JP BAPA joins chain café opposition

July 18, 2014
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Following in the footsteps of other JP business organizations, the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association (JP BAPA) has penned a letter of opposition to the opening of a U.K.-based coffee franchise on Centre Street.

Caffè Nero is planning on opening its second American location at 733 Centre St., the former home of the Commonwealth Bank. Its first location is already open in the Financial District.

The nonprofit local business organization JP Local First and Centre/South Main Streets’ board have previously come out in opposition to the chain opening a storefront in JP. They cited concerns about a multinational company competing with small, local businesses.

JP BAPA’s letter, addressed to landlords Donald J. Corey and Joan M. Canzano of the Canzano-Corey Family Realty Trust, states: “We at JP BAPA find that individual and close communication are key to improving the district. It has been our experience that corporate businesses whose headquarters are not in this area are not responsive to our initiative or requests. Inevitably we are told, ‘You/We have to talk to corporate.’ And that’s the end of communication.”

“You and your family, on the other hand, have a long history of renting to local businesses and supporting local organizations. You have always been responsive to the community. You are part of the local fabric that makes Jamaica Plain unique,” the letter continues. “We would appreciate it if you would not rent this space to Caffè Nero but find a more suitable tenant for this neighborhood business district.”

JP BAPA Vice President Carlos Icaza provided the Gazette with a copy of the letter. He did not reply to a Gazette request for follow-up comment.

Caffé Nero spokesperson Ceri Aiken previously told the Gazette that the shop “will be talking to those in the Jamaica Plain community who’d like to know more about us in due course.” She decline to comment on JP BAPA’s letter.

A Gazette call to Corey was not immediately returned.

The Corey family has already signed a lease with Caffè Nero, as the Gazette has previously reported.