Picone's celebrates 100-year milestone in the heart of Dundas

The Picone sisters use their father's signature on their store's sign. It's a way of connecting them to the store's long traditions and what it has taken to succeed over a century of being in business.

3 sisters are the 3rd generation to operate the small family-owned grocery store

Picone Fine Foods lies in the heart of Dundas, along the main street of the historic town.

It's a fitting location for the small family-owned grocery store that, for the past 100 years, has put a loving family touch to how it operates its business and treats its customers.

This is my father's signature that we use. There is history, there is a connection and community is how we do this.- Theresa Picone

Sister trifecta, Theresa, Sharon, and Lisa Picone, are the driving force behind the business, and are the third generation to operate the store.

It matters to them to do their grandfather and father's legacy proud in helping Picone Fine Foods reach its 100-year milestone. 

The experience shoppers receive from stopping at the store is a package deal; staff treat you like you're part of their family and make you feel at home.

"We are an owner-operator. We are here. You know us. You meet us," Theresa said.

"That is my name on the front of our store. This is my father's signature that we use. There is history, there is a connection and community is how we do this. We love it and it's a passion."

Pie for politicians

Although the town has changed since Picone's opening in 1915, the store holds the same traditional look, from the old-fashioned shelving to the hand-written signs and labels.  

Amongst other traditions, Picone's is known for giving pies to prime ministers and politicians like Justin Trudeau, Paul Martin, and Jean Chrétien. 

This notion was initiated by their mother who was an avid newspaper reader and had a love of politics. "She was notorious for clipping recipes from the paper and growing and creating her own," said Lisa.

So she started to give away a free pie to politicians and it's been a running tradition since.

It's just another reason why "running the shop is so authentic," said Lisa. "It's who we are, and how we were raised, and those practices are instilled in us."

They take pride in being personable and personal with their customers, maintaining service by treating them as they would family.

"It's the fact that we can make an impact and be a part of so many people's lives and share that valuable part with the community, that human connection," said Lisa.

"I think we're very privileged to have so many repeat customers that we've known for years, even people who don't live here, and we call them by name because it's important to us," said Theresa. "We get to know them; we get to know what they like, what they don't like, and why they like to come here."

It's a real testament that it works, and that interaction makes a huge difference so "people leave feeling energized, uplifted and positive," said Theresa. "There is no value you can attach to that."

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