The New York bodega fights for its life


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For decades, bodegas -- the crowded corner stores started by Puerto Rican and Dominican entrepreneurs in the 1960s and 1970s -- have textured the backdrop of New York. The Spanish word comes from bodeguita, a general store in Latin America, and has come to refer to such New York shops owned by people of all ethnic backgrounds, reports Erika Hayasaki.

But sales have been down for the last nine months, according to Jose Fernandez, president of the Bodega Assn. of the United States, which claims 7,800 of New York’s 11,400 bodegas as members. A weakening economy and rising rents and food prices have forced many to close, he said; the number of bodegas in New York has decreased by nearly 1,000 from two years ago, according to his organization’s most recent tally.


Read more about New York’s bodegas here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City