.
Pasquale Battaglia and his two cousins first opened Cousins Market in Mississauga in 1978. Since then, the store has been passed down to Pasquale’s sons Gus, Mark and Anthony. In all the years their business has been open, and all the changes they’ve made, the one thing that’s remained the same is the Battaglias’ passion for fresh, high-quality food and customer-focused service.
“At Cousins, you’re not just a customer. We value all of our clientele and listen,” says co-owner Mark Battaglia. “I spend a good portion each and every day interacting with our clients and always searching for ways to better their shopping experience.”
In addition to the customer experience, Battaglia enjoys staying up on the latest customer trends and bringing them to the market, along with sourcing organic foods.
When the market first launched four decades ago, they sold basic offerings of produce, meat, grocery and deli. Since then, they’ve added a kitchen component and a café area for customers to relax and enjoy the food they sell.
The new 3,000-square-foot kitchen is where fresh meals are prepared every day, from vegetarian and vegan to gluten-free and hormone, antibiotic-free protein dishes.
Cousins Market has long served as a home away from home for the Battaglia brothers, who have memories of learning how to run the store by gathering grocery buggies and stocking the shelves. As they got older, they learned to select fresh produce at local food terminals and provide service to customers.
While reflecting on their 40 years in business, Mark Battaglia says his fondest memory of Cousins Market was the day they broke ground for their most recent renovation in summer 2017, bringing the brothers’ vision and three years of planning to life. The renovation provided a new look, a larger market and an energy efficient kitchen.
To honour their anniversary and many years of success, the Battaglia brothers have their sights set on bringing in new additions to the market, with further details to come on that front. They want to expand their offerings to make Cousins Market bigger and better for customers.
The family has also hosted a variety of anniversary celebrations throughout the year.
“We did the Port Credit Paint the Town Red festival, we did a cake cutting with the mayor and we had a bunch of sampling stations and a barbecue outside with activities for kids, and wine and beer tasting inside the store,” notes Mark Battaglia.
While there may be changes on the horizon, the brothers remain focused on the same philosophy Cousins has operated on for 40 years — to provide high respect for customers and never serve food they wouldn’t feed their own families.
For more information, visit cousinsmarket.com.