credit: bodega.ai

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Two Guys Tried To Create A New Kind Of Bodega And Twitter Dragged Them All Over The Place

09/13/17 Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

You may have heard about a “new” business called Bodega that is getting a lot of attention today — and not in a good way. Fast Company published a story about two former Google employees that wanted to create “bodega boxes” — essentially, vending machines — that sell products you’d normally find at a convenience store. The boxes are named after the bodegas (corner stores) you’d find in New York that sell you everything from sandwiches to shampoo. Oh, their logo also uses the shape of a cat head as the logo because New York bodegas are known for housing felines who chill and make sure there aren’t any mice around.

As soon as the product was made public knowledge, the response was swift and immediate, with widespread criticism over what many claim is a culturally insensitive use of the word “bodega.” Bodegas are the corner stores you see in New York. Here’s how the Internet responded. Grab your popcorn.

This is the Twitter post and story that sparked the bodega controversy all over Twitter.

Namely, people focused on one paragraph from the Fast Company article that questioned co-founder Paul McDonald about the name. It reads:

“I asked McDonald point-blank about whether he’s worried that the name Bodega might come off as culturally insensitive. Not really. ‘I’m not particularly concerned about it,’ he says. ‘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’. It’s a simple name and I think it works.'”

Then, this happened.

Don’t come for the bodegas unless you are ready for a proper dragging.

 

 

People quickly pointed out the ridiculousness of suggesting that a cabinet-turned-vending machine was an appropriate “replacement” to the neighborhood bodega.

It sure isn’t.

Especially when it comes to the items that you just can’t get from a vending machine.

How are you supposed to get yourself a proper meal from this glorified IKEA cabinet?

After all, it is the human interactions and the community that makes a bodega a bodega.

Bodegas are more than just profit making businesses. They exist in communities and are an integral part of the community. The owners/workers know your name, your sandwich order, and even your birthday if you’ve been around long enough. That the essence of a true bodega.

Not to mention that some of your neighbors would end up losing their jobs.

Who else stands with and loves their bodega people?

Some are suggesting that the company is really just a way to make them feel more comfortable buying their essentials.

Do they sell burn cream in those cabinets?

They are even being asked to use their “creativity” to help bodegas instead of ending them.

Well, will they?

Mainly because McDonald implied they wanted to disrupt the bodega market.

But why?

People started to send out the message to all bodega cats.

Get your claws ready.

And the beloved bodega cats came out to let the co-founders Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan know that this is not a game.

You know that it’s real when the bodega cats leave the store to join in the public criticism.

The backlash from social media prompted McDonald to write a Medium post discussing the name and the reactions.

CREDIT: Bodega Blog / Medium

“Despite our best intentions and our admiration for traditional bodegas, we clearly hit a nerve this morning,” McDonald wrote. “And we apologize to anyone we’ve offended. Rather than disrespect to traditional corner stores — or worse yet, a threat — we intended only admiration.”

Let us know…


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