Just when it seemed like gentrification and technology couldn’t take anything else from the culture, Fast Company is reporting that two former Google executives are looking to replace our beloved neighborhood bodegas with 5-foot-wide pantry boxes laced with non-perishable items in building lobbies, offices, and gyms.
What are they calling this new witchcraft? Bodega! The nerve of some people.
And by some people, we mean Bodega creators Paul McDonald and his Bodega co-founder Ashwath Rajan (did they even grow up in a barrio?).
Bodega is an app controlled pantry box which will be stationed at locations around the west coast beginning today (September 13) with computer powered cameras to keep track of what you pick up and automatically charge your credit card.
The culture vulture duo don’t just plan on stopping with the current 50 locations they’ve already set up,though. According to McDonald, “Eventually, centralized shopping locations won’t be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.”
While we’re sure some of the more high maintenance of customers will love the new app, the ground troops who grew up on 25¢ juices and chopped cheese sandwiches have already taken to social media to voice their displeasure at the notion of bodegas being obsolete.
Well, at least McDonald and Rajan decided to make the Bodega logo a cat, right? Nah.
We don’t know how well the trial run has gone over in the Bay Area where some 30 Bodegas have been posted up at various locations, but while the product stocked is based on the 100 most used items in each community you can bet it’s not going to live up to the magic of our favorite bodegas.
Whether it’s loose cigarettes, 50¢ styrofoam cups filled with ice or that backroom where heads get together to play some pool or watch the fight, “Bodega” just won’t be able to replace, well, bodegas.
The chairman of the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Frank Garcia peeped game and was quick to call out the inventors intentions saying, “To me, it is offensive for people who are not Hispanic to use the name ‘bodega,’ to make a quick buck… It’s disrespecting all the mom-and-pop bodega owners that started these businesses in the ’60s and ’70s.”
Needless to say the culture took to social media to ride on the new app and it was glorious. Check out some of the most impressive tweets below.