Aggregation: Korean grocer for Central, troubles for Chipotle, Harvard back to building
The replacement for the Harvest Co-op Market in Central Square: H Mart, a New Jersey-based Korean grocery chain, according to The Boston Globe. The paper reported Saturday that the 18,000-square-foot space being vacated by the co-op and Clear Conscience Cafe will reopen after renovations from September to February — while Harvest moves across the street to replace the Jax Liquidation Outlet. The chain looked first at the empty Blockbuster space in Central, the Globe said, but was happy to find the larger space available. Its Burlington site “has an entire aisle dedicated to noodles, more than a dozen types of the cabbage dish kimchi and a food court,” which can fit into the Central site, according Morris Naggar, of 3MJ Realty. Just … smaller.
From the Globe:
“H Mart is going to be an amazing contribution to Central Square. It is a huge draw with an incredible produce section and fresh, prepared foods,” Naggar said. “But it is different enough with a lot of Asian foods so that it is not in direct competition with Harvest.”
The co-op, meanwhile, is expanding outside Cambridge, having signed letters of intent for two projects, said Chris Durkin, director of membership and community relations at Harvest. “Harvest has been selected as the anchor retailer for the Fenway Project, a green development occurring in the Fenway and is the grocer for the Arboretum Project, a development near the Forest Hills T stop bordering Jamaica Plain and Hyde Park,” he told members on the chain’s website.
The site has time to squeeze in a parking lot Co-op Faire, running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 7, featuring other area co-ops such as Equal Exchange and Broadway Bicycle.
Meanwhile, a blogger on Huffington Post is going after Chipotle, another chain experiencing rapid growth, this time in Cambridge. The fast food restaurant chain can be found at Alewife, Harvard Square, Somerville’s Davis Square and is opening sites in Kendall and Central squares.
“The burrito chain’s impressive growth has earned it the respect of both fast-food industry heavyweights and stock market analysts. Chipotle also received plaudits for its self-described mission of ‘Food With Integrity,’” writes labor blogger Sean Sellers. “Yet … for four years, the company has refused to commit its market influence and symbolic weight to the emerging solution to the abuse and degradation in Florida’s agricultural fields. Chipotle has repeatedly spurned the invitation by farmworkers to forge an equal partnership and has instead opted for a go-it-alone approach that eschews farmworker participation and transparent oversight.”
Sellers’ post on how Chipotle fails to take a stand against “modern-day agricultural slavery” is here. (Thanks to Terra Friedrichs, an activist with the Sustainable Economy Working Group of Occupy Boston, for noting the original item.)
Harvard, after stopping work on its Allston science center years ago when a tanking economy took a toll on its endowment, announced Wednesday a return to construction, The Harvard Crimson reported. “The facility, which will be called the Health and Life Science Center, will house academic projects for stem cell science and engineering and physical sciences,” wrote the paper’s Alyza J. Sebenius on Thursday.
Construction, however, doesn’t start up again until 2014, according to Harvard officials quoted in the piece. A letter from Katie Lapp, a Harvard executive vice president, is here, with an overview of the next steps toward development activity at the site and a link to the university’s Allston-focused website.