Charlestown Residents Ask Whole Foods to Provide Transportation
As Johnnie's Foodmaster in Charlestown shuts down to make way for a new Whole Foods, the neighborhood will be without a grocery store for a year.
I've read as much as anyone and written more than most about Whole Foods coming to Jamaica Plain.
Our neighborhood has settled down after the initial firestorm — so much so that the JP Gazette recently published a pro-Whole Foods editorial.
Back in the day when the debate over Whole Foods and gentrification was roiling JP, some residents developed lists of things the upscale grocer should do for the community to ameliorate any negative effects the store might bring. Whole Foods never accepted a formal "Community Benefits" agreement, though they do a lot for charity here.
I rehearse this recent history because Charlestown is seeing an affordable grocery store, Johnnie's Foodmaster, close to make way for a Whole Foods. In the interim, the neighborhood will be left without a grocery store.
So Townies have come up with a request that never emerged here in JP (perhaps given that we have other grocery stores) — that Whole Foods should pay residents' transportation costs to grocery stores outside Charlestown during the year-long interim.
It will be interesting to see how Charlestown does in pushing for this very specific community benefit.