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New Seasons CEO Correspondence

Here's a correspondence between a resident of this neighborhood and Brian Rohter ceo of New Seasons. The person writes to him about rent hikes and concerns about gentrification resulting directly from the New Seasons store going in and he writes back(putting what's called "spin" on her message) to defend his products and talk about how wonderful they are and to make sure that she feels alone in her fight. Well she's NOT alone! Petitioners are gathering 50 signatures a day to say NO to New Seasons Corporate "health" food market! That sure beats the "dozens" he claims to have. By the way who considers coca-cola products health food anyways? This place is just a Fred Meyers in whole food's clothing.
>> To:  brianr@newseasonsmarket.com
> Subject: Hosford-Abernethy resident
> I have been a resident in this neighborhood for 7yrs. In anticipation
> of your store coming into my neighborhood, the landlords have raised
> rents and plan to raise rents further when your store opens. This
> neighborhood is currently experiencing gentrification. This would only be
> aggrivated by an expensive high-end "health" food store moving in. We've
> seen already what happened when Nature's came along. We learned our
> lesson of effect of corporate greed on low income neighborhoods the hard
> way. Many renters have already been run off because of high rents and
> property taxes. Many of these people had lived here for many years and
> had watched their children grow up here. Before all of the money-minded
> upper class people started invading, this used to be strong community.
> This was a community where you knew your neighbors well and we all
> watched out for eachother. The new people don't even talk to us. They go
> so far as to ignore us if we say hi. Many of us are still hanging in here
> because this is our home. This has always been a safe low income
> neighborhood with good schools, just the place where I want my son to
> grow up. Your store threatens to be the last stand before we are all
> served our eviction notice. We are willing to stand firm against your
> store. We are fighting for the future of our families and we can not
> stand down this time. Their may be "dozens of people" who wouldn't mind
> your store, but there are many more than that who love this neighborhood
> just as dearly as I do and who are willing to stop this destructive
> process. Besides all this, there is no need of another "health" food
> store in this neighborhood. As mentioned before there is Nature's up the
> street and there's the more affordable People's co-op that is actually a
> neighborhood favorite. People's has been a part of this community for
> years and has never caused us any rent hikes. I hope that you will
> respect our rights to affordable housing and place your store somewhere
> that it is wanted.

Brian Rohter responds

> Thanks for sending your e-mail. It seems as though you and I just are
> seeing things differently.
> There are a few points you make that I disagree with.
> First of all, New Seasons Market is not an "expensive high-end health
> food store". We operate neighborhood stores that carry a wide variety of
> products, including conventional groceries and natural and organic foods.
> We're opening in a neighborhood that just had three grocery stores close
> and in a location where there was a grocery store for many years. We'll
> offer most of the products that the Red Apple carried and our prices will
> be our prices are about the same as the Safeways and the Albertsons of
> Portland. It's true that organic produce costs more than the
> conventionally grown version, but since we offer both, our customers can
> decide for themselves which they want to buy.
> You seem to think that People's and Wild Oats take care of all of the
> shopping needs of the area. Many of your neighbors disagree.
> Some of them shop at People's and some at Wild Oats but there are lots
> of products they want to purchase that neither store carries. Is there
> some reason you think those people should have to leave the community to
> do their shopping?
> In regards to your perception about the friendliness or lack of
> friendliness of your neighbors-I'm not sure what to think. I can tell you
> that the people that I see at our stores in Sellwood and in Concordia are
> wonderful. We serve a diverse group who are open, friendly and inclusive.
> Our stores are community gathering places where people hang out, meet
> newcomers and visit with their neighbors.
> Finally, the level of support from the residents of southeast Portland
> for a New Seasons Market at Seven Corners has been fantastic. We are
> putting our store where it is wanted. I'm sorry you don't want us to be
> there but encourage you to vote with your dollars to support the stores
> that you do want.
> Regards,
> Brian Rohter
Brian Rohter
> President
> New Seasons Market
> 5320 NE 33rd Avenue
> Portland, OR 97211
> Phone: 503-292-1987 extension 101
> FAX: 503-292-6280
>  brianr@newseasonsmarket.com
> www.newseasonsmarket.com

Responce to Mr. Rohter

Thanks for responding. It seems as though you and I are seeing things
> from two ends of a class struggle Mr. Rohter. I frankly don't give a damn
> about your products or what a dozen settlers think of them. I do care
> about the wellbeing of my neighbors. I do care that you plan to tear down
> a home. I do care that the people that I love and care about would be
> forced out of their homes because of rent(or property tax) hikes. As I
> told you before(and you slipped around like a well trained publicist)
> landlords have raised rents in anticipation of your store moving in and
> plan to raise them again after your store opens. So I will again ask that
> you respect our rights to affordable housing in our neighborhood. We DO
> NOT want you here, in case you haven't noticed.

homepage: homepage: http://www.nonewseasons.org

corporations are preditors 07.Aug.2003 10:42


Corporations are preditors. They prey on each other and there customers. Originally the constutution was write to protect the people (or individuals) from the peoples (or corporate interest). The founding fathers understood the unfair advantage entities with large amounts of money had in swaying political opinion. Now more than ever corporate interest dominate government actions. We are on a slipperly slope.

