“Whole Foods Market has been keenly interested in developing a Jamaica Plain location. We are now eager to become active members of such a strong, diverse neighborhood and to open a store that is reflective of the vibrant community,” Laura Derba, Whole Foods Market North Atlantic regional president, said in a statement.
"In keeping with the company’s mission, Whole Foods Market plans to source a wide variety of products that meet its strict quality standards as well as the diverse needs of their shoppers"
More info available on JP Patch.
LETS DISCUSS: What are your thoughts about this?
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@Whit Offering your opinions for hire surely inspires confidence.
I'm not paranoid but as a former newspaper reporter I am a perennial skeptic, note I didn't say there are ringers on here but implied that there could be, as in "beware." Make your own judgements. After all this is the internet. And Whole Foods spends a fortune on PR. Totally plausible when money's at stake. And I gotta say when posts start extolling the virtues of particular products Whole Foods sells and direct people to the WF website, I'm doubly skeptical.
Personally I'll pay attention to the posts with full names I can verify actually live here or that I already recognize from my 10 years in the neighborhood. If anybody's curious about my background they can Google me. I was displaced from the neighborhood less than a year ago.
On a personal level, I’m glad WF is coming to JP. As a community, I think we gain and we loose.
Development is clearly a complicated issue and it’s our responsibility to make it an inclusive process. The question is how? I think development happens both with Whole Foods and without it. Let’s keep in mind this is a private business transaction in which a minority-owned, JP-grown, small business is being sold, not being pushed out.
I think the best way to manage development is on a public policy, not private enterprise, level. We need to address issues that effect small businesses in our community – things like health care (an astronomical expense for small businesses; we paid over $2000 per month at Canto 6) and exorbitant commercial rents (think The Milky Way). Solving these kinds of problems will do more to promote diversity and economic strength than protesting a company that will bring much needed jobs, more traffic for small businesses, fair wages, and health care (for PT and FT employees) to Jamaica Plain.
Whole Foods isn't as outrageously expensive as people are claiming. Many of the staples, including the store brand, are on par with or cheaper than at Stop and Shop or TJ's. I did a comparison in Pittsburgh of the local chain vs TJ's and Whole Foods b/c I lived very close to all three. WF has a much higher end than the other stores. TJ's has awesomely weird products that only they have. Each store was cheaper on some items and more expensive on others. You have to compare like-for-like though, or get as close as you can. You can do a google search to find price comparisons that other people have done.
In any case, I'm really excited about Whole Foods. They have a great reputation as an employer and they do make efforts to buy local as well as organic. I think that one of the problems that larger chains have buying local is that local often means smaller producers who may not be able to produce in quality or consistently.
I won't miss Hi Lo.
On the solutions side, talk to Stop and Shop about whether they could offer some of the soon to be missing ingredients. Perhaps WF would be interested in part of their store reflecting Hi Lo's products.
The Hi Lo has a much bigger parking lot than the TJ's in Brookline. It will be interesting to see what the traffic impact will be and what mitigations WF will have to fund in order to move in. I'm sure they'll have to do a traffic study.
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I'm not sure if Joseph has posted this already, so below is what our new City Councilor, Matt O'Malley had to say about this issue.
Personally, I am pretty certain this is a symptom, rather than a cause of JP's transition into a mini-Brookline or Cambridge - increasingly less diverse, less affordable, less of an activist community. Whole Foods as a business only treats it's workers well when they don't want an actual union, the CEO is virulently anti-health reform, and the business model is essentially high-end big-box - not sustainable at all, much of their stuff isn't even organic. On the other hand, City Feed is unaffordable for general shopping needs, and Harvest is a miserable shopping experience (and anti-union as well) - we have no true food coop in JP. It's a little depressing, honestly.
|Joseph Porcelli <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Judy Grant <email@example.com>|
|"Frias, Valerie" <Valerie.Frias@cityofboston.gov>|
Dear Joe & Judy-
My office has called both Whole Foods and the Hi-Lo management about getting some concrete answers. We are awaiting responses from both organizations and are looking forward to organizing a meeting to hopefully facilitate a discussion that would serve to: a.) keep the community process open, b.) fight to protect jobs for current employees, c.) alleviate concerns about the impact on the community.
I think we all agree that we need a strong anchored business in Hyde Square . Indeed, Whole Foods may be that business (if Hi-Lo is, in fact, leaving). However, the community has some legitimate questions that should be addressed. As your city councilor, and neighbor of Hyde Square , I’ll make sure that everyone is in the loop as the process progresses.
Feel free to call my office (617-635-4220) or cell (617-935-9752) and forward this email to any interested party.
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