Established in 1982
In 1982, Peter Gass opened his first store in North Bay, shortly thereafter he brought on Marshall Smith as business partner. Marshall then became the Full Time produce buyer. At the time Bay Produce was a small, 1,000 square-foot store, located on McGaughy Avenue.
The whole concept was based on finding the freshest produce they could, since North Bay was lacking in that at the time. So, Marshall & Peter used to drive to Toronto in a minivan to hand select the best fruits and vegetables available.
It started out very small with the two men stocking the counters, greeting customers and running the. Bay Produce struggled like that for two years until an opportunity to relocate to Fisher Street came up.
The move to Fisher Street in 1984 meant more visibility and traffic to the market. In the first week, their sales tripled and they bought a used tractor-trailer to make their weekly visits to the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto.
Greg Smith was 13 years old when he started helping his brother Marshall during the summer. They would drive to the food terminal on Sunday afternoons, sleep in the truck and wake up at 2:30 a.m. Monday to be the first in line to select the best produce.
Since there wasn't enough room for both brothers to sleep in the cab, they would lay down two wooden pallets in the box of the truck, throw on a flattened cardboard box and Greg would take his pillow and sleeping bag for the night.
Seven years later, Marshall bought his partner out and Greg started to run the market. The business grew over the next few years and during this time the brothers noted how many Sudburians often visited their store, asking when they would open a Sudbury location.
In March 1998, the brothers opened the Lasalle store in Sudbury. At the time there was nothing like it and it was pretty much an instant success. As word spread across town, the most common comment they would get from customers is "When are you opening up a south-end location?”
In the spring of 2012 Greg & Marshall decided it was essential to open a south end location. This location also became successful, allowing for a third store to be opened in Val Caron, known as Smith's express.
Much of Smith's Market's success can be attributed the core values of the business:
The customer is who we work for
Never lose integrity when it comes to the quality of the product
Our customers deserve the best service
Smith's Markets has now become a staple for the Sudbury community, serving thousands of customers yearly, providing them with the quality food they need for their healthy and happy lives.
Marshall Smith setting up the yard sale in 1989.
Greg Smith setting up the yard sale in 1989.
Grand opening of the LaSalle store in 1998.