Don't hate, celebrate! 07.Aug.2003 14:04


You guys are way off base in the anti-New Seasons campaign. For so many reasons.

First, I live near the Concordia New Seasons and my rent is very low and has not been raised. I see people from my community working in the store. We have a minority-owned and operated rib joint operating out of the parking lot. Thanks to New Seasons this is a small business that is doing very well.

The prices are more reasonable at New Seasons than Nature's or People's, or Alberta Co-op.

New Seasons holds free workshops for the community, and often has weekend fundraisers for local organizations; it is a good neighbor and an asset to the community.

You guys rail against New Seasons in the name of "corporate preditors" [sic] as if you can not tell the difference between transnational corporations with no obligation to the communities in which they are located across the globe, and locally-owned and operated ones that "do good by doing well" such as New Seasons.

The slurs against Brian Rohter are a sure sign that your argument is intellecutally empty. Several times his name has come up as being once a general manager of Nature's -- as if that was a crime -- and the fact that Nature's was sold off to a national chain, linking Rohter with an action that nobody can say whether he was a part of or not.

New Seasons is a company owned and operated by local families and you are trying to smear them. Despite claiming to speak for your community, the community is not really afraid of New Seasons, it's more like, you are jealous of people who succeed in making money.

New Seasons will be a great part of the SE neighborhood. I know, because they have been a great presence in my neighborhood.

i live there too 07.Aug.2003 14:22


I live in the Concordia neighborhood too and I HATE the fact that New Seasons has come in! Now 33rd is clogged with SUV traffic 24/7. I've been in that store and it is fucking crowded with yuppies buying thousands of dollars worth of shit they don't need that's produced by greedy corporations. You don't see people of color in that store except behind the deli counter. The rib stand was successful way before NS decided to build a parking lot around it. And now there's a Walgreens going in on the same acre and a vacant storefront that's just ripe for a Starbucks. As for the rent, there is no more rental housing because one bedroom bungalows are being sold for $250,000!

More food for thought:
Boca Burgers is owned by Kraft, which is owned by Phillip Morris.
Seeds of Change is owned by M&M/Mars Candy.
Silk Soy Drink is owned by White Wave, which is owned by Dean Foods, whose main shareholders are: Microsoft, Philip Morris, Citigroup, Pfizer, ExxonMobil, Coca Cola, Wal-Mart, Pepsico and Home Depot.
Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen are owned by General Mills, whose main investors include: Philip Morris, ExxonMobil and Monsanto.

Rohter is a greedy mercenary 07.Aug.2003 14:33


Ask the Red Apple who raised their rents before they went out of business

My 2 cents 07.Aug.2003 14:35

Mike Cosworth

This Rohter guy is no nice guy. He is out to make money and doesn't give a damn about the community. That is just the facade he would like to portray. He is just another corporate slimeball looking to climb up the backs of others.

This is what passes for reasoned argument? 07.Aug.2003 14:56


I live in the Concordia neighborhood too and I HATE the fact that New Seasons has come in! Now 33rd is clogged with SUV traffic 24/7. I've been in that store and it is fucking crowded with yuppies buying thousands of dollars worth of shit they don't need that's produced by greedy corporations. You don't see people of color in that store except behind the deli counter.

There is a lot of traffic on 33rd, not all, or even most, SUVs. While I wish traffic were not so dense, I suppose it's better than nobody coming into the neighborhood ever because there is nothing there they want or noeed.

"crowded with yuppies"

What the hell does this phrase mean? How can you tell who is a yuppie and who is not? And even if you could, why would you want to drive them away? Yuppies buy shit on Alberta and at Last Thursday and all the other venues that keep hipster artists from starving and even allows them to spend a few dollars at New Seasons and dare I say? AGC.

"buying thousands of dollars worth of shit they don't need that's produced by greedy corporations. "

First I doubt that the individual, yuppie or otherwise, is buying "thousands of dollars" worth of shit whether they need it or not, and who are you to say one way or another? Would you want people commenting on what you buy? No? Then don't judge others.

