Whole Foods offers Goya, car charger

December 2, 2011
By

(Gazette Photo by David Taber) An electric car charger in the parking lot of Whole Foods Market.

During a Nov. 23 visit to the recently opened Whole Foods store at 413 Centre St., the Gazette observed indications that Whole Foods is trying to influence the type of traffic it gets.

In the rear of the parking lot are an electric car charging and bicycle repair stations. The latter is a set of Allen wrenches and other bike tools attached to a pole with cords.

There is a good chance that not much of the store’s traffic is being generated by shoppers seeking Latin American foods. The store’s entire Latino foods section is a few shelves on an aisle marked “Goya Products.”

Whole Foods replaced Hi-Lo Foods, a Latino Grocery store that closed last year, and activists urged Whole Foods to carry Latino foods.

In general, the parking lot and store were busy but not overwhelming during the Gazette visit the day before Thanksgiving.

“I had trouble parking for the first time. It took me five minutes instead of zero minutes,” said regular Whole Foods shopper Pat Roberts.

Whole Foods submitted a traffic impact study to the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) prior to opening, the Gazette has learned.  It found that the new grocery store in Hyde Square would have little impact on traffic.

“In my review of the report, the traffic generated from the site is what we expected…It is not expected to have a significant impact on traffic,” Vineet Gupta, senior planner at the BTD told the Gazette.

 

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  • Juan Jaime

    I have to respond to one thing about this article: “The store’s entire Latino foods section is a few shelves on an aisle marked ‘Goya Products.’”  I want to preface it by saying I am Puerto Rican and Spanish, and I used to shop occasionally at the Hi Lo when I needed ingredients for my criollo cooking.  While I could find them there, I have say that Hi Lo was not my favorite supermarket, and that I feel that it’s failure was not Whole Food’s fault, but rather their own lack of investment and effort.  I have never been a huge fan of Whole Foods, but I welcome them a business willing to invest in my community.  Now, as to their selection of Latino food, your statement is just wrong.  Firstly, I have to point out that most of what we Latinos eat is just regular food.  You can’t tell a Latino chicken from any other kind of chicken, or a Latino potato, onion or pepper from the ones of other ethnicities or cultural groups.  In that regard, much more of the store than the Goya section meets our eating needs.  That being said, I have to give credit where credit is due.  When I went to check out Whole Foods, I saw at least two examples of their efforts to server my community: In the produce section, there is a stand with yuca, platanos, name, and other of the vegetables and fruits that are featured in our (and many other tropical cultures’) cuisines.  Secondly, in the meat section, they had several cuts of meat that also are featured in our  cuisine, including the pernil (picnic roast) which is traditionally served at Christmas.  I didn’t go through the entire store aisle by aisle to inventory, but I would hazard a guess that you will find other selections distributed through out the store.  I assume your somewhat, well, bizarre notion that all Latino food would be corralled into on section of the supermarket was an innocent mistake. 

    My impression is that while nobody will ever say that Whole Foods and Hi Lo are interchangeable, or Whole Foods, a high end market with a focus on organic foods, could ever contort itself to become what the Hi Lo was: a market aimed at budget minded shoppers with a large focus on the Latino demographic, they have made a good faith effort to serve the community it has moved into.  And like I said, I would rather have a function supermarket than another empty store front.