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Walgreens planned for Windsor Terrace planning to sell vegetables

Walgreens: We’ll sell greens

The Brooklyn Paper

The Walgreens slated to open in Windsor Terrace will dedicate a “significant” amount of space to fresh produce and meat — a promise that could involve sharing the building with a grocer, company officials say.

The nation’s largest drug store chain — which is replacing the neighborhood’s only grocery store — says it will reserve part of the shop for “fresh fruit, vegetables, and frozen meat” and is considering partnering with a company that sells perishables to do so.

“All options are on the table,” said Walgreens spokesman Robert Elfinger.

Elfinger said plans for the pharmacy also include a dairy and deli meat selection — but had no specifics about how much square footage the shop will dedicate to fresh food.

The news comes after months of protests from neighbors, who claim the drug store — which is scheduled to replace a Key Food in January — will create a “food desert” in the community unless it provides grocery services or adjusts its lease to make room for a business that will.

Windsor Terrace residents now say the company’s still-vague commitment isn’t exactly prompting celebratory dinner parties, especially because residents have gotten “only stock answers” to letters they sent Walgreens officials.

“We’re looking for something that’s reflective of a full-service grocery store … not a glorified 7-Eleven,” said Windsor Terrace resident Ryan Lynch. “It would be more hopeful if [Walgreens] was working with the community.”

It’s not the first time the pharmacy chain has committed to selling produce in Brooklyn. In 2008, Bay Ridge residents demanded fresh food at a Walgreens that was replacing a Key Food in a now-stale food fight that could shed some light on the current Windsor Terrace battle.

After protests from shoppers, Walgreens agreed to offer fresh produce and meat at the store — but residents now say it never emerged as a true alternative to the grocery store it replaced.

Denise Loli — who four years ago signed a petition along with 1,000 other protestors demanding fresh food at the Third Avenue site — says she won’t buy produce at the Bay Ridge Walgreens, which she claims resembles a Rite Aide with just a few vegetables in stock.

“It’s a place you go to buy milk and eggs,” she said. “But it’s certainly nothing you can rely on as a grocery store.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

Mig from Windsor Terrace says:
Why boycott the Walgreens? It's like refusing to have sex with a new girlfriend because the one that just dumped you was prettier. Be angry at Key Foods if you want, they're the ones who left and who ran such a horrible business. Boycotting a new store in that space (two blocks from me) isn't going to make a new supermarket appear there by magic. It will only make that space even less attractive.

Could have mentioned that a farmers' market has opened up a block away from the closed Key Foods on Sundays, in front of PS 154. Probably has a few weeks left, and they have sign-ups for year-round produce deliveries, etc.
Aug. 28, 2012, 3:47 am
Freida Livery from The Heights says:
Idiots don't understand business.

If you buy it, they will sell it.

If you boycott it, they won't sell it.

Bay Ridge Walgreens throws out tons of greens that go unsold.

But Marching is fun! It's just like the sit ins of the 60's We shall overcome!
Busybodies with signs. Ignore them.
Aug. 28, 2012, 7:38 am
Neil from Windsor Terrace says:
Everyone knows that old Keyfood was not a great store, yet despite that Mr. Geller ran a successful business on the backs of this community for more than 30 years. When he retired, he was within his right to lease the property to anyone. Due to lack of influence, community input, or respect for his community, Mr Geller chose to lease it to Walgreens since with their extremely deep pockets they were able to offer a significant amount of money up front. The supermarkets that were interested in the space, and still are, could not.

As a result, nearly 1/3 of residence -- those without cars, the elderly, and infirmed -- have no access to a supermarket. In addition, two neighborhood pharmacies already serve this community only two blocks away and another Walgreens is one train stop away on Church Ave, making another one at this location redundant.

There are few options a community has to ensure the needs of the many are met. Supermarkets are essential to a communities viability, property values, and basic needs. Peaceful protesting and boycotting of a store is a way to get political muscle behind a communities needs. This is a business that only answers it's shareholder, you hurt them through their bottom line - stopping people from walking through the door.

We are working with our local politicians to ensure that our communities needs are best served and that our local businesses are protected from corporate giants out to expand market share. Communities deserve a voice in what stores retail in their neighborhoods. We are actively boycotting, but you passively boycott stores by the retail choices you make each day. Sometimes you need to take a stand to help your neighbors.
Aug. 28, 2012, 8:49 am
Larry Littlefield from Windsor Terrace says:
Under existing zoning Walgreens could go to two stories and double the size of the store. Perhaps razing the existing building and putting a new two-story building at the corner, with parking in the rear. I hope they consider doing that.

They could also sell to a residential developer. Then there will be no store.
Aug. 28, 2012, 12:53 pm
Florence Weintraub from Windsor Terrace says:
Hurray for Neil for telling the straight story
Aug. 28, 2012, 1:56 pm
Marc from Windsor Terrace says:
I think we understand business very well. Walgreens outbid supermarket operators to rent the space from Mr. Geller because they thought it fit within their business model. Unless Walgreens includes a full supermarket with their store, something that includes a full selection of fresh and packaged foods not readily available in local groceries and delis, many in the community will boycott the store and some will boycott all Walgreens and subsidiary Duane Reade stores. Inasmuch as this location is a relatively low traffic location when compared virtually every other chain pharmacy in the city, a successful boycott will undermine Walgreens' business model and pressure the chain to provide a store that meets the community's needs.
Aug. 28, 2012, 2:43 pm
Lenin from Stalingrad says:
Occupy Walgreens! Supermarkets are so necessary we should socialize them! Socialize the hospitals, utilities, all schools! Down with free enterprise and capitalism!! What have they ever done for this country!?! They didn't build these busineses, we did!!!

