Whole Foods gives money, gets reviews

In the two weeks since Whole Foods Market opened at 413 Centre St., it has made a major contribution to a local nonprofit, generated animated responses from local businesses and gotten its first online reviews.

On Nov. 15, local nonprofit Community Servings, which provides home-cooked meals for people who are homebound with chronic health issues, was scheduled to be the recipient of Whole Foods’ latest “5 Percent Day” donation. Five percent of the proceeds from seven area Whole Foods stores, including the JP store, went to Community Servings on that day.

The store was scheduled to host the kick-off for state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez’s holiday canned food drive the same day.

The new grocer has already received four reviews on the website yelp.com. All of them are fairly positive, although some complained that the parking lot and store are too small, and about the lack of café seating at the store.

Prior to its opening, Whole Foods agreed to submit a parking and transportation plan to the city. Boston Transportation Department officials did not respond to Gazette requests for a copy of that plan.

Whole Foods officials also previously said it planned to install seating in the store. They did not respond to Gazette requests for comment for this article.

According to its website, the Scottish pub The Haven at 2 Perkins St. is hoping to cash in on its proximity to the popular new grocery. The Haven is offering a free appetizer and shopping advice for customers who show up with reusable shopping bags and order a pint of beer before going grocery shopping between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The website touts the benefits of a fully belly and “buzz” when grocery shopping.

Volunteers at the newly opened, collectively run leftist Lucy Parsons Center in Hyde Square are less enthusiastic about their new neighbor.

“We are against gentrification and are in solidarity with community struggles against gentrification, including the recent organizing against Whole Foods in Hyde Square,” said Marie Benkley, a member of the collective that runs the center.

John Ruch contributed to this article.

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