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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hold the trail mix

Gosh, I hope those urban pioneers can handle a Whole Foods without a fresh trail mix bar.

The folks at Whole Foods, Wegmans and Walmart are offering their stories of hardship and accommodation as they try to cram big boxes into spaces that cannot accommodate 138,000 square feet and cafes seating 300 people.

But at least Whole Foods and Walmart seem to have come closer to the mark of "urban" by offering outposts in Jamaica Plain and Somerville. Wegmans seems to believe Chestnut Hill -- with an average household income of $109,043, and a Bloomingdale's across the street -- is a daunting new urban environment.

Has anyone introduced these urban pioneers to Roxbury and Dorchester, where Stop & Shop seems to have a monopoly?

This isn't an effort to reopen the JP Whole Foods imbroglio. Nor is it a swipe at Walmart's big box mentality. But let's not equate the inability to serve 300 patrons "chef-driven meals" or forcing people to forgo picking the own trail mix as somehow making accommodations to the needs of city dwellers.

Opening an affordable supermarket in Dudley Station would be more along the lines most people are thinking. But as Wegmans' media relations director told the Globe, in an obviously different context:

"We haven't quite figured that out yet."

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