Mayor supports Whole Foods, opposes protesters

June 3, 2011
By

WEB EXCLUSIVE

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino today told the Gazette that he wholeheartedly supports Whole Foods’ planned move to Jamaica Plain and that local opposition to the store is the work of “a few [people] trying to make it an issue.”

“I think Whole Foods is great for the neighborhood. They have done a lot to work with the neighborhood,” he said.

Referring to the arrest of three protesters at a meeting Whole Foods hosted June 2, he said, “The folks who caused the problems were lashing out.”

In an apparent joke, the mayor suggested that the commotion at the meeting had been caused by agitators from outside the community. “We are trying to figure out if they are from Philadelphia, Chicago [or] Washington D.C.,” he quipped.

At least one of the people arrested, Peter Blailock, told the Gazette he lives in JP.

Menino said Whole Foods is going to be a vast improvement over Hi-Lo, the grocery store that formerly occupied the 415 Centre St. space that Whole Foods is moving into.

He praised Whole Foods for working closely with the city on reaching out to former Hi-Lo employees and hiring many of them after Hi-Lo closed in February.

Hi-Lo “did not do its duty, they were disrespectful to their workers,” he said.

Menino commented on Whole Foods during a roundtable discussion with newspaper reporters.

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  • From Hyde Square

    Most of the people around my neighborhood are upbeat about Wholefoods coming to JP. They don’t feel represented by the JPNC, and are intimidated from participating in public meetings by the nastiness and the personal attacks they receive for speaking up. A small group of “activists” use these tactics to suppress civil discourse and public decision making. Everyone around here is “working class” – we all go to jobs to earn a living, feed our families, and put our kids through college. A nicer neighborhood is a good thing for most people. We have a high ratio of taxpayer-funded affordable housing in JP, so these improvements benefit a wide swath of society. Those who disagree can move to cheaper less-pleasant part of town.

  • veronika hartt

    Not surprised the mayor has opinions such as these. He’s a typical whole foods supporter. Not really health conscious but feels good paying more because that must mean its better and doesn’t he deserve the best. His opinions are ill formed as well.
    I think i have been supportive of the mayor in the past because he seemed authentic boston. As i mature i see that he is a mask worn by the rich and a mascot for the power hungry. I can’t wait for the new democracy this one is corrupt.

Best of JP 2014