As for the "greedy corporations" -- including the list you posted -- so what if Kraft Foods makes Boca burgers? Isn't it great that a company such as that recognizes there is a market for vegan/meatless burgers? I've heard people complain that mainstream culture is ignoring their meatless dietary needs and now you got the most mainstream of all companies catering to you and that is no good either. Instead of working with these companies you whine that the "greedy corporations" are horning in. You sound like the guy whose favorite alternative band has a hit song on the charts and now they suck because everybody likes them.

"You don't see people of color in that store except behind the deli counter."

Not true, I do see people of color shopping in New Seasons, especially Sunday afternoons when the whole place is busy. And what's wrong with black or brown people working behind the counters? I bet if you didn't see people of color working there you would bitch that New Seasons won't hire from the community.

As for poster: Red Apple has been closed for years now. I guess you would prefer no business would operate out of there?

And Mike Cosworth: Your two cents is worth about nothing...name calling is too easy. Have any answers? Any solutions? Now that would be worth something, but are you and your supporters on this site, up to the challenge of acting instead of reacting? Of creating instead of destroying?

yuppies 07.Aug.2003 15:27

not one

Yep, I agree with "me"; mostly Young Urban Professionals shop at New Seasons.

"Would you want people commenting on what you buy? No?" Uh, I actually like in when my friends give me information about where my food comes from. I like to be educated and have my actions reflect my values.

The fact that all these small companies that produce natural wholesome food are getting bought up by large corporations that plant GM crops in the same field as their "organic" crops is scary to me. "Organic" could soon turn into the monoculture that's destroying our agriculture system today.

Solution? Grow your own produce or buy it at one of the many local farmers markets. Join a co-op and buy in bulk. Don't buy stuff that has a lot of packaging. Read labels. Cook your own food and share it. Educate yourself and others about where your food comes from.

New Seasons, Whole Foods and Wild Oats are not the answer.

Jealous? 07.Aug.2003 16:14


"Yuppies" also shop at People's and the other co-ops too. Don't hear too much complaining about that.

Great that you like to be educated, but I bet you wouldn't want some jealous person with a chip on his/her shoulder sneering at things that you like. I bet you wouldn't like it if people who were not your friends, and whom you didn't ask, were to judge you based on what you buy.

I am not a yuppie either, as I do not have the means or the personality to be one, but I recognize that yuppies have their place in the community and I do not envy those who have more than me.

I agree that the solution is to grow your own food and to support local CSAs. By the way, NS recently had a promotion featuring local small, organic farms and I bet a lot more "yuppies" were educated by that than the likes of the envious "hipper than thou" types looking down their noses at them. At any rate, you are free to shop wherever you like and to look down on those of us who shop where we like to shop, but you don't have the right to stop a business from moving into your neighborhood simply because you are jealous and hateful of the people who shop there.

methinks ^^ works for NS 07.Aug.2003 16:25


I suspect ^^ is the same ignorant pile of rancid pig guts who suggested that New Seasons is "the friendliest store in town" on a previous thread.

Really, the easiest thing to do is wait for NS to open, go in every day and get a couple of pounds of fresh seafood from the fish market and leave the pack on the back of a shelf in the store. If enough people take this approach, no windows will need to be broken.

Shoplifting is good too.

^^ is wrong again 07.Aug.2003 16:35

bad apple

The Red Apple closed no more than six, maybe eight, months ago. Not years, as you stated. Get your facts straight. Oh, and also, pull your ignorant liberal reformist head out of your ass.

I pray you experience every last drop of agony in the collapse of capitalism and that you are eaten by your own children. Just keep buying your Boca Burgers and hoping for the best. The divide between the richest and poorest in the world is growing and if you remain on the side of the capitalists you will be the first to go. Please continue wearing your reactionary badge on your sleeve so that you may be easily be identified.

Those Who Can't Argue The Facts ... 07.Aug.2003 16:47


....will argue with emotion. Name calling and ad hominen attacks being a perfect example. Congratulations! You've proven my point perfectly.

p.s. I do not work at New Seasons. Tee hee, silly!

Raising the Bar is not Corporate Greed 07.Aug.2003 17:09


I think it absurd to blame New Seasons Grocery for neighborhood gentrification. The store's mission is to be customer-friendly, stock high quality organic and other healthy foods, and price reasonably. They are certainly in tune with the neighborhood in Sellwood in various ways. They even have a place to leash your dog with water bowls outside the store. They sell only wild salmon and free range chicken. I would bet that they have taken many customers from Zupan's, Albertson's and Safeway, stores which could care less if you have to wait for 10 minutes in a long line to check out while the clerks are out in front smoking. That never happens at New Seasons.

