No flowers for Algernon ... or anyone else. Finally, some brave corporation is taking the initiative to combat Berkeley’s appalling shortage of coffee shops and juice bars. Whole Foods, it’s good to know we can count on you to satisfy our left-wingin’-intellectual beverage needs. And in such a primo location—that aromatic little hut at the corner of Ashby and Telegraph avenues—we can’t help but wonder why on earth there wasn’t a coffee/juice bar in that exact spot sooner! Oh, wait.

Whole Foods will be opting not to renew the lease of the little neighborhood florist, Ashby Flowers, in order to make room for their intended business venture.  Now, one could, if one so desired, call attention to just how bitterly perfect an example this is of Big Corporate Bully bullying Little Family-Run Landmark. And, being Berkeley, that is exactly what happened.

Dozens of local community members and small business owners staged a small protest outside Whole Foods’ Emeryville headquarters on Wednesday. Whole Foods reports that they attempted to help relocate the 60-odd-year-old florist, but Ashby Flowers refused for fear of losing their loyal local customers. And so none other than Whole Foods has, this week, come to embody slimy corporate America. Whodathunkit?

Image Source: David Herschorn, Daily Cal.
Florist Battles Whole Foods Market Over Lease Renewal [Daily Planet]
Beloved Local Flower Shop May Be Required to Close [Daily Cal Brazil download ]



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