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Roslindale Square merchants gird for battle against chain pet store

UPDATE: JB Edwards is NOT closing, just moving to West Roxbury.

The Roslindale Village Main Street board has voted to do what it can to keep Petco from replacing the uniform store on South Street with a pet store, starting with an e-mail campaign and petition drive to convince the chain it's not wanted in Roslindale

In arguments similar to those used by Jamaica Plain merchants to oppose a chain coffee shop, board members say the Petco could help drive out three nearby pet-supply stores, most notably Pet Cabaret on Washington Street, would suck money out of Roslindale that would otherwise go to locally based businesses, would begin the destruction of the unique retail environment local residents and merchants spent 20 years developing and just isn't needed because there are already six Petco stores within five miles of Adams Park. In a mailing today, the board says:

Roslindale has seen nearby chain stores drive local shops out of business and dramatically alter the local economy. For example, when Home Depot opened in West Roxbury it led to Ashmont Hardware's closure and greatly decreased sales at Roslindale Hardware, nearly driving it out of business as well.

However, unlike in JP, where the merchants have stood alone, the Roslindale business owners are hoping to get local residents to join them in the fight.

In addition to the e-mail effort and petition, there's an organizing meeting on Weds., Nov. 12 at the Roslindale Community Center and a public meeting on Dec. 2, at which to try to convince both Petco and elected officials that the chain needs to take its business elsewhere.

According to the board, Petco is scheduled to begin conversion of the current uniform store into a pet store in February and open in April.

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Comments

If anyone at these meetings has a Dunkin Donuts, McDonald's, or Starbuck's, or hell a pre-emptive Café Nero cup in their hands, they have no credibility.

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Getting rid of the eye sore that is family dollar would be my first concern for the square. There is plenty of dollar stores on the "other side of Roslindale" or the "poor side" or as i call it where I live.

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objects to allowing a viable business to set up shop for such selfish reasons as "OMG, it's a CHIAN store", then they should be asked "OK, what's your proposal for this space then? And stating 'Empty storefront' doesn't count!"

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There are already two very high profile spaces in the Square that have been empty for at least a year (Bob's Pita, Select Cafe), and I haven't heard any positive news about either of them getting filled. I'd hate to see another spot sit empty for god knows how long just because a small but vocal group oppose Unleashed. I'm a frequent Cabaret customer and I don't expect that to change, but my experience has been that the two aren't selling exactly the same product line.

Maybe I'm being naive here, but with 40-50 new apartments getting built right in the Square within the next year and the Square attracting more diners/shoppers from outside the neighborhood (thanks to our amazing farmer's market, and the two new restaurants opening in Derna's and the Substation), I'm optimistic that there will be more than enough demand for both.

Now if only Family Dollar didn't look like it was constantly ransacked by Visigoths...seriously - who runs that place?

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That chain store Petco also started as a small business, they should be able to set up shop any where in Boston, is their an alternative , I guess not. I've never heard of a mom and pop pet store in a Boston neighborhood. I'm sure their are alot of People with Pets in Roslindale sq area .There is probably a need of a pet store. They need to break the chain when it comes to outside businesses coming in, example of a business chain that started as a small business in Jamaica Plain (JP Licks )if they wanted to set up shop in Roslindale Sq will they also be subject to a Petition!

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Mom n Pop (or Mom n Mom) pet store in Roslindale. It's called Pet Cabaret and it's been on Washington St. for a number of years. Great service, good people.

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Ya wondah, ah say, ya wondah how them double D fellas evah got pahmishun to set up that theah store!

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someone complained "we're drowning in cars" with a bunch of applause... yeah... I don't think petco stands a chance.

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That someone might be able to buy non-organic, free range dog food in town? Can we also get the Staples closed so that the kitchen store doesn't have competition selling Soda Stream bottles? How about Roche Brothers - don't they unfairly compete with Tony's Market?

Can I get a specific list of which retailers have spend '20 years developing the retail market' of the square?