The root causes of genrification of a neighborhood are complex and varied. Northwest 23rd Ave is an example which cannot be blamed on a single business and in some ways is probably a response to consumer demand. It is simplistic to blame New Seasons for increasing rents in the Concordia area. Landlords and developers probably have some culpability.

the facts 07.Aug.2003 17:12


NS is a capitalist business interested primarily in profit.

It is advantageous for businesses to market themselves as socially or environmentally responsible, thus convincing liberals that capitalism can be reformed.

Greenwashing is nothing new.

^^ writes in a manner similar to "Agent Orange", of chemtrail and tinfoil hat fame. It is not surprising that someone so gullible would fall for New Season's gimmicks.

You guys are off base 07.Aug.2003 17:25


Sounds like the welping of new pioneers, lock the door after you enter. Like ^^ I live near the New Seasons in Concordia and shop there occasionally. It's not too crowded and not too expensive. It's locally owned and seems to hire people who are happy working there.

Gee you guys are sure full of vitriol. You should save it for something which is substantial. EXCEPT - you probably are drones for those you seek to protect IRONY no? Unmask yourselves or your arguments are irrelevant. You say you are from the six corners area - prove it, chumps.

anonymity is preferable 07.Aug.2003 18:27

brown avenger

Anonymity is preferable if individuals intend to drive NS or any other liberal reformist institution out of business through cheap gags, unsanitary coincidences and lighthearted vigilantism. Be careful with the salad bar, it is easy for pranksters to mix human or animal feces in with the pickled beans or olives.

Works both ways brown avenger 07.Aug.2003 18:50


What makes you think a neighborhood "yuppie" woudn't put shit in food at the coop. You underestimate your neighbors, by your arrogant "I'm so radical" persona. Oh, didn't you consider that whoever it is you are labeling a yuppie, wouldn't commit little acts of vandalism on you?

If you insist on turning something so inane as a health food store opening in a neighborhood into a crime against humanity, then maybe you and others like you should eat shit. It really seems that you cannot deal with the possiblity that others might want New Seasons here. That many folks don't shop at coop anyway.

What? Don't shop at coop. They deserve to die! I see, so if others don't agree with you, you can't accept that. You're not being a very nice anarchist, trying to inflict your wishes on others.

Get over it, baby!!

who says I'm an anarchist? 07.Aug.2003 19:43

Brown Avenger

I'm not too worried about yuppies tampering with food at a coop. I doubt they could motivate themselves to do much more than commute-work-commute-sleep and I seldom shop there as it is. There are other ways of feeding oneself than buying food, silly child.

While tampering with food is rather unsavory, it is a solid tactic which would work to drive the new NS under very quickly. Issue a communiqué stating that a rather foul yet completely sanitary animal waste product was placed in one of the bulk food containers putting NS in the uncomfortable position of either disposing of the contents and cleaning all the hoppers in the bulk department or risk embarrassment when word got out that they had not. The tampering wouldn't even need to occur at the 7 corners NS. Any location would work. It wouldn't even have to be done, no one would know but the culprit. Don't take it so personally, this scenario is offered purely for your entertainment and would never, ever be used...as far as you know.

Sweet dreams and cook everything! X-(

A word of warning 07.Aug.2003 20:01

Sitting on the fence

Brown Avenger
Makes no difference if I agree with your tactics or not but a good point to remember is that we are not alone on Indy Media. There are many eyes and ears watching and listening. Please be careful of what you put across. We do not need to give them more ammo or play into the hands of the authorities.

to reiterate 07.Aug.2003 20:19


this scenario is offered purely for your entertainment and would never, ever be used

The choice is yours 07.Aug.2003 20:46

Fence Sitter

You know that and I know that but "those other guys" have little or no sense of humor. Okay the decision is your's I am not here to try to change any one's opinions.

Hmmm...good debate 07.Aug.2003 22:59


While I appreciate the vitriol present in this thread as well as the excitement of realizing just how questionable my bulk food purchases might be, I think the discussion of New Seasons really boils down to the differences of perspective about capitalism itself. On the one side are the folks who advocate democratic worker/community control and pricing based , ideally, on the cost of materials and labor (correct me if I'm wrong), and those who agree with the hierarchy of capitalism and the notion that pricing should be established by the market. To the former idealists (which includes me), there is frustration in being unable to express to the capitalist sympathizers that the predatory nature of capitalism cannot be eliminated only hidden. Apparently the later capitalist sympathizers feel that all we as a race can hope for is to hide the unsavory nature of capitalism the best we can.

