When we started covering the Whole Foods JP controversy in January, our biggest concern was a simple one: will Whole Foods realize that part of its Latino clientele in the Hyde Square area of Jamaica Plain will be looking for the same kinds of cultural food staples they found in the former Hi-Lo Supermarket?
That was basically the reason we started blogging about the new Whole Foods in JP. While some raised serious issues about rising rents and gentrification (all valid reasons, even though poorly executed) and others praised anything that Whole Foods represents (a good effort, although they sometime went too far in ignoring how much the Hi-Lo was a Boston Latino institution), we just wanted to ask Whole Foods: will we be able to get some tostones (fried plantains)?
Well, if you use other Whole Foods stores who sell from predominantly Latino communities as a model, the answer is a resounding YES.
This week, during a topsy-turvy week at work, here were some of the lunch options at a Whole Foods in Orlando, Florida.
A Latin food section with roast pork, friend plantains, white rice, yellow rice, and sweet plantains. The ingredients were fresh, natural, and smelled delicious. It was a pleasant surprise, although it makes a lot of sense, since the Orlando neighborhood where this Whole Foods is located contains a very large Puerto Rican population.
This lunch plate looks pretty similar to many of the Latino food options in JP, no? Last time we checked, we don’t see the Stop & Shop in JP doing this.
So, to Whole Foods, we eagerly anticipate what you plan for JP. Just make sure to bring the food inventory from your Orlando store.
Whole Foods to Hold JP Town Hall Meeting on June 2
This week, Whole Foods announced that they will be holding a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, June 2nd from 7-9pm at the Curley School in JP. It is interesting to note that this is the FIRST public Town Hall Meeting that Whole Foods is holding after being very quiet and guarded about their responses. We will be there! Join us.