Fornax - @ 20 years?
Village Market - ?
Solera- less than 10 years
Redd's, Sophia's Grotto - less than 10
Birch St Garden - less than 20
Cheese Shop - less than 10
Kitchen store - less than 10
Pet Cabaret - less
Tony's - way, way more.

Businesses open, businesses close, largely based on how well they meet the needs of their community.

Photo store - gone
Minerva's Owl - gone
that store which sold local crafts (which I liked!) that is now the yoga studio on birch - gone
the bookstore - gone
the shoe store that was a T-mobile store that was a eye glasses place that is now a barber shop (next to Village Fish)

I want local businesses to thrive and support many of them, but this is protectionist nonsense for a niche retailer. The five mile argument is especially stupid given that we live in a dense urban area. How many hundred thousand people live within 5 miles of Roslindale? Or are we only trying to account for the middle class residents of Roslindale when we talk about who gets to shop in the square?

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... of the places you mention in your first list, only Tony's was here when we first arrived. There are other places around that still exist (such as the other bakeries, the Greek fish store, probably the halal meat market, T Brothers, Harrison Appliance, Jay's Jewelers, various barber shops, etc).

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Roslindale Square was pretty moribund: You had the uniform store, the wallpaper store, Sullivan's, the Blue Star, Bob's Pita and a few other places.

The 20-year thing refers to efforts to turn the square into what it is now: A collection of (mostly) locally owned stores.

Fornax and the Village Market were among the first of the new stores back in the mid-90s (and let us stop to praise Tom Menino, who got the city to pay to clean up what turned out to be a hazardous-waste site in the center of the square, where the co-op market was going to go until they discovered just what was in that hole, so instead of a co-op we got the Village Market). Then Stavros Frantzis (granted, from JP, but close enough) bought up some key properties and gave us Birch Street and the courtyard.

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I appreciate the improvements, but I would love to see some evidence of what specific community actions can be directly linked to which businesses. I know Frantzis cleaned up the courtyards, but I've also heard him get blamed for all the turnover due to high rents (the classic evil landlord trope.)

Let's take the businesses which are 10 years old or less. Who can claim specific credit for any of these businesses opening due to community action:

Redds
The Kitchen Store
the Cheese Shop
Sophia's Grotto
shanti
Etc...

I'm sure they're lovely people at the RMVS, but I think there is a huge difference between boosting local business and actually facilitating it. I question their basis to act on behalf of the community to try to block someone from opening a store here. Maybe I'm not giving them enough credit, so let me know if I'm wrong.

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Disclaimer: I am a newly-elected member of the RVMS board, still getting my feet wet. I'm not trying to speak for the board here, just giving my own personal perspective on this.

It may be difficult to give "specific credit" for the opening of any of the individual businesses you list to RVMS or other community action. That doesn't mean that RVMS isn't making a significant contribution to the success of those businesses, though - the success of any single business doesn't happen in isolation. So, for example, RVMS does marketing that promotes the entire main streets district as a shopping destination, participates in landscaping improvements and other maintenance to make the area more welcoming for shoppers, conducts market profiles to help businesses understand their customer base, etc. If you ask the owners of any of the businesses you list, I'm certain that they would list RVMS initiatives among the reasons that they consider Roslindale to be a viable location for their business. In fact, most of the businesses you list have had their owners on the RVMS board at some time or another.

That said, there are also actions that RVMS takes to facilitate specific local businesses, as well. Among other things, RVMS provides marketing expertise to businesses and assists with storefront designs and signage. And, of course, the biggest local business project for which RVMS can take specific credit is the substation redevelopment project.

Now, to the larger question of whether it is productive for RVMS to try to block someone from opening a store here. Of course everyone on the board has their own perspective on this, and I'll try to give my own. For me it really doesn't come down to thinking that all chain stores are bad and all local shops are good. Likewise, the board doesn't unilaterally oppose chain stores. For example, Staples came to Roslindale with the support of RVMS. Looking at Petco Unleashed specifically, the point that concerns me most is that the transfer of sales from a local business to a chain generally results in a net decline in local economic activity, even when total sales between the two stores increase. When the introduction of a new business actually results in a net economic loss for the community, I think that's a real concern that at least deserves some discussion. To help facilitate that discussion, the entire community is welcome to participate in the upcoming meeting, not just opponents of the Petco store. Hopefully it will help us all gauge the local feelings as to whether this would be a welcome addition to the square.

