Most businesses, if they go under, offer some kind of fond farewell: It was a pleasure serving you, we’re sorry things didn’t work out, we’ll be back and better than ever, it’s not you it’s us, blah blah blah. At Don Otto’s neighborhood food market? Yeah, not so much.
Per the Herald, the shuttering South End grocer (a favorite of Rep. Barney Frank and Mayor Tom Menino) let loose on its would-be customers with an online tirade: “Don Otto’s Market wants to say we had few customers that understood customer loyalty and its importance to our business … If you came in only for baguettes, the occasional piece of cheese, the occasional dinner … you cannot tell yourself you were a supporter of our market.” They went on to blame discount stores like Wal-Mart for making sticker shock the norm. “The reality is we pay for what we eat. Some are informed enough to know what that statement means.”
Guess the rest of us are just uneducated heathens who prefer string cheese and musty frozen pizza. We’re sorry we didn’t order baguettes by the bagful. Those tiny wedges of Camembert? Hey, maybe we have a problem with dairy! The Herald posits that even well-heeled South Enders had gripes with the grocer’s high prices ($28-per-pound steak, for instance). But they do note that upscale Formaggio Kitchen has no trouble attracting patrons, quoting cheese buyer David Robinson on Don Otto’s “quality and trust” issues. Ouch.
So, does Don Otto’s have a point? Will the neighborhood regret not supporting a small local business? Is quality food worthwhile, at any price? Or should they take their fancy steaks and shove it?
Owner of Closed South End Food Market Blames Customers [Herald]