Englewood residents voice concern over Whole Foods` high prices - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Englewood residents voice concern over Whole Foods` high prices

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Concerns about a Whole Foods coming to Englewood drew dozens of people to a community meeting Tuesday night.

People had a host of questions from hiring practices, to when the store was open, to how Whole Foods picked Englewood. But perhaps the biggest concern for people in that low-income community is: will they be able to afford to shop there?

For many people in Englewood, a convenience store is where they get their groceries because it's close enough to walk too--not necessarily because of the prices or selection.

But some shoppers wonder if they will be able to afford to get groceries at Whole Foods, a store with a reputation for high prices which spawned the nickname Whole Paycheck

"A lot of people got fixed income, everybody know this is a poverty area where we live in so, it's like I guess that wouldn't be the best store chain to have right there," shopper Lance Smith says.

The president of Whole Foods Midwest Region tried to allay some of those concerns to more than 70 people who packed a community meeting Tuesday night.

"We would ask that you give us the chance to prove that we can offer high quality food at a reasonable price," Whole Foods Midwest Region President Michael Bashaw said.

Bashaw conceded some of their prices are high and that reputation has convenience store owner Jacob Hattar skeptical about just how successful Whole Foods can be in his neighborhood.

"In this area, is low income, and they try to bring Whole Foods in here, I don't think they's gonna make it," says Hatter.

But at the meeting, some people were anxious to see the store open.

"I feel it can succeed," Yvette Major said of the store's expected opening. "But the prices have to be reasonable."

Whole Foods was emphatic about being there to give people a shopping option.

"We're not saying you have to shop with us, make a choice just like anyone else does," Bashaw added. "If we're no good don't shop with us, take your dollars someplace else."

Michael Bashaw went on to say that Whole Foods knows it will have to earn the trust of the people of Englewood and they plan to do that.

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