Especially not with an App called Bodega.
With a bodega cat as a logo.
While not having actual bodega cats.
Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan are creating an app that will allow to you open a vending machine via smart phone and contain all the things a bodega needs. Of course don’t actually call it a vending machine. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be news.
How much audacity can these yuppies have? How can business owners do so much research to satiate their hood ambitions yet be so out of touch with their target audience? Columbus syndrome; that’s how. Culture hijacking at its finest. The west calls indigenous tribal culture savage yet wants to retain the aesthetic by using dream catchers and headdresses as fashion statements. These ex googlers’ marketing campaign insinuate that bodegas are obsolete and outdated. In the same breath they base their entire aesthetic on them.
Technology is a great thing. In its own lane.
Here’s why the Bodega app won’t replace actual Bodegas:
They set themselves up in a niche that excludes the hood.
- You need a charged smartphone.
- You need to have internet data/wifi on that smartphone.
- You need space to download this app.
Smart phones are supposed to remove steps from your everyday life. Not complicate it. There is a reason why Apple is so popular despite not having a lot of specs their competitors have. Simplicity. Ease of access. This app cannot eliminate traditional bodegas for the same reason Uber can’t eliminate the old school hailing-down-a-cab. There are certain parts of New York City culture you simply cannot eliminate with fancy new gadgets.
The culture of walking into a bodega to two familiar faces– the clerk and the cat– simply cannot be replaced by this lifeless machine. This machine cannot make my chopped cheese. Not my salsalito turkey. Not even a bougie ass mozzarella panini. My abuela will not be downloading this app. The sex workers and drug dealers on my block definitely won’t be downloading this app on their 2nd track phones.
Say what you want about the lumpenproletariat, but sex workers and drug dealers are major patrons of the Bodega. The hood may be poor. But we are not broke. You need our money? Get the marketing right. And respect your jaw.