Two ex-Google employees are aiming to make mom-and-pop corner stores a thing of the past with their new app, Bodega.
According to Fast Company, Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan’s Bodega “sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with nonperishable items you might pick up at a convenience store.”
“An app will allow you to unlock the box, and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card.” The logo of the company is a cat.
– Founded by two ex-Googlers
– Stated business model: make local, immigrant-owned businesses obsolete
– Audacity to name it “Bodega”
– Ew pic.twitter.com/gQD1IpGse0
— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) September 13, 2017
What the app diminishes, however, is the idea of someone in charge of the store. Many say that the beauty of the corner store lies in its inviting nature and feeling of home, which may lie in its staff.
Twitter was not too pleased about the idea of an app taking away a precious neighborhood staple and a way of making a living for many immigrant shop owners. Check out some of the social media site’s reactions to this latest chapter in the Book of Gentrification.
tfw you just heard about Bodega pic.twitter.com/0HVVRaARq4
— Daniel Radosh (@danielradosh) September 13, 2017
Corner stores provide much more than goods: safe havens for children, community for retirees, a neighborhood chatroom IRL. Let’s keep them!
— reliabletranslations (@reliabletran) September 13, 2017
Weird that they’re calling this heinous vending machine “Bodega” and not “Gentrification Box” https://t.co/xPCozclRRD
— Tristan Cooper (@TristanACooper) September 13, 2017
And to steal the bodega cat as their logo? It’s so in your face ruthless
— Rachel Macri (@r_macaroni) September 13, 2017
Then to actually NAME it “Bodega” after the exact thing they’re trying to gentrify & put out of business? Wow. Such disrespect
— Persephone (@ASamantha) September 13, 2017