I’m in a state of shock! Last week, my husband and I decided to check out D’Agostino now that it has been “rescued” by John Catsimatidis, owner of Gristedes. It’s much closer than Western Beef and it would be more convenient for everyone in our neighborhood area to shop there.
However, the prices were outrageous! For instance, Western Beef cucumbers were four for $2.00, while at D’Agostino, they were $1.69 EACH. This kind of price difference was evident everywhere we looked. We got so disgusted that we didn’t bother to compare other prices in the store.
What happened to Bob James, COO and President of D’Agostino, and his plan to create programs and an everyday pricing policy that would benefit seniors? People on fixed incomes will have a very difficult time trying to feed themselves if they have to shop at his store.
Mrs. Green’s prices were extremely high, but it was a natural foods store. The Hudson Street location is now closed. The space Mrs. Green’s occupied had a few supermarkets as tenants quite a few years ago—Key Food, and I believe, Sloan’s. It would be so good if a reasonable supermarket could open up there. The politicians are talking about affordable housing—how about affordable and convenient food shopping?
Maybe City Councilman Corey Johnson could look into bringing some supermarkets into the neighborhood. I know the problem is greedy landlords who have been raising rents to astronomical levels. There used to be quite a few reasonably priced supermarkets in the neighborhood and now we have none except Western Beef, which is far for many people, particularly the elderly and infirm. Of course, it has also been raising prices, but it is still affordable. (I can’t call D’Agostino a supermarket because of the prices it charges.)
Would it be possible to offer the stores a tax break to open a reasonably priced supermarket in our neighborhood, or subsidize owners as we do “affordable” housing, or get the landlords to ease up on the rent increases? Even though Corey Johnson’s herculean efforts to get the owner of the Associated supermarket building to see reason were unsuccessful, maybe he could find some owners who have a heart and agree to open supermarkets with affordable prices within a shorter distance?
I noticed that the City Council is considering public money for Citi Bike (a profit-making company) to bring the bike share to all boroughs. Wouldn’t a better use for that money be to ensure that people can purchase affordable food in their neighborhood?