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

Neighbors,

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 Roy Krantz on January 15, 2011 at 11:03am
I would LOVE to have a Market Basket in JP... they’re much more affordable and do a reasonably good job serving the different populations surrounding their stores.  But the HiLo space is MUCH  too small for a Market Basket.
Comment by Matt Lee on January 15, 2011 at 10:58am
Market Basket would be an affordable alternative.

I don't know if Whole Foods would put Harvest out of business though, as the other Harvest has a Whole Foods just down the street and seems to do okay.

Comment by Roy Krantz on January 15, 2011 at 10:41am
Does anyone know if Trader Joe’s is even an option here? If it is and Tjs and WF are the only choices, I totally would go for Trader Joe‘s. Many people in JP cannot afford to shop at Whole Foods. And sadly, I don’t think small, locally-owned grocery stores can afford to be in business right now... especially if they charge reasonable prices for things,
Comment by Lori DeSantis on January 15, 2011 at 10:15am

I totally vote for Trader Joe's most lower middle class and poor families cannot afford to shop at Whole Foods.

Although I wish a TJ's would open in the abandoned building in Eggleston SQ on Washingtone street.

I've fantasized about that for awhile. I wish I had the funds to start one.

But I suppose Hyde square would be better than going to Brookline. Is there anyway we could do a survey of the Eggleston neighbors, maybe with Betsy to see what people want?

Thanks,

Lori

Comment by Marjorie K on January 15, 2011 at 10:08am
HiLo is not just a grocery, it's a community resource for waves of immigrant groups. TJ implies TRAFFIC! have you seen the parking wars at the Coolidge Corner store? I agree with all the posters who say that Harvest stands to lose if WF comes to JP. This will bring traffic too, as residents of nearby communities without WF will drive here. I don't see any upside to WF except if the community organizes to pressure WF to offer latino staples at reasonable prices, and to hire local (Spanish-speaking) residents.
Comment by JohnD on January 15, 2011 at 10:03am

Sounds like I'm not the only one who drives to Brookline to do a weekly all-in-one big-shop.  If I could instead walk to a grocery store, so much the better.  My concern is that traffic on Centre St. is already horrible, and a Whole Foods would certainly make it worse.  But, that's the bed we've chosen to sleep in -- the community standard seems to be that parking should be free, and when something is free, a lot of people will use it. 

Space on our public streets is a very valuable thing.  If we really want JP to be a model of walkable, livable urbanism, then we need to tackle that problem.  Imagine if, instead of sitting in the same traffic as cars with, in general, one customer in them, the 39, 41, and 48 buses had a dedicated lane that could rapidly move dozens of potential customers at a time to all the stores on Centre and South Sts.  To me, that'd be great, but currently, that space is taken up by parked cars. 

A bit off-topic, I know, but the parking/traffic issue is sure to be a big part of the transition from Hi-Lo to Whole Foods. 

Comment by Che DeSanctis on January 15, 2011 at 9:43am
I really appreciate everybody making some noise about this new issue in jp. My biggest question is, is there an open table negotiation right now between Whole Foods or Trader Joe's moving in?? Because according to the online Gazette article, Hi-Low Foods manager Bill Jordan announced the store will be closing in a few weeks and Whole Foods would be moving in.  Now who are the stakeholders making this decision? Has there been any public meetings about Hi-Low being replaced with another food retailer. Has there been any public discussion on what the community need or wants?? If not, fine, but what can we do at this point to make it known what this community truly wants or needs? JP has a HUGE latino population and Hi-Low is a market that provides culturally appropriate and affordable food and has done so for 47 years! Jamaica Plain needs food stores that provide healthy, affordable and culturally approriate foods. With these three elements, such a food store will be invaluable in a diverse community like JP.
Comment by Ann on January 15, 2011 at 9:22am
Whole Foods will put Harvest Coop out of business IMO.  What happened to JP being pro-local/small business and anti-big box?   Isn't there some local grocer who would move in?  If not then I guess TJ would be my vote but I have to say that if either TJ or WF moves in then JP will be quickly losing its individuallity and is on the typical yuppie gentrification path. 
Comment by Miriam Greenbaum on January 15, 2011 at 9:10am
Whole Foods. Trader joes is more affordable but you trade price for quality.
Comment by Anna on January 15, 2011 at 8:58am

@Robbie - I like that you've pointed out the diversity of our neighborhood isn't represented in this message board, and that all members of the community should have a voice in this dialogue. i'm for it.

 

i'd also like to say that for me (and I would enjoy the whole foods) it's not just about access to organic foods. yes, there is harvest, city feed, and two farmers markets (available part of the year). but i would probably have to go to all 4 of those aforementioned establishments to get everything i needed for one week because the selection is often very limited. many residents, i would imagine, are limited by time and funds and so the option to purchase all groceries from one plays is a huge plus.

 

I would be curious to hear from the latino community what they think. if they also shop at stop & shop or no. If they feel as if they will have no place to purchase food anymore. someone mentioned the everyone who did shop at hi-lo will have to schlepp "all the way" down to stop and shop. um, it's a few blocks!  and if proximity to place of residence is an issue here - then it certainly won't take away from harvest's business.

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