Dear friends and others,
The Flu has left me with time on my hands and that can only mean one
thing: GRATUITOUS SANET POSTING! Some of you might find this intersting.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 15:53:03 -0500
From: Hartford Food System <email@example.com>
To: NE community food systems <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[10 lines deleted]
Battle for a Grocery Store On the Ballot in Vermont," The New York
The bread display is a thing of beauty: fat, crusty loaves of rye and
oatmeal sitting next to baskets of multigrain hard rolls and chewy
In that august culinary setting, the brand-new display of Koffee Kup
white bread and hot dog rolls looks oddly out of place. It's there
because the Onion River Food Co-op has been trying to prove to
Burlington shoppers that the store does not sell organic bread alone.
''We'll obviously have to rearrange these shelves,'' said Ned Flinn,
manager of the Onion River Food Co-op, a 3,500-square-foot food
cooperative in Burlington's Old North End. ''With all these new products
coming in, we haven't figured out where to put them.''
Mr. Flinn has many other things on his plate right now. On Tuesday,
voters here in Vermont's largest city will be asked whether they want a
new downtown grocery to be run by the co-op or by Shaw's, a supermarket
chain with stores in all six New England states. The issue is on the
ballot because of a petition drive by a group called Friends of Shaw's.
And if, on the surface, the contest appears to be a simple matter of
competitive capitalist enterprise, just below the surface lies a host of
issues that are charged with class differences, ethnic and cultural
diversity, the benefits of local ownership versus the economies of
''We have economic, racial and ethnic diversity in Burlington, and a
15,000-square-foot store won't meet their needs,'' said Sam Osborne, a
Burlington resident and consultant for Shaw's, referring to the proposed
co-op store. ''Groups from every walk of life will be left out under the
Onion River proposal.'' He said poor residents and the elderly were
worried that they would dislike the selection and find the prices too
The Price Chopper supermarket closed in April 1999, leaving Burlington,
with a population of about 38,000, without a downtown food store. The
city sought applicants for a new market to be built on the city-owned
site of the old police station.
Shaw's Supermarkets wants to build a 45,000-square-foot store on the
site, said Bernard Rogan, spokesman for Shaw's, which has headquarters
in East Bridgewater, Mass. Shaw's says it will need to build an
underground garage, and it has asked the city to pick up $800,000 of the
bill with a bond vote.
''Our contention was, and is, that you need a diverse product line
because of the diversity of the population in Burlington,'' said Mr.
Rogan, calling for more ethnic foods and other products. But the size of
the Shaw's project has been a sticking point for many city officials.
Onion River has offered a site plan calling for 15,000 square feet of
grocery store, 4,000 square feet of office and warehouse space, and
above-ground parking. The timetable for opening the new store is about
18 months, Mr. Flinn said.
Jane Knodell, president of the City Council, was one of the Council
members who voted with the majority in the 12-to-2 vote in favor of the
Onion River proposal at a meeting on Dec. 13. ''The size of Shaw's would
have a negative impact on the neighborhood,'' Ms. Knodell said.
''There would be lots of truck traffic, huge Dumpsters. Their site
design is very suburban.
''It's true that you may not get umpteen different versions of
cornflakes offered at Onion River,'' she added, ''but I'm not sure that
makes anybody's life any better anyway.''
A thorny issue has been the implications of making a natural foods co-op
the only option in town. Typically, co-ops do not carry the standard
commercial food products, particularly if they are irradiated, processed
or adulterated in some way.
To address that, the city has told Onion River that it must expand its
product offerings at its proposed store -- and it has already done so at
its present site -- to include conventional foodstuffs. So far, the
co-op has added Crisco, Cheerios, Grape-Nuts, American cheese -- and
Koffee Kup bread, and more is coming.
Michael Monte, director of the Community and Economic Development Office
for the city of Burlington, acknowledged that ''people's gut reaction is
that they want a regular, big supermarket like other people have. But
when people take a closer look at some of the issues that crop up --
loss of local control, zoning changes -- they start to rethink that.''
Not true, said Mr. Osborne, who founded the Friends of Shaw's Committee.
He said his polling indicated that ''seven out of eight people we talked
to wanted Shaw's. They think Onion River is too expensive and that it
won't meet their needs. The co-op won't even sell cigarettes. People
don't want to be told what they can and can't do.''
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at:
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Feb 06 2000 - 12:00:27 EST