Subsidize greens while you're at it! And would someone please socialize car repairs for goodness sakes! Cars cost a fortune to maintain.

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! I want! I want! I want! More! More! More!
Aug. 28, 2012, 2:45 pm
Freida Livery from The Heights! says:
Quote: a successful boycott will undermine Walgreens' business model and pressure the chain to provide a store that meets the community's needs. Unquote.

Or, leave a complete void on that corner for years.

I passed a cart selling grilled meat today. There was a line.

I passed a fruit cart to - the cart owner was sitting in the sun. There was no line. There were no customers.

Boycott away!
Aug. 28, 2012, 2:48 pm
Tim from South Slope says:
The straight story is that the community does not own that property and is entitled to nothing as long as it is within the law. Why would any one risk their money on a commercial property or business where the community thinks they get to call the shots?

It would be much more productive and if the folks that are so concerned spent their time and energy helping their neighbors -- or better yet opening their own grocery store.
Aug. 28, 2012, 3:05 pm
Elizabeth from Prospect Ave says:
Thanks Neil! Exactly what I wanted to say.

(so No need to be redundant like Walgreens)
Aug. 28, 2012, 4:14 pm
Evelyn from Windsor Terrace says:
This is a free market country so Mr. Geller and the Walgreen's corporation have a legal right to do what they are doing even though this is not in the best interests of our neighborhood. We, the residents of Windsor Terrace also have a legal right to challenge their plans as effectively as we can. And that is what we are doing - organizing community outrage and planning to boycott any store that opens on the former Key Food site that is not a full service supermarket. This is not about socialism as one blogger stated. And this is not about denying any business their rights. This is about standing up for what we want and need and convincing Walgreens to change its plans. And this is about as American as you can get!
Aug. 28, 2012, 5:09 pm
Freida Livery from The Heights says:
So open your own store Evelyn- that's about as American as you can get.
Aug. 28, 2012, 5:34 pm
djj from windsor terrace says:
"open your own store"??? that doesn't make any sense... if i could afford to open my own store and hire a staff of professionals to run it, this wouldn't be much of an issue for me...

Caring about, and doing something for, your community is about as American as you can get.
It's "We the people..." not "Me the business owner..."

Also have to wonder, unless you live in WT and are impacted by this, why comment at all.?

And Mig, if you live 2 blocks away, property values of a glorified 7-11 opening up should concern you. Easier access to beer and cigarettes, in lieu of groceries, is not a good thing for any family oriented community and will have a negative impact on all home prices in surrounding area...
But maybe you are a transient renter with no connections or ties to the community...
Aug. 29, 2012, 10:20 am
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
"...if i could afford to open my own store and hire a staff of professionals to run it, this wouldn't be much of an issue for me..."

Beggars can't be choosers. The City won't let in Wal-Marts, the locals don't want a Walgreens, your neighbor doesn't want a 7-11. Why not just go back to hunting-gathering? Start out before dawn with a bow-and-arrow and catch your own food; then plant a victory garden on you're window ledge and you won't have to deal with "Me the business owner."
Aug. 29, 2012, 11:56 am
Frieda Livery from The Heights says:
"if i could afford to open my own store and hire a staff of professionals to run it, this wouldn't be much of an issue for me..."

But you'll make a fortune with all those veggy starved like minded people marching to boycott Walgreens. You''l be rich. You'll join the 1%!
Aug. 29, 2012, 4:15 pm
Sylvester Carroll from W_T says:
Get a folding shopping cart and take a walk to Mcdonald and Albemarle. You can not be that lazy.
Sept. 2, 2012, 1:22 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
maybe they should put in a methadone clinic instead
Sept. 3, 2012, 10:42 am
joanna from w t says:
let me say, that if u want ur greens go to the farmers market. that place looks terrible over there.its true, if they dont open that then who knows what might come there.only thing is with walgreens, if they stay open 24hrs. that will be no good. then there might be trouble coming off the highway.people we dont live in a island with nothing around. key food was no bargin. i dont like the idea either,i hope we win, but if we dont dont go nutty. it has to better then that dirty store key food.
Sept. 3, 2012, 7:52 pm
no country for old people from windsor terrace says:
Key Food is closed. Closed. If Windsor Terrace is a Food Desert, how are those old people, those geezers who were unable to obtain food from anywhere but the despairing Key Food, how are they getting their nourishment now?

They've gone a couple of months without Key Food. Has Windsor Terrace seen a spike in mortality? Are old people found dead on the sidewalk with an empty shopping cart beside them? Or, as I suspect, have the geezers adjusted to shopping elsewhere? Or, as may also be the case, is this issue just a red herring?
Sept. 4, 2012, 7:51 am
no country for old people from windsor terrace says:
djj from W-T says:

"Easier access to beer and cigarettes, in lieu of groceries, is not a good thing for any family oriented community and will have a negative impact on all home prices in surrounding area..."

Wow. This nut says the sale of beer and cigarettes drives down real estate values. So restaurants, delis, convenience stores, bars and supermarkets are bad for property values. Wow. It's a wonder that real estate has any value at all.
Sept. 4, 2012, 7:58 am
non-hillbilly from windsor terrace says:
but the selfish hillbillies wanted a "full service" grocery store. oh, but that wasn't part of their slogan? par for the course in hillbilly land. the old schoolers basically believe they own the neighborhood. sorry to tell these people that their importance in the world is a sliver of the lie they've been feeding themselves. that medicine is going to not go down well as all can see.
Sept. 27, 2012, 2:37 pm
Lyn from Park Slope says:
The Key Food was convenient, when in a rush. The parking lot was a plus. They had lousy produce and meat selections.

How about a nice Stop n Shop with a pharmacy. That's not going to happen. Back to Walgreens.
Oct. 13, 2012, 12:53 pm

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