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A decommissioned CTA Flxible bus now works in fresh moves mobile produce market

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Different rules apply to antique vehicles. Need to check further. Most antique vehicles are prohibited from carrying cargo or passengers according to laws governing how an antique can and can't be used.

Couple of points would tend to tell me that regardless of age, a antique bus would still require a CDL....

Here's some info about CDL requirements from Illinois. So looks like yes, a CDL will be required.

Vehicles Requiring a CDL

  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more...
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.

Buses vary on weight, but some of the older buses could go over the 26,001 lb. mark because of what materials they were built with back in the day. And who's to say that a private owner of a retired bus won't take 16+ friends/family members on a little road trip? Maybe that's why they convert so many of these buses into RV's, to skirt the CDL rule.

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Couple of points would tend to tell me that regardless of age, a antique bus would still require a CDL....

Buses vary on weight, but some of the older buses could go over the 26,001 lb. mark because of what materials they were built with back in the day. And who's to say that a private owner of a retired bus won't take 16+ friends/family members on a little road trip? Maybe that's why they convert so many of these buses into RV's, to skirt the CDL rule.

GVWR refers to the maximum the vehicle is rated to carry or tow, not any particular load at the moment. Source.

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Couple of points would tend to tell me that regardless of age, a antique bus would still require a CDL....

Buses vary on weight, but some of the older buses could go over the 26,001 lb. mark because of what materials they were built with back in the day. And who's to say that a private owner of a retired bus won't take 16+ friends/family members on a little road trip? Maybe that's why they convert so many of these buses into RV's, to skirt the CDL rule.

Sounds like you're letting the overall context get lost in the details there as a bus sized RV would also require a CDL by those very regulations you're not quite citing correctly in the current context. But as stated initially by Andre they are not covered by Illinois CDL laws.

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21 minutes ago, jajuan said:

Well looking at the website, it appears more is being done than driving former transit buses around selling produce. It looks like they're part of a larger group that distributes produce through vendors that use the produce in the vendors' cafeterias and restaurants. The group says it also gets produce to their target recipients through a Farm to City Basket program where they put together baskets with produce from their Milwaukee greenhouses and a network of local family owned Midwest farms that's augmented by a network of African-American owned small farms in Mississippi and Georgia. They've got workshop programs apparently to teach people in Milwaukee and Chicago how to set up their own urban farms, with relevant tips on what to plant, when best to plant and how to tend what's being grown, how to set up a farmer's market, how to sell product and general related retailing tips, etc. They've also got youth programs that teach local Milwaukee and Chicago children and teens the ins and outs of growing produce at community backed urban farms in both cities along with teaching them the different health benefits of what they're being taught to grow. And I've seen ads on CTA buses promoting the group's current program Illinois Link Up I believe it's called through which low income Chicago area residents would effectively get double the produce at local farmers markets with special coupons that they administer. Yes it can be debated whether obtaining former transit buses over trucks makes financial sense, but it looks like the larger group that administers what we call Fresh Moves appears to be better organized than what we saw previously with Fresh Moves locally if the look at the current larger group's other initiatives are any indication.

Maybe getting Fresh Moves over here.

I  was thinking about the same thing after WGN9 just did a story about a group of urban farms. If nothing else, you don't need a bus to bring that food to the people.

The extent to which they source food directly would avoid the PACA problem. But, again they don't need a bus to distribute produce baskets.

The Link program only means that they take Illinois Link Cards, the replacement for food stamps.

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I dont get this food desert angle either. Walmart has built stores in the south side's black community in Chatham and Pullman. Whole foods built in englewood plus there are stores like food4less so where's the desert? I think maybe they are just reiterating what it was like 5-10 years ago but alot has changed

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1 hour ago, Busjack said:

Maybe getting Fresh Moves over here.

I  was thinking about the same thing after WGN9 just did a story about a group of urban farms. If nothing else, you don't need a bus to bring that food to the people.

The extent to which they source food directly would avoid the PACA problem. But, again they don't need a bus to distribute produce baskets.

The Link program only means that they take Illinois Link Cards, the replacement for food stamps.

