NY outraged over startup that wants to replace bodegas

James Oh right owner of Tom's Liquor on the corner of Florence and Normandie greets a customer in his store in South Los Angeles

So, naturally, a pair of Silicon Valley goobers have taken it upon themselves to really put a nail in the coffin of the only attractive thing left in this world with a flashy new concept called, get this, Bodega.

The bodega - known outside of New York City as the corner store - is one of the best things about living in a city, an urban oasis for replenishing your fill of human interaction, odd snacks, beer, and cats.

Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan are launching a business called Bodega, according to Fast Company. The startup has been testing the concept in location like gyms, apartment lobbies, and offices.

But not everyone has a smartphone, or knows how to use an app in this way.

According to the Fast Company article, users would be able to unlock the boxes using an app. Cameras would then scan to see what items the users picked up, and the user's credit card would automatically be charged. "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". These dudes stuck a computer on a vending machine and got some dumb rich people to give them money for it. Congratulations. The products inside the machine vary depending on region. If you want to take on big retailers, have at it. Many took to Twitter to air their grievances about the Bodega box concept and show their support for their local bodega. They're cultural institutions, Garcia said, and he promised that he will work to ensure that the Bodega boxes do not come into NY.

One of the founders, neither of whom could immediately be reached for comment by CNBC Make It, tells TechCrunch this about the company: "There's really only been two options: you can go to the store, or you can order something online", says McDonald.

It might also face stiff opposition in New York: Frank Garcia, the chairman of the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, told Fast Company that he "would ask my members not to allow these machines in any of their properties in New York State". "To me, it is offensive for people who are not Hispanic to use the name "bodega, ' to make a quick buck", Garcia said". "It's disrespecting all the mom-and-pop bodega owners that started these businesses in the '60s and '70s". Created to be set up like vending machines in apartments, dorms, business locations, and gyms, the concept could ultimately eliminate local Bodegas, at least that's the goal.

He's also concerned about the financial impact the new company might have on brick-and-mortar bodegas, he told Fast Company.



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