Letter: JP should oppose coffee shop chain

A very large coffee chain in Europe, Caffè Nero, currently being boycotted in Great Britain because it exploits a loophole to avoid paying corporate taxes, is close to coming to 733 Centre St. They already have one café in Boston and plan on opening up to 10 more in the next five years.

Many residents in Jamaica Plain have largely been unaware of their potential move onto Centre Street. Many are now hearing about it and have said they do not support it and would not buy their coffee there. In an attempt to save their local community, the Irish town of Dalkey is trying to block them as well, as the Irish Times reported in July.

The English newspaper the Telegraph recently wrote an article about how the chief executive and founder of Caffè Nero, Gerry Ford, wants to build an “empire” in the U.S. coffee market. The Telegraph and the Daily Mail both wrote articles about how the chain does not pay corporate taxes.

The Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association voted to not support its move into Jamaica Plain. It is true that Jamaica Plain has national chains already; however, the dominant feel of JP and Centre/South streets is one of local businesses, and we can still keep it that way. Chains coming into Jamaica Plain is not inevitable, and many have been stopped before.

Harvard Square has changed dramatically in the past 10 plus years. It is now filled with national and international chains and has lost several local businesses and its charm. If Caffè Nero comes into Centre Street, this will be a significant change to our local community. Even if it takes time, we should encourage and support a local business that pays its taxes and cares about Jamaica Plain.

Ken Sazama

Jamaica Plain

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