I can tell you so much about that LINK program, and how people cheat with it(essentially cheating with our tax dollars). LINK allows you to get non-hot prepared foods and foods only for human consumption, nothing else. I've had over the course of my years in the grocery retail business people try to get hot prepared foods with LINK.... even toilet paper and paper towels, and all the while tell me "Well the store I normally visit allows me to get these items on LINK." They do this against the LINK guidelines and can have their license revoked if reported. If people are that stupid to open up about their illegal activity, both they and those stores should be reported, so the store loses their license and they lose their LINK funds.

OT Rant over..... sorry, forum. I don't like when my tax dollars are messed with. :S

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6 minutes ago, sw4400 said:

all the while tell me "Well the store I normally visit allows me to get these items on LINK."

About as believable as "I'm trying to get help for my second cousin." If they normally visit some other store, why are they going to Jewel? If there is some other store, it probably is Abdul's Liquor and Food.

The feds do check on that.

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1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

I dont get this food desert angle either. Walmart has built stores in the south side's black community in Chatham and Pullman. Whole foods built in englewood plus there are stores like food4less so where's the desert? I think maybe they are just reiterating what it was like 5-10 years ago but alot has changed

I don't think it is open yet (site says open Fall 2016), but the point generally applies. Whole Foods is open in Hyde Park.There may be a question how many have to go to the South Loop, but there are still alternatives like Pete's Fresh Market. But I can see the point that you won't get anything healthy at Abdul's. Also, I don't see how there is going to be demand for Whole Foods and Marianos to sustain themselves in some of the neighborhoods.

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5 hours ago, Busjack said:

Maybe getting Fresh Moves over here.

I  was thinking about the same thing after WGN9 just did a story about a group of urban farms. If nothing else, you don't need a bus to bring that food to the people.

The extent to which they source food directly would avoid the PACA problem. But, again they don't need a bus to distribute produce baskets.

The Link program only means that they take Illinois Link Cards, the replacement for food stamps.

No you misunderstood me on the Link angle of this. I wasn't speaking of the Link program itself in general, to which I already know Illinois Link Cards are a replacement for food stamps. The cards have been around about 20 years now. So it's hard not to know what they are. The program I spoke of is Link Up, which like I said where the Growing Power folks give families who use Link Cards coupons that allow them to go to farmers markets and purchase twice the amount of produce than they would have been able to without the coupons. The ads on the buses say "Double Your Link Dollars" in big letters that catch your attention, and go on to explain what I just explained here. 

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5 hours ago, BusHunter said:

I dont get this food desert angle either. Walmart has built stores in the south side's black community in Chatham and Pullman. Whole foods built in englewood plus there are stores like food4less so where's the desert? I think maybe they are just reiterating what it was like 5-10 years ago but alot has changed

That assumes all those families shop at those Walmart stores and that they have a broader produce selection as a regular grocery store like a Jewel or Mariano's. And being part of a big box store chain, it may not be the case. Also just because a store is sitting there doesn't necessarily mean their food selections are both nutritious and affordable. You might have the nutritious aspect, but they may still out of the average family of the given community's price range for example. and if an affordable alternative is more than a mile away and that family has to ride a bus to get there, the food desert aspect still comes into play given the government's definition of what a food desert is. For an urban community that's defined as at least 500 people and/or 33% of the census tract's population living more than a mile from a supermarket or large grocery store. The extra caveat often added to that definition is lack of a car and the need to use public transportation to get to the next available alternative. So other side of it may be there are affordable whole food nutrition options at those Walmart stores but a large number of the community needing to ride a bus more than a mile from their homes to get there. and Whole Foods grocery stores are pricey even for families not considered to be low income again bringing in the food desert aspect in both cases especially if a good number of Englewood residents would be riding a bus more than a mile to the next closest Food 4 Less for example. Let's face it, the south side still has large areas that fall into the food desert definition when you look at the options and how they're spaced. Heck, even portions of the north side fall into that definition when considering the spacing and car access aspect. My own West Rogers Park neck of the woods contains at least three food desert areas of some kind under government and general definitions and the Rogers Park area to the north of me has another three for example according to the USDA's food desert indicator.

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2 hours ago, jajuan said:

That assumes all those families shop at those Walmart stores and that they have a broader produce selection as a regular grocery store like a Jewel or Mariano's.

