Thursday, April 19, 2007

The cult of Trader Joe's

A Los Angeles paper chronicles that city's salivation over the prospect of the "popular low-priced" Trader Joe's grocery chain moving downtown. The idea is just as popular in Boston neighborhoods in the early stages of gentrification. In South Boston, a community group charged with coming up with a way to improve Dorchester Avenue said, in a draft report, "Too many fast food and sub shops" and "Need more service-oriented businesses (e.g., Trader Joe's)." In Roslindale, "There was considerable interest in building a Trader Joe's," according to the minutes of a meeting by the Neighborhood Strategic Plan there. Unfortunately, Trader Joe's is a business and not a nonprofit group. It will probably set up shop in a neighborhood in which an independent grocer of an organic bent has already demonstrated success. Like, perhaps, Foodies in the already-upscale South End? After all, Starbucks didn't move into that neighborhood until Francesca's and the Garden of Eden had been there for years.

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