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I don't see why it's fine to have, for example, three yoga studios which are probably directly competing with each other for the exact same customers where Petco might provide products to people who don't want to pay for the specific premium products Pet Cabaret offers. Right now I generally drive to the Pet Supplies Plus store in WR for cat food as they sell what I want to buy. So a more local alternative would be welcome as I'm not a current Pet Cabaret customer. This is not to say they're not a nice store or nice people or anything negative, just that their product mix doesn't meet my particular needs.

The substation is going to add one restaurant to the square, right? Fine by me, but isn't that also a net economic loss for Redds, Sophias, Delfino, etc... by your argument?

It's great that RVMS exists to promote local business - I just don't think it should take an active role in trying to predict what the shoppers of Roslindale actually want by trying to block businesses from opening.

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I can't really speak to the situation with the yoga studios. For the restaurants, I'm under the impression that, in general, restaurants thrive when they are clustered together to make an area into a dining destination. For example, it was reported right here on Universal Hub that the owners of Sophia's Grotto are supporting the owner of Delfino in their effort to convert Derna's into a full-service restaurant that stays open late.

As for whether RVMS is trying to "take an active role in trying to predict what the shoppers of Roslindale actually want", I'll just say that the overwhelming response to the request for comments played a big role in the board's decision. It's certainly fair for you to say that RVMS will generally favor local businesses over chains - you might even note that it's part of the organization's mission. But I think the board also tries to consider each specific case on its own merits, and in this case community feedback - and not just a prediction - was a big part of the process.

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I would argue that the 'overwhelming response' to a request for comments reflects the particular passion of one subset of the community at large. It can't really be viewed as a referendum in any way, sort of like the problem with a lot of political primaries - the motivated activists are perceived to be much more representative than they probably are.

I'd be willing to be there are tons of people who'd like to shop at a Petco Plus instead of driving to Petco or Pet Supplies Plus in WR/Dedham, i.e. folks who aren't Pet Cabaret customers, who'd welcome this store. However, they don't care enough or aren't aware of the discussion about it to get RVMS feedback. Comments here from Roslindale residents seem to be about 50/50 for/against.

Personally, I'm not a huge proponent of PetCo opening here as much I'm an opponent of the concept of filtering who gets to open businesses in Roslindale based on a what a small group of people think.

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I think it's important to be concerned about whether we're doing too much "filtering." I also think it's important to have a group that is thinking about the overall local economy. As I said above, there's reason to believe that adding this store could have an overall negative effect on local economic activity, and we shouldn't just ignore that.

Main Streets groups tend to advocate in favor of local businesses, and on this issue it's true that it's probably difficult for people who see things differently to really organize - after all, how would you go about organizing around taking little or no action? On the other hand, chain stores themselves are operating from a position of strength - they have massive resources available to them that give them an advantage in the market, and many of the costs that they impose on the local economy are largely hidden from consumers.

This would all be so much easier if each individual customer's costs and benefits aligned perfectly with the overall community's. That's not the case, though, and so we'll naturally have this kind of conflict. Thanks for keeping the discussion respectful.

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Without saying whether I think a Petco plus would be a good idea or not, I will say that I find hilarious all these comments assuming the RVMS can somehow strong-arm what businesses do or don't set up shop in the square. Or that they conspire to lead opinion among Roslindalers.

As far as this sort of stuff goes, the RVMS has little power other than as a portal for general community censensus. And I'd say they are far more tuned into the feelings of the general population around the square than the cynical, mostly-decamped grumps that make up a vocal minority of UH readership.

RVMS can't hold up building permits, get unions to freeze out a work site, or organize post-development boycotts. (Even if they could, I very much doubt they would - I don't know all the RVMS members, but I know a few, and they're just regular folks from the neighborhood, not machiavellian communist conspirators).

What they seem to do well is letting folks know what may be in the works for the area around the square, gathering info about how people feel about it, and encouraging them to make their wishes known (pro or con) to those who are considering doing business here.

