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Jamaica Plain residents take fight to Whole Foods

While Whole Foods inches closer to opening its doors in Jamaica Plain, a group of residents is hopeful that with history and at least 1,000 community members on its side they can stop the chain from moving in.

While Whole Foods inches closer to opening its doors in Jamaica Plain, a group of residents is hopeful that with history and at least 1,000 community members on its side they can stop the chain from moving in.

About a dozen community members walked into the Cambridge corporate office of Whole Foods yesterday morning to hand deliver 1,000 signatures protesting the store’s opening in the space formerly occupied by neighborhood institution Hi-Lo Foods.

The group hoped the ambush would let them lay out their case to a senior official. Instead, a pair of public relations coordinators greeted them in the lobby.

“I’d like to have a deeper conversation … about how the people would be affected by Whole Foods coming in,” said Bashier Kayou, 61, after handing over the signatures.

Robin Rehfield, the public relations coordinator, took the signatures and told Kayou she would give them to the appropriate folks.

“I think their reception was predictable,” Kayou said.

Rehfield said that the company respects the group’s opinion and that she would pass the signatures along.

While the reception might not have been ideal, the group said they are hopeful to stop the move and cited how community members stopped the building of Interstate 95 through that neighborhood and other parts of Boston about 40 years ago.

 
 
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