UPDATE (May 2019): Drama Intenso at Worker-Owned Rainbow Grocery Cooperative (San Francisco)
Hola a todos. Rainbow Grocery Cooperative is the best grocery store in San Francisco as far as I’m concerned. I’ve shopped there every week since the days of the Old City. When I say the “Old City,” I’m talking about the “proudly-radical Bohemian San Francisco” that used to have the slogan “Anything goes in San Francisco” and “Liberal San Francisco.” Remember that “proudly radical” and activist City that we had a reputation of being for decades? Yeah well, that City is long gone, and few people even talk about it publicly. It’s as if the New City wants to erase the Old City from history.
The millionaire and billionaire-owned Tech Industrial Complex and Greed-based Real Estate Industrial Complex wrecking crews were warmly welcomed in by the conservatives — regardless of what political label they wore — to destroy the Old City and turn it into the City it is today: The opposite of what it was. Quite conservative, very conformist, lobotomised, cultureless and straight. The Castro is now a Breeder Mecca (no longer a Gay Mecca; His shirt said, “Fuck you, homo.” (San Francisco’s Castro) along with Cole Valley. It’s as if these new seemingly-lobotomised Millennial residents void of any social skills moved here to breed. The conservatives had long had this wet dream about San Francisco and finally achieved their goal.
I say all of the above because unfortunately and consequently, Rainbow’s customer base and many Rainbow workers have been forced out of The City because of these changes of turning San Francisco into the opposite of what it was.
I feel very comfortable shopping at Rainbow; I get smiles and “hello” from some workers. They’re real, not fake. I don’t say the same about most stores I go in these days where I feel like I’m being seen and watched as a criminal just because I walked through the front door. I hate shopping in most stores these days because of that, and only do so when it’s a necessity. At Rainbow, I don’t feel that way. You can take your time reading ingredient’ lists if you don’t already know what’s in something or take time making decisions about what to buy without someone thinking you’re up to no good. Rainbow is still a vegetarian-vegan grocery store and worker-owned and operated.
Some brief history: Rainbow, which opened in 1975, was a store of the Old City, which the Old City really supported. This was before the lobotomised and greed-based Tech Industrial Complex and Real Estate Industrial Complex came in and raped San Francisco forcing out most political and social justice activists/many longtime residents. In today’s New Conformist, Conservative, pro-Corporate, Culture-less and Lotobomised City of San Francisco — which is now a playground for the super-wealthy; the Bay Area is now called “Billionaire Bay” — The City doesn’t support the store the way the Old Proudly-Radical and Anything Goes City did. Yeah well, that City is gone. There’s little radical or “anything goes” here anymore. San Francisco has become quite conservative in recent years I’m sorry to say. Conformity — OBEY! WEAR BLACK AND GREY! which seems to be The City’s new unofficial dress code colours — is the nickname for the New City full of snarly-faced, angry-looking, chip-on-both-shoulders snotty Milleneals. I’ve heard some longtime locals say, “This New City sucks. Where did these snotty white trash Milleneals come from?” I’ve often wondered that myself. And most of the Millennial females look anorexic in their usual black tights and black, grey or white lingerie shirt with their snarly, “nobody home” face. I think it would break their face if they had to smile and try to be pleasant to anyone, and oddly they appear to have been born without vocal chords since the words “Hello” and “excuse me” are not in their vocabulary. They have no social skills whatsoever. I heard recently from a reliable source that the ageist Milleneals blame anyone older than themselves for all the problems in the world, especially for their own financial situation. They seem to take no responsibility for their own personal situation in life; it’s always somebody else’s fault. Note to seemingly-empty Milleneals: Wasting your day hunched over glued to that phone you’re thoroughly addicted to — as if it’s your only friend in the world — frantically thumb-typing on a so-called “social media network” is not indicative of possessing genuine social skills at all.
It’s a different (worse) time. I think most people shop at status-symbol WholePayCheck and insist on being seen there. Why? It’s just another faceless mega-chain corporate store. But I guess if one is shallow like that, being seen at WPC is important to them.
I realise what I’m about to ask is a long shot: Do any of the former or current Rainbow workers want to anonymously talk about what’s happened at Rainbow in recent weeks, the last couple of months? If you’re a former worker, you may have heard “through the grapevine” what happened. I’m talking about the discontent I’ve detected from most workers as if something major happened. If you work there, you likely know what I’m talking about. If so, please leave a comment.
As a longtime customer, I usually feel the mood of the store. And in recent weeks the mood has been rather down, as if a major temblor came through the store at one of their membership meetings and took most of the workers by shock. Some observations I’ve made: It would seem that the cashiers are leaving in droves. That’s the perception I have because on each visit to the store, a new cashier is being trained. A lot of unhappy faces, even with workers I’ve seen for years. Others that I’ve seen for years, I no longer see even when they were there when I was there in recent weeks. They’re now gone. That many people on a new shift? I can take some guesses at what happened, not that any of them did so I’m just speculating based on what I’ve seen from the workers:
Was their profit-sharing gutted?
Was their health care gutted?
Were their salaries reduced to minimum wage?
Did the membership vote to fire a large group/most of the workers? That’s the way it seems. I’ve thought that they had too many workers, with the number I’ve seen being around 250+. Why would they need that many workers?
