My name is Leonora Stein. I’ve lived in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn since 1994 and opened a small independent bookstore, Babbo's Books, here in 2006.
Windsor Terrace is a unique and tight-knit community with many long-time residents. I've always felt that our neighborhood had pretty much everything you needed: a movie theater, restaurants, corner stores, drug stores, and, of course, a supermarket.
But recently, with no warning to our community, the property owner at our only local supermarket, Key Food, closed the store and signed a long-term lease with the national drug store chain Walgreens.
My neighbors and I were shocked to see our only supermarket closed so quickly and to learn that Walgreens intends to replace it with a drug store.
What is a neighborhood without a supermarket?
Walgreens claims they will offer “expanded food offerings,” but the store they are planning would not include meats, fish, a bakery, or many other items that Windsor Terrace residents need from a grocery store. Less than one-third of the small store would be devoted to food items.
Windsor Terrace has many elderly residents and residents without cars who are particularly hurt by the closing of Key Food. How are they supposed to get the food they need?
As soon as my neighbors and I heard this troubling news we started working with our local elected officials to engage in a dialogue with Walgreens executives to see what could be done. On June 27th, we met with executives from Walgreens and made the following requests:
- Please consider terminating your lease with the property owner. We do not need a chain drug store in Windsor Terrace; we need a full-service supermarket.
- If you insist on taking possession, please work with the property owner to reach an agreement that would expand the building and allow both a Walgreens and a full-service supermarket on the site.
Walgreens rejected both of our requests.
My neighbors and I are not giving up on this fight. We have created a neighborhood group called Green Beans not Walgreens (www.greenbeansnotwalgreens.org) to help us organize and communicate with our neighbors and supporters.
Here is what we are doing:
-We are calling on all of our neighbors to sign a pledge to boycott the proposed Walgreens drug store in Windsor Terrace if Walgreens continues to refuse to consider our requests.*
-We are calling on all concerned to sign this petition as a pledge of support for our boycott, and to let Walgreens know that they can’t ignore the needs of the communities they do business in.
-We will continue our protest until Windsor Terrace has a full-service supermarket again.
What is happening in our community could happen anywhere. We need to send Walgreens a clear message:
If you ignore the needs of the communities you do business with, those communities will put you out of business.
Please sign our petition and encourage everyone you know to do the same,
Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, NY
*Neighborhood residents should see www.greenbeansnotwalgreens.org for more information on signing a boycott pledge and for general updates on local efforts and events.