No one argues that getting local produce and wild salmon at a good price is wrong in itself. Co-op supporters, however, see the encroachment of a significantly larger capitalist corporation selling similar products which are priced aggressively as a direct attack on on a old and respected institution which has been maintained by the vigilance of a generation of SE Portlanders. It is understandable for the co-op supporters to feel personally assaulted when they imagine years of work going down the toilet as the result of capitalists coming in and displacing them from their market niche. Certainly this is just the nature of capitalism and some would argue that it is value neutral. Survival of the fittest and all. If one takes that approach, though, be prepared for reprisals. With natural selection, nature doesn't recognize low blows and cheap shots. It always amuses me to hear capitalists cry "foul", when a protester smashes a window or a logging truck gets burned because capitalism itself is founded on theft (market pricing) and slavery (the wage system). You can't have it both ways. If you steal from the poor and give to the rich you better get comfortable with the prospect that the poor might get mad and shit in your granola.

Well, that's my two cents. I don't want to argue.

I've always figured... 08.Aug.2003 00:43


That there's only so much shit to go around. Not to impugn the oppressed, but I guess they crap about the same as the rest of us. That's why I tip well. I figure the worst I can expect is some saliva, which really doesn't bother me all that much. Go to the same establishments, form a reputation, tip well, and hope to get food from the free-of-excrement jar. That's my motto.

stop wasting your time 08.Aug.2003 10:36


I'm sick and tired of all this pointless anarchism. You all are so protest hungry that would protest a tree because it was in the way of a place that the homeless could sleep. Don't protest New Seasons. They are locally own and have good, organic food. Last time I checked, thats what liberals want. Oh wait I forgot we are all supposed to be a bunch of crazy ass burn everything anarchists. Honestly folks, anarchism doesn't go anywhere except for jail. It is not the way to fight society's problems, it just makes you look like them. And no more bullshit about New Seasons expensive - they are the same price as Safeway, Fred Meyer, etc. Grow up and protest real problems (Bush).

dave... 08.Aug.2003 13:15


I couldn't tell from your post whether you had read mine, specifically...

"To the former idealists (which includes me), there is frustration in being unable to express to the capitalist sympathizers that the predatory nature of capitalism cannot be eliminated only hidden. Apparently the later capitalist sympathizers feel that all we as a race can hope for is to hide the unsavory nature of capitalism the best we can.

Would you agree with this summary? If not please clarify.

And on another topic, since you put value in local ownership. Do you approve of Nike? They're local, AND are the largest consumer of organic cotton. Their labor record is lousy, but they've made a good attempt at greenwashing. I'm not being sarcastic. I really want to know your perspective.

besides, it would be SO EASY for them to be somewhere else 09.Aug.2003 08:33

tipping point

Aside from all the points mentioned above, it should just be reiterated that there are so many places other than right smack at 20th and Division where a new New Seasons could be. It could still serve the community, but could be further away from People Food Coop, the Red & Black, Mirador, poor residents, and other area inhabitants that would probably be driven out by the nearby presence of New Seasons.

A New Seasons could be in the central southeast industrial district really easily. No residents to piss off, no other grocery stores to destroy, already lots of car traffic there. Or what about out on 82nd somewhere? Already lots of car traffic, and a populace very much in need of healthy food alternatives.

New Seasons isn't going away. They exist. But if one is to posit that New Seasons is at all interested in COOPERATION and getting along with the community, rather than just competing and conquering, it seems like they could have easily chosen to set up their new store in a less sensitive area. If they care about the community, it just makes very little sense for them to be choosing 20th and Division.

It's also just sad that this is only now hitting this site and a larger awareness, when the area neighborhood association was having meetings about it many months ago. I heard that at those meetings, many attendees were very happy with the idea. This is of course due to the demographics of who goes to neighorhood association meetings, but it's something to think about. Maybe some low-income renters and progressive businesses should start going to more neighhorhood meetings?

Catholics chase out new Baptist church 09.Aug.2003 12:58


BTW, I agree entirely with alex, but I'm more of a liberitarian in that I won't have
peole tell me what kind of corn flakes I can eat. I also think a bunch of fucking
yuppies pissing and moaning about other yuppies is somehow distastfull.

Gentrification is the stupidest argument anyone could possibly have
come up with against the new New Seasons store. I moved into this lilly-white,
yuppie neighborhood from north Portland recently largely due to circumstances
beyond my control. In my old neighborhood there are no grocery stores at all.
I lived near where the New Seasons is on 33rd in NE before it opened. Poor folks
without cars had no where for miles around to get any kind of groceries what so
ever. That lot much like 20th and division sat empty for years providing no
service, no jobs to anyone.

