In his diatribe about the demise of in.gredients (Letters
, May 4), the writer manages only to come up with the owners’ home ZIP codes and some vague association with a real estate enterprise as evidence of greed and lack of interest in community. His most damning evidence is that its prices were “inaccessible” to residents of the neighborhood. Sure, gentrification is a complicated issue, often positing quality of life against affordability. But price-wise, what do you expect from a small, independent business that attempts to sell unique, locally produced, organic goods on a small scale? How can it compete with the H-E-B, Randall’s and Whole Foods business models that depend on high volume turnover of mass-produced merchandise to keep prices “accessible” (or maybe not, in WF’s case)? Perhaps you’d rather see another 7-Eleven or Starbucks in that location, but how would you rate those corporations’ commitment to local community and culture? At least in.gredients was a nice place to sit outside with neighbors and enjoy a beer, eat healthy, uniquely prepared food choices and listen to local musicians, with kids running around playfully.
As a 13-year resident of the neighborhood, I’d pick that any day over 7-Eleven, even if it costs me a bit more. But maybe I’m part of the problem.