Roslindalers generally don't get all hot and bothered and "protesty" about stuff like this. We talk amongst ourselves at the farmer's market, or while getting a lime ricky at Jimmy's, or after services at St. Nectarios. And then we get up and speak politely at a community meeting, and write lots of letters.

And perhaps surprisingly, that seems to have worked out fairly well for us. I can't think of a single new business development in the village that has not been improved when it's taken into account what Roslindalers want. I think that's a big reason this neighborhood has been flourishing so strongly for the last couple decades. People feel like development here proceeds at a steady sustainable pace and serves real wants and needs of the community, and not the desire of someone living far away to suck some dollars out of our pockets and into anonymous off-shore bank accounts.

Sometimes that means chains are ultimately welcomed (eg Staples) and sometimes not.

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But, of course, I am tempted to use your description for the other side, but they are good folk nonetheless.

In spite of my dislike of one of the words in RVMS's name, they've done a good job keeping the Square in good shape. And as I like to note, they are distinct from, though probably in close relation to, the Roslindale Board of Trade, whose dislike of chains or any other kind of competition is understandable and at the same time means their opinion should be taken with a grain of salt.

Honestly, I don't know how Domino's got stopped or why the owners of the Ashmont abandoned property had such a hard time getting their property to become productive. I can see if there is permitting involved, in those cases where government bodies need to vote on proposals. We see this all the time in Allston on this website, for better or for worse. The big question is, why can't the Beck Realty Trust or the Lenox Realty Trust or whoever owns the building just sign the lease with PetCo and end it with that? That's kind of how the free market works.

If you don't like chains, don't shop them. I loved getting my Lime Rickeys at Brighams back in the day, which was a treat for enduring mom while she was at Cummings. The chains didn't kill the place then. They won't now.

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You state that the RMVS is 'gathering info about how people feel about it, and encouraging them to make their wishes known (pro or con) to those who are considering doing business here.' Actually, they gathered some info and then based on what they heard, they are now circulating a petition to actively discourage Petco Plus from opening. That's not simply an information distribution effort. That's their prerogative as it is mine to wonder how that's better for the neighborhood. More stores, more shoppers, more activity in the square - it all sounds good to me.

To repeat my earlier point, I don't particularly believe the RVMS represents much more than the local business owners and some well-intentioned activist type Roslindale residents. I don't doubt they are far more attuned to what those people want, I'll agree. As a non-representative body, why not just focus on acting as a cheerleader for local business instead of as a gatekeeper? I would really, really hate to see something like the JPNC develop here.

The reason the neighborhood is flourishing is because it's an affordable place to live near downtown right on public transportation. But wait, you seem to claim there is some special type of 'Roslindaler' who created all this. I live in Roslindale (and have attended some of the same school meetings as you BTW) but thanks for telling me about what Roslindale is like. There are 30,000 people living here from a wide range of economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds with a wide range of wants and needs. I wouldn't presume to speak for all of them, but I guess I don't know the right people like you do.

If you and your pals deserve credit for all the local success stories, why did you then let MInerva's Owl, Sarida, the bookstore, etc... all fail? It's almost like there was a free market deciding which businesses work in Roslindale through trial and error.

Signed,

a local resident who just walked back from lunch at Fornax (or cynical decamped 'moon bat', YMMV)

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Unleashed by Petco is opening in the square, not a typical Petco store. Unleashed is a specialty store that sells high end products not the same products that a big petco sells. Be careful what you wish for.

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I agree that much of the RVMS e-mail contained hollow arguments, but there is some truth regarding the circulation of money and associated multiplier. Chains siphon the money out of town, whereas a local entrepreneur keeps it here, where it is spent again at another Roslindale shop. My preference is that we support the local independents through our purchase decisions, not strong arm tactics. That said, meetings and petitions can raise awareness and hopefully get people to think through the full impact of their choice when they select, for example, Home Depot over Roslindale Hardware or Wallpaper City.

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Chains siphon the money out of town, whereas a local entrepreneur keeps it here, where it is spent again at another Roslindale shop.