The site of the future New Seasons recently was a grocery store. The Red
Apple catered to working class people. People's coop never has. I'm guessing
that the reason that the Red Apple closed is because there just weren't many
working class people around. Red Apple sold cheap food for people without
much money. Peoples sells ideologically pure food to people who are willing
to shell out two and three times more for groceries than they would if they
shopped at a working class grocery like Safeway. For example the only orange
juice Peoples currently has, is selling for six and a half dollars a half gallon.
I'm not fucking rich. I can't afford that. Don't know if New Seasons will
beat that but Safeway sure as hell can. I need vitamins and I can't afford
to shop at peoples. Given the choice between drinking a little pesticide and
dieing of scurvy I'll take the fucking pesticide. The market research folks
that work for New Seasons identified the area around 20th and Division as
being a health conscious, white, yuppie neighborhood. It is. New Seasons won't
change that. Peoples is not a store for ordinary working class people. Peoples
is more like a church of pure food and radical left economics. The folks that
shop there won't go to New Seasons when it opens. If peoples really wanted to
cater to working class people they could sell some stuff we could afford to buy.
I don't care if they don't. I don't see why anyone would, but think of a better
argument against New Seasons. Like increased traffic, ugly building, the store
will attract pan-handlers etc. In using the gentrification argument, you
parody yourself and the radical left in general. It's hysteria. You're using
catch phrases without thinking about what you're saying. Why not say it advances
the interests of the patriarchy and oppresses people of color? Contributes
to the destruction of the rain forests and US hegemony in Asia Minor? You're
grasping at straws, babbling. It's pitiful.

But most importantly.
Shouldn't people be free to shop where they want? Do what they want with out being
forced into narrow choices by a bunch of ideologues? What are you really afraid of?
That people might chose to do something (shop at New Seasons) that you feel is immoral?
That's like the Catholics trying to chase out the new Baptist church for fear of
loosing the congregation. It's fucking ridiculous. I undersand why people care about coops.
I've never understood why people think they can force there value system on others.
And I've always hated it when people used sham rationalizations to do that.
Why don't you go liberate someone's house in St John's? Search for morally unacceptible
food stuffs and overturn the existing oppressive socail order?
Big Bushes.
Little Bushes.
I don't see the fucking difference.

food is a right 10.Aug.2003 03:56


Is NS cheat or is it really spendy. who the fuck cares!!! food is a right that no one should keep from anyone else. as for peoples being to spendy, it's a co-op if you can't afford the food work for it. give up some of your time and they will just give you food. or at least discount alot for you. as for alex's view of capitalism, things should cost no money. it's not real community if your not willing to give some of yourself to recieve your credit in that community. spending money helps no one it just helps inslave us all and i don't want to be a prisoner any more! as for yuppies, being the favorite of the prison guards means nothing, your still in prison and your still their bitch. if you all want to live in jail be my guest i want to be free

Rock the competition 11.Aug.2003 10:49


So, like, the narrow choices being offered in the area are People's about 6-8 blocks away, and Natures/Wild Oats about 8-10 blocks away. I'd hate for anyone to die for lack of food choices in that neighborhood.

But seriously, to many people in the neighborhood, this looks like an attack on People's. Pure food, in this world we live in, costs more because there isn't an economy of scale for it. People's sells it, people volunteer there so they can buy it cheaper, and there are a lot of ways to shop there without spending a ton of money. The things that cost a lot, are usually an education in themselves. You want vitamin C, buy an Orange. If you want it mechanically pulped, it's gonna take a lot more oranges, expensive machinery, and lack the kind of scale which would bring the price down. But you can always make it yourself, if you want. People's sells to all sorts of people, which is why they carry expensive orange juice, and inexpensive base ingredients for people who like to make their own foods, or would rather spend some time doing work for themselves than for someone else.

It really isn't clear why New Seasons would want to move to the site of the failed Red Apple store, unless they were into some serious competition - like taking out their competition. Maybe they're after the Natures just up the street, but more likely I'd expect them to take out the little place just down the other street. That is a really amazing neighborhood, and if it suffers one setback, you can expect Red & Black and Mirador's and other calm places like that to be built over. Why doesn't New Seasons do more development in Northeast, if there are so few places to buy food there? Or if they like competition, how about a prominent place like Hawthorne? If they want to success, there's a really pathetic Safeway out on Woodstock surrounded by yuppies galore that is begging for an alternative. I support the people who are against New Seasons moving into their neighborhood, not because the store is the most evil thing since sliced bread, but because I support their activism in shaping their community.

Umm, skipping past all the bickering ... 11.Aug.2003 12:21


... to two main points: (1) if New Seasons wanted to serve a need in a neighborhood, they could locate out past SE 82nd to serve all the people who drive to inner SE to get organic food, and (2) they are most likely trying to take the market segment that People's has worked hard to build up over many years, rather than create one themselves, which to me seems pretty irresponsible.