From what I've seen (admittedly at suburban ones) they do, and their prices now are not much better than Jewel and Mariano's (note, no more attack ads). Again, a better variety than on a bus (also apparently not much cheaper) or at Ahmed's.

2 hours ago, jajuan said:

So other side of it may be there are affordable whole food nutrition options at those Walmart stores but a large number of the community needing to ride a bus more than a mile from their homes to get there.

Which shows that the liberal community didn't have the customers in mind when they were fighting to keep Walmart out during the late oughts.

2 hours ago, jajuan said:

especially if a good number of Englewood residents would be riding a bus more than a mile to the next closest Food 4 Less for example.

I did recognize that having to go to the South Loop is a problem. However, given the decimation of the population in areas like Grand Boulevard and Englewood, one has to wonder whether it can support Food 4 Less (apparently the site of the old bus barn at 69th and Ashland has become a gang war zone), Whole Foods, and a couple of other supermarkets. On the other hand, there is the problem of not being able to replace the Dominick's in South Shore, which seems to be a combination that it was a dump and Whole Foods and Treasure Island think Hyde Park is close enough.

2 hours ago, jajuan said:

My own West Rogers Park neck of the woods contains at least three food desert areas of some kind under government and general definitions and the Rogers Park area to the north of me has another three for example according to the USDA's food desert indicator.

If that's the case, the definition is b.s. There are two Jewels on Howard (one on the Chicago side, and one in Evanston, besides a Target there), the Target on Peterson, and Cermak Produce. However, to get to the real point, there are plenty of ethnic grocers on Devon, and Mexican markets in that part of Rogers Park.

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1 hour ago, Busjack said:

From what I've seen (admittedly at suburban ones) they do, and their prices now are not much better than Jewel and Mariano's (note, no more attack ads). Again, a better variety than on a bus (also apparently not much cheaper) or at Ahmed's.

Which shows that the liberal community didn't have the customers in mind when they were fighting to keep Walmart out during the late oughts.

I did recognize that having to go to the South Loop is a problem. However, given the decimation of the population in areas like Grand Boulevard and Englewood, one has to wonder whether it can support Food 4 Less (apparently the site of the old bus barn at 69th and Ashland has become a gang war zone), Whole Foods, and a couple of other supermarkets. On the other hand, there is the problem of not being able to replace the Dominick's in South Shore, which seems to be a combination that it was a dump and Whole Foods and Treasure Island think Hyde Park is close enough.

If that's the case, the definition is b.s. There are two Jewels on Howard (one on the Chicago side, and one in Evanston, besides a Target there), the Target on Peterson, and Cermak Produce. However, to get to the real point, there are plenty of ethnic grocers on Devon, and Mexican markets in that part of Rogers Park.

Where on Howard in Chicago?   When I think of what jajuan's Rogers Park food desert,  I envision the area east of the L and specifically from Howard north.   Jajuan can correct me on that.   If you want a real food desert,  I give you the entire city of Gary.   It you want Jewel, Strack &Vantil, Ultra,  or Walmart,  you will have to go to Merrillville,  Hobart,  or Hammond to shop, and GPTC won't get you to Hobart. 

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11 hours ago, artthouwill said:

Where on Howard in Chicago?

Just to the west of the L station where the Dominick's used to be (1763 W. Howard Ave.) Was a Safeway then and probably still is a Safeway.

11 hours ago, artthouwill said:

When I think of what jajuan's Rogers Park food desert,  I envision the area east of the L and specifically from Howard north.

In short two blocks, and 2 blocks away from the Jewel.

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21 hours ago, sw4400 said:

I can tell you so much about that LINK program, and how people cheat with it(essentially cheating with our tax dollars)....

 

12 hours ago, artthouwill said:

...If you want a real food desert,  I give you the entire city of Gary. ....

Putting 2+2 together, I had a brief acquaintance with someone who owned a supermarket in Gary. He was complaining about how the customers and help were ripping him off, then was arrested for food stamp fraud.

The real problem in Gary is that it lost 90,000 in population, during a period when Hammond lost about 20,000. Gary used to be twice as large as Hammond population wise, now it is smaller. (Source; compare 1970 to 2010) When they need Mayor Daley there to advise the mayor, you know they are in trouble.

