T witter users across the country howled in rage on Wednesday after getting wind of Bodega, the startup whose internet connected pantry boxes want to replace your local corner store.
Many observers criticized the choice of the Bodega name – which traditionally refers to Mom and Pop convenience stores in large American cities – and the notion that two former Google employees could potentially put the beloved local shops out of business. In the Fast Company profile that ignited the storm, cofounder Paul McDonald laid out his vision for the automated kiosks, ” Eventually, centralized shopping locations won’t be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.”
Others were quick to label the Bodega boxes as the latest internet folly (See: Juicero ), dismissing the kiosks as nothing more than a glorified vending machine for the millennial tech set.
With so much hubbub we decided we needed to find a Bodega in the wild and see what it was like to actually use one ourselves. It turns out, finding a Bodega was not as simple as we thought, but we eventually tracked one down. Here’s what we found: