Internet Erupts Over Tech Bros Trying To Put Bodegas Out Of Business

People on Twitter are furious at this former-Googler-founded startup that aims to replace mom-and-pop stores with vending machines

The Bodega company involves setting up "5-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with nonperishable items you might pick up at a convenience store", Fast Company reported. The co-founders have appropriated the stereotypical markers of a New York City bodega, from the name itself to its logo, a cat head meant to evoke those shops' feline overlords. Now a new startup aims to make buying convenience store items a little more convenient for some, while effectively eroding neighborhood cornerstones.

"Each community tends to have relatively homogenous tastes, given that they live or work in the same place", McDonald explains.

There's nothing inherently wrong with vending machines, and there are certainly lots of places that could use them, like maybe neighborhoods that are food deserts and/or office and apartment buildings in cities that aren't very walkable.

Also, the stock photos provided to Fast Company are the kind you might take at a high school reunion where everyone is really trying to look like they're still glad they made a decision to attend.

It took 13 years at Google for these brain geniuses to invent a vending machine that requires a smartphone, a data plan, and a credit card to use.

Many on Twitter pointed out that the idea is similar to an already readily available technology: regular old vending machines.

So McDonald and Rajan are gleefully admitting that they want to wipe out a large sector of the economy. They're cultural institutions, Garcia said, and he promised that he will work to ensure that the Bodega boxes do not come into NY.

"We did surveys in the Latin American community to understand if they felt the name was a misappropriation of that term or had negative connotations, and 97% said 'no, '" he tells the publication.

As essential part of living in NY is stopping by your local bodega for a breakfast sandwich, late-night snack or even a six pack. The person running your local bodega may hold packages for you, or give keys to the friend you have staying in your apartment; they might provide a safe haven for you if you're coming home later than normal; they probably know exactly how you like your egg-and-cheese sandwich in the mornings, or the exact amount of sugar you want in your coffee.

New Yorkers and others who frequent bodegas seem to have Garcia's back. "It's disrespecting all the mom-and-pop bodega owners that started these businesses in the '60s and '70s". The word "bodega" is trending thanks to the app, and people - many of whom see local bodegas as part of their communities - are not happy.

Calling your company Bodega is just inviting criticism. "With all of the anti-immigrant issues, I think using the name "Bodega" is an issue".

On Wednesday, the startup installed 50 new Bodegas on the West Coast.

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