Also, "Dave", I don't think I know anyone who is just sitting around trying to think up something to protest because that is their first passion in life. Most people would rather be doing something else, but strive for change when they just can't tolerate something any longer. I know I am certainly sick of corporate influence in my life. The building codes that New Seasons wants to change so that they can make additions in the neighborhood were most likely enacted by a democratic process in response to neighbors concerns. Large outfits like New Seasons that have a lot of money and influence can often come along and change those codes to suit themselves, regardless of what the neighborhood says about it. This is not on the same level of awfulness as logging in a national "preserve", but it certainly affects people's lives in a more intimate and immediate way. Especially if your rent is going up / you are forced to move out.

Railing against New Seasons = a huge waste of energy 11.Aug.2003 13:16


The arguments against New Seasons are silly. Unbelievably so. I live near the Concordia New Seasons, and I think it's the greatest grocery store that I've ever been to. The clientele is as diverse as the lower east side of manhattan, I have *never* seen anything less than a multicultural and ideological hodgepodge in there. Everyone from businesspeople getting off work to do their grocery shopping to indy/punk/emo kids buying popsicles. Plus, it's wayyyyyyyy cheaper than any of the other 'alternative' grocery stores, and is *THE ONLY ONE* that gives you a choice. Want to buy organic vegetables? You can! Want to buy Cap'n Crunch instead of Monkey O's? YOU CAN! It's freedom from every other grocery store philosophy within brick and mortar, and it's the only grocery store I even shop at anymore.

Natures/Wild Oats, on the other hand, is expensive, snotty, full of your "SUV driving yuppies", and is one of the biggest grocery store corporations in America. No better than Kroger.

At least New Seasons is locally owned and operated, and seems to care about their communities.

Alberta Co-op responds 11.Aug.2003 16:54

Bob New, Finance/Development Manager albertacoopgrocery@hotmail.com

Just wanted to weigh in on the conversation since I have seen the Alberta Co-op Grocery thrown into the conversation at times during this discussion. We have survived in the NE Alberta area (within spitting distance of both Natures and New Seasons) for over 2 years now mainly from the support of our neighborhood. It is the neighborhood that owns the store, much different from saying "locally owned" by other stores which have much money to throw behind their stores.

We organized as a buying club in 1996 with the intention of opening up a store on Alberta Street to give residents a choice of buying healthier foods for their families other than Safeway (MLK), Albertsons (52 Ave) or Fred Meyer (Broadway) and the smaller Natures on 24 Ave. There was few options for residents in this area to go to a local store (walking especially) to buy the food that we currently carry. Gentrification is an issue that we all really care about and while aware that the area is changing (mostly due to housing prices increasing out of control), we feel that the Alberta Co-op has improved that corner considerably (our landlord says that she had offers of turning that old, boarded up appliance store that used to be here into office space) and welcome any discussion about such issues. We are constantly learning about our neighborhood and what people want in that store and we are constantly changing and adapting to the needs of our shoppers.

As for the food in the co-ops being more expensive, our volunteer board of directors at Alberta Co-op has done periodic comparisons to the 2 other stores that bookend us here and find that much of our produce and bulk items are competitive with Natures and New Seasons and even less expensive in a lot of cases. Add onto the fact that if a person gets involved in the store as a volunteer (working member), a 15% discount is subtracted from the price of the food. . We are hoping that the changes we make in the next few months make our co-op even more neighborhood friendly and you can get involved in making this happen. The neat thing about being involved in a co-op is that people can have a voice in the decisions and changes that happenYou don't always get that at the other big stores, locally owned or not...

So, please get involved in the issues and be active in making changes in the communities that you live in. I helped to organize this co-op and it's the best way to get involved! Please contact me if you have any questions, comments or want to get involved with our co-op. Thanks.

In cooperation,
Bob New, Finance/Development Manager
Alberta Cooperative Grocery

We Can't Afford to Shop At A Store With An Ideology 11.Aug.2003 22:15


Those who shop at People's should be free to continue shopping at People's and put all of that misplaced energy and emotion into making People's stronger.

Those who can't afford the co-ops, or who lack the time or desire to work for food that we still have to pay for, will continue to shop elsewhere be it Freddies, Safeway, Whole Foods, or New Seasons.

I think New Seasons is the best grocery store in Portland, in terms of selection of goods, the store's policies, and pricing, so I will continue to shop there.

I am happy that the people of 20th and Division will have the same pleasure that I currently have: Being able to walk to a great market and buy great food without having to spend too much.

