One Corner Market Adapts to Gentrification

En Español.

You would expect a neighborhood grocery store like La Plaza at 22nd and Folsom (under the bright blue awning reading, “Casa Guadalupe,” its former name) to stock things like avocados and tortillas. What you might not expect to find is a drip coffee bar, potted succulents and kombucha—but La Plaza has got those too. We talked with employees and customers about how the store has evolved as neighborhood demographics continue to change.

The new owners Juan Luque, who is an oral surgeon at Faces of the Mission, and Vanessa Flores, who works at Valencia Dental Center, purchased the store about four months ago.

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15 Comments

  1. landline

    How can any conscious person not know that La Plaza (formerly Casa Guadalupe) sells fruits and vegetables? Those items have been clearly on display outside for at least the 25 years I have lived here.

    A better title for the piece would be “Affluent white newcomers are clueless and can afford to blow $3 on a cup of coffee while practical Latino shoppers decry price increases for staples and migrate to more reasonably priced markets.”

    Or, in other words, “There goes the neighborhood.”

    • 24-24

      I like your title a lot. I have a title too. “Clueless Latinos pander to the white mans money in a last ditch effort to remain in San Franciscos Mission District”

      • omiso

        “Clueless latinos”? Really? How dare you!. Who in the hell are you? Deja a las familias latinas trabajar honestamente y no insultes como si fueras un pinche racista.

        • Kevin Smith

          I’ll show you how clueless, if not for white people, all the Latinos would have to cross the border for a better life in Oregon. Just like they have to cross in mass, the Rio Grande right now….

        • 24-24

          oh but its ok for landline to call white people clueless? I was only responding to his hatred, racism is only ok when its pointed one way i guess

          • Sam

            So on other occasions you have referred to clueless Hispanic people, when that is what you have seen, right?

            I’ll bet you never have. Which means either that you do not perceive Hispanics as being clueless. indicating bias in your perceptions.

            Or you are quick to apply negative attributes to whites but slow to apply the same attributes to blacks or Hispanics.

            Either way, your racial bias soaks through, which is what you are being called out on here.

            It’s a sad fact that in SF many people are racist against whites and, inexplicably, that includes many whites.

      • Mike K

        Great Title.

    • Bob

      So negative, so racist you are.

      • landline

        I’m just sharing my observations of the video. The two, apparent newcomers remind me of the airhead couple Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) interviews while waiting in line for the movies in “Annie Hall.” For sure, the well-scrubbed and the whitest doesn’t translate into the best and the brightest, even if it kind of rhymes.

        I have no idea of the ethnic background of “Neighbor” below, but his or her experience with the new market corroborates my suggested title for the video.

        Accuse me of racism all you want. What do I care? You seem to give white supremacist Kevin Smith a free pass, however.

    • SFrentier

      Hate to say it, but I agree with landline- FFS, how could that guy not realize that Casa Guadalupe sold fruits and vegetables?!? Those items have been outside the store on the sidewalks in spades. Maybe he meant he didn’t realize they are now selling expensive fruits and vegetables. And that guilty-liberal-meets-condescending-attitude fat chick they interviewed…yikes! Like, let’s feel guilty that the store wants to capitalize on self-denial-yuppies like myself, and feel sorry for “Latinos” who buy different (read plainer, cheaper) items than me.

      The upscale pandering is quite naked, even ditching the Casa Guadalupe name for something more neutral and whiter sounding- la plaza. Guess I can’t blame them- it’s like, let’s profit off the new gringos. But I’m still pissed that they don’t have the cheap avocados anymore. 50 cents each, or 5 lil ones for a buck. Now it’s all this over priced organic crap for $2 a pop. Annoying, as I hate over priced groceries. I’ll stick with down to earth Casa Lucas on Alabama/24th.

  2. alf

    I’m glad that the existing markets, like Casa Lucas, the one on SVN & 23rd and this one have a mix of products at different price points including organic milk and produce, and so-called conventional produce. More organic produce is available to more people in the neighborhood, and new customers who aren’t used to cooking with traditional latino ingredients will try more of them. La Palma has organic tortillas and chips, and so on. Why is that bad? Is it really better for the neighborhood to have a Bi-Rite move instead of having our local stores thrive?

  3. Neighbor

    I have to say, I went to get butter the other night and it was $7.50!! I was so supportive of Casa Guadalupe and adore Lucrecia who works at the store. Luckily, they have held on to her and a couple of other employees.

    While I am all for having the things I need for convenience items down the block and supporting a local business owner… the prices have skyrocketed and I have taken my business to another little store.

  4. Bob

    Yayyy for diversity of products. Viva la gentrificacion!

    • Missionite

      Funny, but latinos and latino markets have been eating and selling organic products for ages. For some white folks its new and trendy. For Latinos its just part of life and food. The difference is they don’t have signs saying organic or natural.

  5. Pueblo

    I was so sure that guy was about to say…
    “I just found out that cafe, means coffee in spanish…gee willikers who would have known, right”

    This guy is a like a lame techie version of Huell Howser and has no idea.

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