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Today two former Google employees made a splash with a vending machine startup called ‘Bodega’ … or maybe it would be better to call it a belly-flop. People hated it. No really, they hated it. As in “Solving a problem that doesn’t exist to threaten the livelihoods of local bodegas … how dare you.” As in:

The bodega – known outside of New York City as the corner store – is one of the best things about living in a city, an urban oasis for replenishing your fill of human interaction, odd snacks, beer, and cats. It has been, for all intents and purposes, perfected. So somebody please tell Silicon Valley to stay the hell away.

The two white guys who came up with this idea insist there’s nothing racist about this – never mind that most real bodegas are owned and operated by people of color – and say they don’t want to put mom-and-pop stores out of business. But owners and patrons of real bodegas aren’t buying those excuses. Will these white-owned “bro-degas” replace the real thing?


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