Englewood angered by Save A Lot Sign on former Whole Foods store – NBC Chicago

Englewood residents and community leaders at a meeting on Thursday expressed anger and frustration after Save a Lot, the grocery store the community said it didn’t want, hung its banner on the Whole Foods building recently closed from the neighborhood at 832 W. 63rd St. in Chicago. South side.

“The very brand our community said we didn’t want”, 16th Ward Ald. Stephanie Coleman transmitted passionately at the meeting on Thursday, referencing a questionnaire community members recently completed.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, the former Whole Foods will become a Save A Lot grocery store to be operated by Yellow Banana, a black-owned company that owns and operates more than 30 grocery stores under the Save A Lot name. , including several in the Chicago area.

Yellow Banana co-founder Michael Nance, who also joined Thursday’s meeting, acknowledged Coleman’s concerns, saying the brand was “stuck between a rock and a hard place,” but Save’s new management A Lot on a recent call said she hoped to improve. its reputation among black and brown neighborhoods, and that the grocer is “committed to engaging” with the community.

“We’re trying to move this site forward, we want to do good for the community,” Nance said, adding that Save A Lot’s business leaders have “recognized how [Save a Lot] shops were run and closed on the south side was not correct. They want to straighten out their relationship with this community.”

Nance also added that other potential operators were considered for the site but “didn’t take it”.

During Thursday’s meeting, Coleman and other leaders spoke about the community’s desire for fresh, affordable produce and produce, the need for a strong labor pool, and demand for renaming the store so that it is not associated with the Save A Lot brand. .

“Quite frankly, the neighborhood has become an uproar over the name,” Coleman said. “We are requesting a meeting with the CEO regarding the name of the store and the signage that has been put on the building.”

“We’re 100% on board with that,” Nance replied.

Although the grocer didn’t reveal any specific progress, the Save A Lot sign atop the former Whole Foods building not only caused a stir in the neighborhood, but also on social media.

“Break the lease,” reads a tweet from Asiaha Butler, who leads a community group in Englewood. “Englewood doesn’t want SaveALot or Yellow Banana!!”

Although an opening date was not discussed, Coleman remained steadfast. “We are not going to accept an inferior product,” she said. “We deserve the best.”

NBC Chicago

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