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On 9/13/2016 at 10:44 PM, artthouwill said:

Where on Howard in Chicago?   When I think of what jajuan's Rogers Park food desert,  I envision the area east of the L and specifically from Howard north.   Jajuan can correct me on that.   If you want a real food desert,  I give you the entire city of Gary.   It you want Jewel, Strack &Vantil, Ultra,  or Walmart,  you will have to go to Merrillville,  Hobart,  or Hammond to shop, and GPTC won't get you to Hobart. 

They did count a small pocket to the East of the L, but a pocket they counted near Howard was more centrally located west of the L. And there were a couple pockets depicted located near Western and near Ridge. 

On 9/13/2016 at 11:20 PM, Busjack said:

Just to the west of the L station where the Dominick's used to be (1763 W. Howard Ave.) Was a Safeway then and probably still is a Safeway.

In short two blocks, and 2 blocks away from the Jewel.

 

On 9/13/2016 at 9:20 PM, Busjack said:

From what I've seen (admittedly at suburban ones) they do, and their prices now are not much better than Jewel and Mariano's (note, no more attack ads). Again, a better variety than on a bus (also apparently not much cheaper) or at Ahmed's.

Which shows that the liberal community didn't have the customers in mind when they were fighting to keep Walmart out during the late oughts.

I did recognize that having to go to the South Loop is a problem. However, given the decimation of the population in areas like Grand Boulevard and Englewood, one has to wonder whether it can support Food 4 Less (apparently the site of the old bus barn at 69th and Ashland has become a gang war zone), Whole Foods, and a couple of other supermarkets. On the other hand, there is the problem of not being able to replace the Dominick's in South Shore, which seems to be a combination that it was a dump and Whole Foods and Treasure Island think Hyde Park is close enough.

If that's the case, the definition is b.s. There are two Jewels on Howard (one on the Chicago side, and one in Evanston, besides a Target there), the Target on Peterson, and Cermak Produce. However, to get to the real point, there are plenty of ethnic grocers on Devon, and Mexican markets in that part of Rogers Park.

Sorry but Target on Peterson isn't really much of a grocery store even though it has some food items. And don't be so quick to dismiss as what they were showing as food deserts in the area weren't located on or near Devon.  Since they were going with the definition of in part more than a mile away from a large grocery store with no car access, it's not so hard to believe that there are families in Rogers Park proper or West Rogers Park who fall within that category and your still within two blocks assessment wouldn't mean much to them. And let's not get so fixated on the stupid fruit bus that the overall larger picture of what those folks are trying to do beyond what they do with the bus is ignored or lost.

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2 hours ago, jajuan said:

 Since they were going with the definition of in part more than a mile away from a large grocery store with no car access

As I indicated, that means that the definition is bogus. Sure there isn't a large grocery store near Devon, other than possibly Cermak Market. However, there is a number of small ones there.I don't think that the Indo-Pak community is starving. The halal meat markets are still there.

In fact, there was a debate at the time when Jewel at Howard and Kedzie opened the Kosher Marketplace whether it was putting the shops on Devon out of business. Per Yelp, N.Y. Kosher is out of business (but another moved in next door, apparently in the Rosenbloom's building). That would indicate that whatever Orthodox Jewish community remains west of Fairfield (I think there still is one) somehow gets to Jewel, except on Sabbath, when they are not supposed to be carrying money.

 

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Saw the produce bluebird today - noticed it has a "CP" prefix fleet number. CP is Chicago Dept of Consumer Protection. Looks like city has gotten involved with this. In addition, one of the old red Flx's is still at SS, behind Forman Mills.

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On 9/15/2016 at 3:37 PM, Busjack said:

As I indicated, that means that the definition is bogus. Sure there isn't a large grocery store near Devon, other than possibly Cermak Market. However, there is a number of small ones there.I don't think that the Indo-Pak community is starving. The halal meat markets are still there.

In fact, there was a debate at the time when Jewel at Howard and Kedzie opened the Kosher Marketplace whether it was putting the shops on Devon out of business. Per Yelp, N.Y. Kosher is out of business (but another moved in next door, apparently in the Rosenbloom's building). That would indicate that whatever Orthodox Jewish community remains west of Fairfield (I think there still is one) somehow gets to Jewel, except on Sabbath, when they are not supposed to be carrying money.

