At noon on March 21, a group of shoppers watched as seven staff members from the Loblaws store at Moore and Bayview plunged their knives into 90-pound wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
At the same moment staff at 359 other Loblaws stores across the country were doing the same.
Sponsored by the Guinness Book of World Records, the ultimate goal of the event was for 360 Loblaws stores across Canada to crack simultaneously more than 1,000 wheels of cheese.
Instead they cracked 1008, beating the previous record of 450 by Whole Foods Market in 2013.
For Loblaws (at Moore) store manager Gina Creta slicing cheese was like second nature since she had been doing it for decades, but it was different for her protégés at the store.
Despite wearing gloves “my hands were slipping and sliding” because oil kept leaking through the cheese skin, said grocery manager Lee McGann.
He estimates the job took him six minutes. Creta got it done in half the time.
Asked if he’d ever do it again, McGann said, “You betcha.”
All left-over cheese was sold at half price to customers.
Meanwhile participants received certificates from the Guinness Book of World Records.