Ya think so, huh? That's a bit of a stretch.

What about a local guy that gets a franchise to a chain store? He owns it and runs it. The only difference is the name on the front. Local guy, employs local people, etc.

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Yes, franchises have a different impact on the economy from corporate-owned chain stores. It's great that they have local owners. They're still probably doing less good for the local economy than a truly local business, though. For example, do you think the Subway franchise in Roslindale Square is using a local company to develop its marketing materials? Do you think they use a local company for their refrigeration units, the way that Tony's Market does? Do you think they get their bread from Fornax, the way that several local restaurants do? There are a lot of things to consider, and every case is different. There's no blanket "all chains are bad and all local shops are good" answer here, but in general when you think about impact on the local economy, local shops will be better in terms of total local economic activity.

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Franchise's might be owned locally, but they are usually required to buy their inventory from headquarters or the franchise parent preferred partners, not other local businesses, and the good paying jobs at a franchise store are management atThat the national headquarters. That is not even mentioning the fact that chains, franchise or not, give an anywhere USA airport/stripmall feel to neighborhoods, whereas locally owned businesses contribute to the uniqueness that makes places like Roslindale square interesting and worth visiting for people that don't live there, brining more business to the neighborhood.

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I keep forgetting to ask my kiddos' school where I should buy uniform shirts now. JB Edwards was their only supplier. Wonder if they even know they're gone.

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How did I miss that Edwards is gone?

So now, when junior gets to Sacred heart, we'll have to fork our hard earned money out to someone who isn't even based in Rozzie?!

Yeah, and if Petco gets stopped, I will never buy things from Pet Cabaret if/when the rest of the family convinces me to go along with getting a dog. If you can't stand competition, you can't be that good.

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They seemed to be open yesterday.

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Kathy Cahill suggests a trip to L&M Bargain in ye olde discount strippe malle on American Legion Highway (also Uphams Corner).

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The uniform store is not closing. Adam has placed an edit on the opening page of this discussion.

JB, which is a legacy of what was once "Kiddie Land" is downsizing. The retail store is moving to a place in West Roxbury yet to be named. They are doing more sales via partnerships and "inside sales" with schools and school organizations as well as through the internet. As a result they do not need as large a retail space.

The building will remain in the family's ownership and will be renovated and leased to "Unleased by Petco." So as to local ownership, the building will remain in JB's hands. I guess one has to question whether this counts as being a local business person?

"Unleased" by its own description is a cut-down version of Petco. It will not sell live animals and will not have the same diversity of products. Rather it will concentrate on the average pet owner; read... cats, dogs, and canarys.

So much is pressed into what business is acceptable in Roslindale yet, so many people are not working with all of the details. And as noted herein, there are vacant stores in Roslindale that are not getting filled.

By any shot might the word be out on the street that Roslindale is NOT friendly to business or that it is made difficult to open here unless you please the Gods of Gentrification?

Should Roslindale Sq be a "Little Cambridge" like Inman Sq? Indeed, Inman is now what Harvard Sq used to be. Harvard Sq lost its fight - some in the courts - over the local vs. big chain argument.

What about the potential for more jobs? Should that be sacrificed? How long is it acceptable for stores to be vacant with the Sword of Damocles hanging over it before you say, "ok - we cannot get a small business owner... open it up."

Where is that dialogue?

Ashmont Discount remained a vacant building for a decade and more while it waited for an acceptable business to take it over. Didn't happen.

Unless there is already another business waiting in the wings to move in.... it's time to move on.

Also what about the rights of the business owner here, i.e. JB? Is this a fair treatment of a good business neighbor after all of the years of service to Roslindale?

And where is that dialogue? One day you're a local business hero and the next you are the Evil Empire.

Geez, people.

After 6-decades plus in Rossie I don't get these newbie know-it-alls.

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***

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There is a difference between competition and corporations undercutting small businesses, their goal is to squash the small business people, this is why they are so successful and have such deep pockets. They have enough money to settle out of court with all the law suits against them. Just google it. If you are interested in supporting a business that has cut throat tactics and is known for deplorable conditions for the animals they sell (yes they sell animals), then don't sign the petition and shop often at Petco.

