There are certain classic components of the urban experience: living in an apartment, taking public transportation and buying your milk at the corner bodega.
While we may complain that our apartments are too small, the subway is too crowded and that bodega is under-stocked and overpriced, we like knowing it’s there.
However, much like so many of the mainstays of life we rely on, the bodega is now under attack. Two veterans of Google, Paul McDonald and Ashwath Raja, have launched a new startup concept — ironically called Bodega, which hopes to make the actual bodega a thing of the past.
The founders, who revealed their plan in an interview with Fast Company, hope to install five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with all kinds of items you may generally buy in a bodega. You can then unlock that box with an app that is linked to your credit card, and you are automatically charged for whatever items you buy.
While this is a great option to do your grocery shopping without any human interaction, it’s also very sad — both for bodegas and for the concept of people actually needing other people.
“The vision here is much bigger than the box itself,” McDonald told Fast Company. “Eventually, centralized shopping locations won’t be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.”
As expected, social media in a fury at this launch, which has not even happened yet.
So, goodbye neighborhood businesses and sense of community, and hello to sandwiches from a box? Sounds about right.
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