Neighbors for Neighbors

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Whole Foods or Trader Joe's: We have voice, let it be heard!!


I just blogged about Hi-Lo closing.

I'm curious, which would you rather, Whole Food or Trader Joe's or what alternatives would you suggest?

How would this benefit our community and who would it hurt?

If we feel strongly about this, we can weigh in. Before we do, we need to carefully take into who our who really represents - and work to ensure all voices are heard. 


This post was edited to after feedback from the comments at 7:38 pm. 


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Comment by Erin A. on January 18, 2011 at 10:39am
Whole Foods!  They have less convenience foods and more real food.
Comment by Eric on January 18, 2011 at 10:04am
Why not invite another independent supermarket? One obstacle could be that we don't own the property.
Comment by Betsy Cowan on January 18, 2011 at 10:04am

Hello all! 

Great discussion about this, considering how important food is to the urban economy.  It's also great to see parts of this conversation in Spanish (thanks to Patch and others). 

As the director of a Main Street organization (that supports local businesses) a resident of Hyde Square and a customer of Hi-Lo, it's both sad to see the market go under and also very sad and concerning that the only potential that has been mentioned is a large chain supermarket that doesn't cater to the community that Hi-Lo served. 

But, there are many people who are thinking about and working on these issues.  One important organization is Hyde Jacskon Square Main Street.  If you're interested in having a role in this process, contact Carlos, the director, to discuss this with him, understand what his organization doing to help fill this potential vacancy and how you can help bring in a business that will respond to the needs of the wider community (and not just a segment of that community). 

Thank you and enjoy the snow! 

Comment by Catherine Bent on January 17, 2011 at 5:13pm
As much as I appreciate the selection and quality of Whole Foods and the ease and budget-friendliness of Trader Joe's, why is it assumed we're going to let one such behemoth company benefit from our community's business?  As a strong community, we're in a position to debate and influence the outcome, so why not invite another independent supermarket along the lines of Russo's in Watertown (maybe they'd be interested in opening another branch?).  This seems to be far more in keeping with the spirit of our neighborhood.
Comment by Todd on January 17, 2011 at 10:40am

Perhaps Stop and Shop can be enticed to broaden their selection.


Robbie, to find out whether a Small Hi Lo, or Small Lo would work, I'd suggest looking at the economics. Talk to the manager of the Hi Lo. Find out what their costs are and how they determine their prices. Get a list of their best selling items. Talk to the parent company about what it would take to reopen in a smaller location. Find out why they decided to close. Is it just that WF offered them a ton of money, or were the economics of the Hi Lo bad?


Don't assume that WF has higher prices across the board. They may be higher than Hi Lo, but in general will be comparable to Stop and Shop / Trader Joe's. I've done such a price comparison (in Pittsburgh) and found that overall, for similar items, the prices were roughly equal. TJ's has more house-branded and unusual products. Whole Foods has a more extensive selection of expensive items. Giant Eagle / Stop and Shop have a much broader array of junky items that are bad for you. I encourage you to price compare before blindly judging their prices. If you do a google search, you'll find a number of articles that discuss this.


There are many more.


Comment by Douglas Rand on January 16, 2011 at 8:41pm

Not sure where the latino community will get there staples - I agree with that essential question. 

One other option for the store might be a Russo's....this is at least a local business....

Comment by Barbara Hatfield on January 16, 2011 at 12:35pm
I would be happy to welcome Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.
Comment by Eric on January 16, 2011 at 12:33pm

"Don't like the options at Harvest? Become a member and push them to do better."


I've tried the same tactic with Comcast. It's not working.







Comment by Janine Gropp on January 16, 2011 at 9:45am
Trader Joe's would be a great fit, as they would be affordable for a wide range of people in JP.   Whole Foods is also a favorite, as they have great produce and quality food.   I've read that both companies are very good to their employees.
Comment by Joseph Porcelli (Chief Neighbor) on January 16, 2011 at 2:18am
@Robbie - post a new blog post asking - 

"Where will the Latino and Caribbean JP residents who counted on Hi-Lo as an institution for 47 years get the items they need that can't be easily found in Boston."

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