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I couldn't tell when I rode past it last week.

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OK, just called JB Edwards: They're NOT closing. They are, however, moving to West Roxbury. The clerk wasn't sure where, but said it was off Centre Street.

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... but sad they are moving way off to WR. ;~}

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Hey, I don't need to be supporting those West Roxbury businesses. If the people at RVMS want me to fall in line, I will only be buying things produced and sold in Roslindale, along with various game I will trap on my own and food grown in my own backyard.

It is good that Edwards will still be around.

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Let's not forget the true retail treasures of the square:

John's Bakery: which was last seen as a gambler's den on some awful reality show

Jerusalem Traders: please tell me this is a front for something, I don't wanna live in a world where people buy that kind of stuff with real money

Suya Joint: the most surreal dining experience I've ever had

Seymore Green's: your go-to source for t-shirts that will get you sent home from school

I get that Pet Cabaret has paid their dues, but don't act like a chain is going to sully our thriving retail district. Staples was one of the best things to open in Roslindale in a long time.

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Darn, now I want some chicken jollof rice.

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I hope PetCo goes in. There currently isn't a store in the square that sells anything I need/can afford. There's a reason chain stores are successful. They carry a larger selection of products for less money. For low-income people (I work at a non-profit), it's a no-brainer.

If you're making so much that you can pay more just for the satisfaction of "shopping locally" that's awesome for you. In my opinion, that's living in a bubble. I buy my groceries at Shaw's. I get coffee at DD. I get prescriptions at CVS. Occasionally I go to (gasp) Target. I even order from Amazon! In fact I order cat food from Amazon because it saves me a trip to Dedham.

I'm not a terrible person. I'm not ruining the economy. I pay all kinds of taxes. And I have a cat with an insatiable appetite to feed.

What makes a chain, anyway? If your favorite shop does well and opens a second shop do you boycott them?

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The RMVS values local business owners over local consumers

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Come on. You can't see the difference between a mom and pop shop opening up a second location and Walmart? There's a balance. If you ONLY want to shop at Dunks, Shaws, CVS and Petco then fine. However, other people in your community would like options and one of those options is a local alternative to big national chains. If you don't like that, then why did you move to a community which is invested in keeping local businesses thriving? Obviously it doesn't make you an evil person to buy coffee at Dunks, pay extra to buy your groceries at Shaws, etc. There are plenty of neighborhoods with no local retail whatsoever. Thankfully people in Roslindale are making a concerted and good-natured effort to give the average person the opportunity to open up their own small businesses in this neighborhood. I for one applaud them.

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Why did I move to Roslindale? Because it was the only neighborhood in Boston that I could afford. I didn't have the luxury of considering the community's views on chains (and there's enough of them around, so how was I to know?), I just needed a place to live. And now I'm a part of this community. I'm also someone who does zero shopping here unless I get some stuff at Stop and Shop out of convenience.

Where do you think Walmart or any other chain came from? They don't spring up over night. They start as local business and they thrive. Sure there's a difference between Walmart and a small business owner who has one or two locations, but can you see that one necessarily started as the other? At what point should locals pull their support?

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Stores come and stores go. Sullivan's was across the street from the Longfellow School. Roslindale Hardware was next to the Muni. The library was a fire house. There was Surman's Parke Snow's (where Jay's Jewelers was inside), Kresge's Lodgen's, Suffolk Franklin Bank., Santoro's Bakery, the Rialto. This is the Rozzi I grew up with. If things remain static, they grow old and die. You can remember the old, even venerate the old, but always make way for the new.

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What we would give here in Dot to have a reputable chain with their corporate dollars open shop, and by chain I don't mean yet another CVS to capitalize on us poor people's bad health, especially now that they don't sell Newports.

It must suck to be a yuppie. You poor things.

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Tomorrow morning, I'm supposed to go on a tour of Dorchester with somebody who thinks I don't know the first thing about the neighborhood.

Sounds like you need a similar tour of Roslindale.

