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 Louise Robbins on January 15, 2011 at 4:40pm

How about Harvest moving there and improving? There are wonderful natural food stores in many places I have lived or visited; I'm not sure why we can't have such a store in Boston/JP. With more room and better management, Harvest could become such a store. 

Comment by Angie VM on January 15, 2011 at 4:26pm

I find it interesting that a lot of the people posting here are complaining that Hi-Lo's closing has to do with gentrification or the yuppie invasion, etc. and in addition stating that Whole Foods is too expensive and that we have great local and/or organic food at City Feed.  City Feed is so expensive!  City Feed is not the alternative.  There is a Stop&Shop in Jackson Square that is affordable, there is Harvest which is kind of in the middle and then there is City Feed which is ridiculously overpriced.  I think we have a bit of everything and whatever opens there will likely motivate everyone to be more competitive and provide better products.


I am sad to see Hi-Lo go because as has been said by others, it is an institution and it is where a lot of us of latin/hispanic heritage could find ingredients that reminded us of home, but if they got an offer they couldn't refuse, it was their choice to accept it and we have to accept that choice as well.  I do not like the idea of Whole Foods opening there because of a variety of reasons, many of which have been brought up by others, but as happens with any changes, I am sure we will eventually get used to whatever it is that ends up opening there (whether we make use of it or not).


P.S. If Trader Joe's were even considering opening a store there I probably would take advantage of it from time to time.

Comment by Claudia Dunne on January 15, 2011 at 2:18pm

Too bad it's a done deal.  I think Trader Joe's would have been a much better choice

for JP and the Hyde Square neighborhood.

Comment by jay dexter on January 15, 2011 at 1:54pm
Btw, Michael Christopher, I think Joe was merely starting this survey out vof curiosity and fun and to get people talking not as a petition or to have a voice. At least that what it seems to me.
Comment by jay dexter on January 15, 2011 at 1:51pm
I prefer Trader Joes but either one is fine. By the way I didn't like Hi-Lo. I went there once, found it hard to find things, the floors were dirty and the prices were a bit high (like a convenience store) so I never went back.
Comment by Michael Christopher on January 15, 2011 at 1:34pm

This really was a ridiculous way to move into this discussion Joseph.  We don't "have a voice."  You've got people on here voting on these two chains, making suggestions for other ones when the reality is, there is NO CHOICE.  Why not just start a topic: "How do you feel about the Whole Foods coming to JP?"  Because that's the truth of the matter.


That said, I find it laughable that some people are defending Harvest (which is notoriously poor quality) and saying that we have enough options grocery-wise.  If that were true, perhaps people wouldn't be traveling to Brookline just to get their weekly fruits and vegetables.  Fact is, this will be a good thing for JP, maybe it will cause Harvest, Stop & Shop et al to step up and we will have viable alternatives locally - and not just the dreaded "that's all we've got."


But please, stop voting on this.  It's not multiple choice.

Comment by Jenna Fishface on January 15, 2011 at 12:58pm
I want to know if there's any way we can keep HiLo ? is it a done deal? HiLo is such a presence I love that place! not to mention the fact that it's an affordable world foods option...
Comment by Steffani Bennett on January 15, 2011 at 12:45pm
If anyone's seen FOOD, INC. then you know we definitely don't want another 'regular' grocery store here. Both TJ's and WF purchase properly, and treat staff well too from what I've heard, which is good.
Comment by Josh on January 15, 2011 at 12:04pm
I appreciate that a lot of people are thinking about how Whole Foods replacing Hi-Lo will effect poor folks and immigrants.  While such a change seems to symbolize gentrification, it's important to think about the actual services that will be provided to the community and not just the symbolism.  Nutrition is a big problem in the inner city because it is so hard to get good fresh produce if you can't drive somewhere.  And that effects kids' ability to learn, which affects class mobility, etc.  Our current Stop & Shop is a slap in the face to our community because they offer us lousy produce at the same prices they charge people in the suburbs for good produce.  Hi-Lo is great for hard-to-find ethnic ingredients, but their produce is limited and not very fresh.  I think one thing we can count on from Whole Foods is good produce.  Of course, it will be more expensive than Stop & Shop.  But two things to keep in mind are 1) People can use EBT cards (electronic food stamps) at Whole Foods.  While they might be embarrassed to try to use them at City Feed or Harvest, maybe a bigger and more anonymous-feeling supermarket would make it easier.  Also 2) if Whole Foods opens so close to Stop & Shop, it could force Stop & Shop to improve.  There are a lot of us who can afford to shop at Whole Foods some of the time but not all the time, so Stop & Shop will have to compete for our money from week to week.
Comment by Josh on January 15, 2011 at 11:35am

Dudes, I don't think it matters what we think.  The Gazette is reporting that the reason Hi-Lo is closing is because Whole Foods already offered them a bunch of money to be able to move in:

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