 

No one said anything about anyone starving and that's your opinion of whether the definition is bogus. A food desert designation isn't saying that there are no grocery stores at all or that anyone is starving. It's stating that you have a sizable number of residents, many of whom are of lower income, in a particular area who have no car access and live more than mile away from a sufficiently sized grocer with a sufficient variety of food items of higher nutritional value at affordable rates in relation to the given family's income. For rural areas, the definition expands residing to more than 10 miles away with no car access. Now I get there's a political element that's probably making it hard for you to look at things from a poorer person's point of view, but you're bordering on being facetious. 

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3 hours ago, jajuan said:

Now I get there's a political element that's probably making it hard for you to look at things from a poorer person's point of view, but you're bordering on being facetious. 

No, this is ridiculous. I suppose that if you actually posted a map, I could poke all sorts of holes in it. I also suppose that the articles on New Albertsons tying up the leases on about 30 former Dominicks has caused about 30 new food deserts. Send a bus to Schaumburg, which has two of them.

In short what counts is

  • if people can get nutritious food economically.
  • if people can get what they want (such as on Devon Ave.).

In my mind, the political statement is being made by someone convincing some government agency that using a junk bus to distribute food is either efficient or effective (including to buy the food at Heinen's prices).. Past history shows that it is not, including prior failures acknowledged by the proponents.

What I have said before is that some neighborhoods need to show a demand, at least enough for some ethnic to open an actual produce market there, instead of a beer and cigs store.

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Probably really when you look at it, the bus is a political statement or tool as it's the city's idea. Rahm and company are saying that if there is a food desert, which I doubt, this bus will fill that gap, hence there is no food desert and he is a cool guy working for you. Frankly I'm impressed with how the whole Chatham area looks with it's Wal Marts, Targets, Aldi's. That whole design almost looks straight out of the suburbs. Rahm is trying hard to get you to spend your money here in the city versus the burbs. The city though is a ripoff, if you sit down and look at the increases, sales taxes have gone up a couple percent, real estate taxes have gone up 5-10 percent, red light and speeding cameras have appeared as a cash grab, water bills have increased 300 percent, slated to go 400 percent. City auto stickers have gone up, the city is really not offering much more than it did 10 years ago. Alot of those figures are the highest in the nation. You really don't see how much extra you pay until you go somewhere that don't. I think Rahm is going to go down as having the lowest voter percentage when election day comes for him. Murders are up, the police is a mess, all these increases, who would vote for him? It's getting so bad maybe Garmon's kids could run a successful campaign against him. 9_9xD

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1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

Frankly I'm impressed with how the whole Chatham area looks with it's Wal Marts, Targets, Aldi's.

Shows that there still is some money in that area. There's plenty of land to build a Mariano's in Grand Boulevard, but no viable business plan to do it.I still wonder about the latest attempt to turn 63rd and Halsted into Willow Festival.

1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

Rahm is trying hard to get you to spend your money here in the city versus the burbs.

Even King Richard II figured that out finally when, during the hysteria over the Chatham and Pullman Walmarts, he said "why should all the money go to Evergreen Park?"

 

1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

You really don't see how much extra you pay until you go somewhere that don't.

You also have to thank Preckwinkle for bringing back the Stroger sales tax increase, but somehow she gets a slide on that. Still cheaper to hit the Walmart next to the Hammond Casino.

 

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13 minutes ago, Busjack said:

Shows that there still is some money in that area. There's plenty of land to build a Mariano's in Grand Boulevard, but no viable business plan to do it.I still wonder about the latest attempt to turn 63rd and Halsted into Willow Festival.

Even King Richard II figured that out finally when, during the hysteria over the Chatham and Pullman Walmarts, he said "why should all the money go to Evergreen Park?"

 

You also have to thank Preckwinkle for bringing back the Stroger sales tax increase, but somehow she gets a slide on that. Still cheaper to hit the Walmart next to the Hammond Casino.