New Seasons is not a corporation 13.Aug.2003 16:04

Old Mcdonald eastbeaverton@yahoo.com

I have noticed that the word corporate keeps popping up in this discussion. I want to state for the record that New Seasons is not a corporation. A corporation is a faceless buisness with a board of directors and a ceo. New Seasons on the other hand is owned by local people who live in the community and care about making it better. i happen to be a local organic farmer and i sell my produce to new season groceries around the portland area. I for one am grateful to them for there commitment to buying locally and look forward to there new stores as further outlets for my products. I think it is hypicritical to think that healthy food alternatives should be offered to the masses like with the peoples coop. But then be mad when someone does it better. Whether it is the options in the store, the store itself or the people who work there. New seasons has provided the people of portland with a responsible local store that can provide the products they want. If you want to rail against the evil corporations I suggest you talk about wild oats and whole foods. Who over the last decade have run across the country in a race to see who could buy out the most natural foods stores. The organic movement is a great thing that should be spread across all forms of agriculture. Even forms dominated by corporations and to suggest that these corporations should not be involved is hypicritical and short sited. Capitalism is the truest form of democracy. In a pure capitalist society everything you do is a vote. Were you buy your food, who you work for, what you choose to transport yourself with. So I suggest you all stand up and vote with your dollar or your labor or your feet and stop railing against a company that stands for everything that is good in this state.

Everyone, Breathe 07.Dec.2003 23:05

One Human troutsniffingsod@yahoo.com

There are many different types of people in the 7 Corners neighborhood. You have a very strong left side with the People's crowd, which spans the economic classes. Then there are the lower, working class people that shop, most likely, at Safeway or drive miles to go to some outlet that sells 400 lbs of potatos for $10 ( these people used to shop at Red Apple, Food Valu before that and Tradewell for those of us that have lived in the neighborhood for a while ). The people that have REAL jobs go to Wild Oats or Zupan's (?). The NRA members kill all of there own food so they don't need these silly supermarkets.

If 10 out 100 people out of each of these groups went in to a New Seasons store and were educated, if even just a little bit, about how to LIVE a more healthy lifestyle then I would be pleased. I have to say that no matter how much I think that everyone should grow there own food and that all businesses should be small ones, I don't think this is going to happen, ever. But people can learn to do a better job.
Our city is continuing to grow. Grow with it.

I realize that I haven't followed the theme of this web page. So here it goes. You are all a bunch of stupid poop nostrils and I think you should go to somewhere else now!

thoughts 18.Jan.2004 14:39


I think all this outrage at one store is silly. rents arn't being raised because of one store and the apartment was moved to a lot ,not destroyed. The Red Apple was out of business for a while and is an eye sore. The parking lot was used for the bar next door and Peoples could have moved into this site if they had wanted to.

People's might not make a profit but their prices are not lower. They do support local growers but New Seasons supports local growers that might not sell to Peoples. We lost a laundry mat but I bet that laundry mat was making a profit or trying to and I bet most People that shop at Peoples make a profit at whatever they do.

Also , what about that die hard Peoples customer who lives in Hillsboro and drives to Peoples once a week to shop. Is this a better choice? Use up fossil fuel to drive accross town so you can shop at Peoples? What about the waste of gas. Who is profiting from that?

Life in the 21st century is complicated and choices are many. We all have to do the best we can and we all screw up often. Probably many that shop at Peoples smoke cigerates or drink coffee or buy something that is made from prison labor in China.

I appreciate dialog and dissent but let me decide for myself where I want to shop .

*Sigh* What's wrong with america 21.Jan.2004 11:10


here's my two cents. So often today we have people on all sides of the spectrum who are so radical and emotional that they incite hate. yes, hate. Being involved in something is good but yelling about the people who are doing what you don't want them to, all that comes across as is a very irrational person. Talk to people and explain things to them. Some will listen, some won't, for some you may plant a seed that they think about later. Corporations are here. That's a fact, they are part of society. So how do we handle that? Do we say, destroy all corporations? Or do we try and shape them how we want them. But it seems anytime a store becomes too big, all of a sudden it is corporate and a bad thing. And if they seem to be doing good things, it is only for publicity. And this does happen. But blanket generalizations shouldn't be used because they are inaccurate and unfair. If you do not want something in your neighborhood, organize and do something about it. It can be done, I've done it. If the majority of people in that area want a new store, then that is their right. But going off on emotional tirades, what does that accomplish? People who agree with you might listen, most others will just close their ears. Be rational and organized. That gets results. That is if you really want to make a difference. If you just want to complain, then yelling about things is the appropriate course. From experience I know, the right thing takes more time than writing an email and it takes perserverance and energy. Inform people, don't close their ears.

New Seasons is Symptom Not Cause 04.Apr.2011 22:37

David Bosworth

By the time a New Seasons Store barges into your neighborhood, I submit that the damage has long been done. What was once a spontaneous and truly natural character and flavor about an area has already become an artificial emulation of "cool-culture" by poseurs. Such stores are merely moving in to capitalize on the "trendiness".