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But you've got to put down your double grande caffe macchiato and get out of your Volvo for the true experience.

I'm just playin'. You're awesome! Seriously. Ain't nobody else reporting on the shit that goes down around here and we love ya for it, man!

Thank you...for realz.

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Ain't nobody else reporting on the shit that goes down around here

Truth.

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...you can't keep conflating your Boston neighborhood stereotypes, or you're going to lose all credibility. Rosindale yuppies drink cafe americanos, and they drive Priuses (Priui?). Move a few miles north into JP, and they do drink macchiatos, but they all drive Subarus.

Near as I can tell, you've got to go way out into West Rox before you stumble over the Volvo crowd.

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We have:
-Dunkin Donuts
-Subway
-Stop n' Shop
-Shaw's / Star Market (whatever they go by these days)
-Walgreens
- Boston Sports Club
-Boston Market
-KFC
-Staples
-Rite Aid
-Supercuts
-McDonalds
-Burger King
-Lamberts (has a few locations, so I guess it's a chain)
- All of the stores in South Bay (though there are conflicting opinions as to whether that is Dot Southie, or Roxbury)

I could go on.... We do not have a Petco, such a shame.
I am very proud of the family owned, non-chain businesses we have in Dot and would rather support them, than the big chains.

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At least if you went to a chain store drug store they would at least give you the amount of medication that your prescription calls for and not like Sullivans in the square that don't put all the medication your prescription calls for in the bottle and when you call to speak to the owner he tells you there's nothing he can do. That's the problem with these so called mom and pop stores they are all you get in the area and do what they want.

Can you imagine how many people over the years that Sullivands Pharmacy in Roslindale Square has screwed over ? Hmmmm

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I think shopping at a locally owned pharmacy is important for my privacy. Most if not all chain pharmacies sell your prescription information to big analytics companies who resell it to advertisers, other analytic companies, and pharmaceutical companies. Smaller, locally owned pharmacies don't tend to, since its not worth the time for the analytics companies to gather the much smaller datasets and the small payment per script is really only profitable for companies that have hundreds of thousands of customers.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamtanner/2014/01/06/company-that-knows-wha...

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Is that PetCo Unleashed has a real life dog mariachi band that will perform in front of the store.

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....IS A COFFEE SHOP, PLEASE. IT WAS SWEET WHEN EMACK'S WAS THERE, THEN SELECT CAFE, BUT NOW THERE AREN'T ANY OPTIONS FOR SMOOTHIES, ICE CREAM, COFFEE, PASTRIES AND OTHER DELICIOUS THINGS IN ONE PLACE IN THE SQUARE.

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Maybe, maybe, maybe Derna's could wind up that way (they plan on lighter fare than at Delfino).

But in the meantime, I had breakfast last week at the Sweet Life Bakery in Lower Mills, and that would be awesome in Roslindale, except I'd probably spend way too much time and money there, because it's just a great place.

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No breakfast espresso drinks in Rozzie?!? This yuppie scum needs his espresso!! Select Cafe was an abomination but the location is perfect for a coffee shop right next to the train station and all.

I hope someone can make this happen so long as the owners and baristas are Roslindale natives and the coffee was grown in the Arboretum (the Roslindale side of the Arb, south of Bussey,of course) and exclusively hand-roasted by Rozmanauts.

Oh, and the milk has to come from cows grazed on Peters Hill.

KEEP IT LOCAL, PEOPLE!

(All kidding aside. The square needs a real coffee place.)

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I say YES to PetCo Unleashed. There may be multiple locations within 5 miles but that 5 miles could take you 45min to get to one, and if you don't have a car forget about it!! I have been to Pet Cabaret once and it was a BUST, I have done nothing but drive by it ever since. I read that one of their claims to fame is turtle supplies and since I don't have a turtle I have no use. I live one block away and drive south street every day and I would be happy to deal with the traffic and the "unsafe walkways" for a little more convenience.... Food for thought "According to Boston Animal Control records, there are 8,500 dogs registered citywide and approximately 4,000 of them live in Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and West Roxbury." so why shouldn't there be a PetCo?

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