 

I think it's just an attempt to build up that area in Chatham. The land was available so why not build? It's like village crossing in Niles, it was AB Dick and was this big industrial complex and was turned into retail. Wal mart helped blossom the area. Contrary to what people think, i believe Wal mart attracts businesses because people know that they attract 1,000's of people and those people are hungry or looking for a restaurant or other things. They've obtained the first step getting the people there, they just have to draw them in. The key is not to sell what Wal mart sells. Ethnic foods in bulk or things like at a fast food place. Wal Mart does not sell Frosty's or Baconators for instance. This seems to happen around all the Wal marts except maybe North/Cicero but yet again Food4less is right down the street and so is Menards.  See what I'm saying. Wal mart does not sell home repair items in bulk.

 

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9 hours ago, BusHunter said:

I think it's just an attempt to build up that area in Chatham.

The area was vacated when Ryerson Steel left, but (1) there was a big stink at the time about letting Walmart in the city, and (2) Walmart wouldn't build there unless there was an opportunity for profit. For instance, the South Works land is still vacant, even though they said opening the new South Lake Shore Drive (between 79th and 92nd) would finally get things going.

I don't think there is any indication that Walmart asked for TIF money, for instance. On the other hand, Whole Foods did.

9 hours ago, BusHunter said:

i believe Wal mart attracts businesses because people know that they attract 1,000's of people and those people are hungry or looking for a restaurant or other things.

That's exactly what was found when the Austin store opened, and was used as an argument in favor of the Chatham one (Pullman was already part of a shopping center). Walmart is not the scourge in the city that it supposedly was in small town rural America, although it now appears (in the Chicago suburbs) that some of the ethnic produce markets couldn't survive it. But the same can be said of Mariano's (at least with regard to new Mariano's developments, as opposed to taking over a Dominick's). For instance, there was the debate in the hyperlocal press whether Mariano's put the Northbrook Garden Fresh out of business, or whether the owner losing his grip on the business did (he's down to 3 stores).

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The big problem that the non-chain stores fare (of whatever form, not just grocery) is that if there is a name-brand store in a reasonable distance, there are enough advantages to going to the big store (bigger selection, lower prices, everything under one roof) that the little guys are basically done. Unless you have something that appeals to a specific special group (such as locally-grown, non-pesticide, organic) that that group is willing and able to pay a hefty premium for, you are finished. In 2016 America, people look at price more than any other single factor.

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2 hours ago, andrethebusman said:

The big problem that the non-chain stores fare (of whatever form, not just grocery) is that if there is a name-brand store in a reasonable distance, there are enough advantages to going to the big store (bigger selection, lower prices, everything under one roof) that the little guys are basically done. Unless you have something that appeals to a specific special group (such as locally-grown, non-pesticide, organic) that that group is willing and able to pay a hefty premium for, you are finished. In 2016 America, people look at price more than any other single factor.

Except Mariano's and Jewel are not the low price leader (although Jewel is now not as bad as it was under Albertson's and especially Supervalu), and there are plenty of those that are doing well, like Tony's and Cermak, the north side has plenty of immigrant groups who rather go to a store catering to them, and the smaller similar operations that folded gave various signals that they were not competently managed. One can look at Yelp to verify in various cases that reviews started good, and then went to hell before the places closed. For instance, the one I mentioned had good ratings, then somehow got into the reject food distribution market (independent selling Wegman's,* Safeway Gardens,** and Einstein's shmear). I don't attribute the location at issue closing  because Mariano's opened down the street.

In any event, I really doubt that the food bus (which is the topic of this topic) is to compete with Whole Foods, Heinen's or Sunset.Maybe it does provide an outlet ala a real farmer's market,.*** but certainly not in a neighborhood that can afford it.

_____________

*A high end independent chain in upstate NY that expanded down the I-95 corridor, which, if anything, was Mariano's 30 years before Mariano's was. However, the way the food tasted, it was clearly a reject, not overstock.

**Sold at the same time Dominick's was also selling it

***The Joe Caputo episode shows that the grocery stores that are stores are not farmer's markets, despite what they are named. The owner of the one to which I referred claimed he went daily to the South Water Market. However,after a distributor got a court order to seize Caputo's, clearly all stores get their produce from distributors licensed under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.

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