I think workers are hired through word-of-mouth referrals from other workers. I once heard a worker say, “Well presumably people work here for a reason.” I don’t think that’s the case any longer. I think to many workers it’s just a job and they’re not working there for any other reason, compared to the days of the Old City. Someone who had read some of my other articles about Rainbow wrote me sometime ago saying she had applied at Rainbow but was never hired and was told about some stack of applications they had. She interpreted that to mean: “Don’t expect to be hired as there are hundreds of applications ahead of you.” Supposedly. As I e-mailed back to her: Regardless of some supposed stack of applications (which probably doesn’t exist), San Francisco is a very transient City. So how many people in their supposed (outdated?) stack of applications still even live here. I agreed with her. It sounded like they had no intention of hiring her when they refer to some stack of applications. Because in any job I’ve applied for in my past, their “stack” was 2-3 applications for the position they were hiring for because they’ve narrowed it down to that number of candidates.
I suspect that one or more of these factors above happened or a version of them. Each department in the store is run autonomously, but there is this “they” — this group that runs or manages the store? — that I’ve heard many workers over the years negatively refer to. One gets the impression that “they” are not a positive force for the rest of the workers and don’t care about some of the workers in certain departments. Like everywhere else, there’s always this vague “they” (who is this “they” anyway?) that workers keep talking about in a negative way? Some elitist group who thinks they know what’s best, excluding all the rest? If so, that reminds me of corporate. Although fortunately Rainbow is not corporate and does not have a corporate feel, thank goodness. WholePayCheck — fuck them! — is as corporate as you can get, with their so-called organic food grown in China.
I don’t blame the workers for not hiding their discontent. It’s very hard to be fake and pretend you’re happy at a job that you’re not happy in. I’ve noticed what I’m talking about with long-time workers. I thought Rainbow’s business had improved a bit — maybe — since the renovation but probably not enough to make a difference. I also never thought that the renovation was going to increase business. I remember hearing some workers talking about “It’s a new era for Rainbow.” That was just marketing bull shit or wishful-thinking. As I wrote at the time, generally speaking, lobotomised and phone-addicted Milleneals are not going to shop at Rainbow.
So if you worked at Rainbow or still do and care to let us know anonymously some chisme/gossip about what’s been going on, you’re safe here to comment. Chau.—el barrio rosa
Update (End of June 2019): The mood of the store is pretty bad now — as if things have gotten worse since I originally wrote about this topic — with the exception of a few (about 4) workers. Some of the workers are acting as if they are annoyed with having customers, and because of that there are some workers I avoid. Or, they are overall annoyed by having to be there in a store which seems to no longer care about them and are more preoccupied with thoughts of where they’re going to find another job. I sense that they’re now making minimum wage and are very worried about the survival of their store. I understand that. As the City changed over the years (for the worse), so did Rainbow. I think most of the workers know who the longtime customers are who, in part, kept them open this long and they should at least acknowledge that because with the mood and vibe of the store now it’s as if they don’t appreciate us. Some of the workers used to do that and seemed genuine about it, but I no longer see those workers. But to other workers, it’s just a job so they don’t seem to care. And the customers these days! Oh! With few exceptions, Rainbow has become so conservative and straight. And some of these straight guys seem to go out of their way to “prove” how straight they are by taking on this “tough guy, hard-assed” stance. Other straight couples feel the need to put on a heterosexual display of affection and make out in the Produce Section or near there. They go to a grocery store to make out? Loco./Crazy. And if you wear anything that has colour to it prepare to get a nasty snarly look from some judgmental straight guy self-entitled Millennial asshole in the Produce Department, especially. People like that forget the name of the store is called RAINBOW Grocery Cooperative, and not Black and Grey Grocery Cooperative. As I’ve said before, the “Anything Goes” Bohemian San Francisco is gone. The attitude today of this New Lobotomised Techie Capital City and Playground for the drab Super-Wealthy who have no taste is: “Conform! Obey! Wear (Funeral and Depressing) Black and Grey! 365 days a year. Period” If you don’t, expect to get a nasty, disapproving look because you’re not conforming. This City is the opposite of what it used to be. Where did these new residents come here from with a mission to change this City….for the worse?
One wonders: Even though I would hate to see this happen, but how long before Rainbow closes, having sold-out to a corrupt developer of glass-box condominiums? “Developers” are moving towards the store with tall towers of condos. As San Francisco continues its trend as a playground for the super-wealthy, the SF Planning Department seem to want Luxury Designer Condos (Dahling) on every inch of this City, and one would fit in Rainbow’s location. At this point, I do indeed think the workers would vote to sell the store if they were offered maybe $3MILLION USD to each worker. That amount of money is nothing to a condo developer. So the remaining workers could all retire, and I get the impression that the store has far less workers than they did. I’m speculating but when this shock wave that I’ve written about in this article came through the store, I think many workers were voted out by the membership, meaning fired. It used to be reported in the media that Rainbow had 250+ workers, which I thought was a lot and too many. One of the workers once told me “we have too many workers” which meant that the profit-sharing they receive at the end of the year had to be divided among too many workers. I often wondered where all of these workers were because I never saw that many. I think most were/are part-time. Regardless of the number of workers they currently have, I could easily see them selling out and closing the store without notice, unless they choose to have a “going out of business” sale. So, that’s what I expect to happen to Rainbow at some point, I suspect within the next 5 years and that’s being generous. It will be a sad day when this happens, and I and others would have to make other shopping choices after decades of supporting Rainbow Grocery Cooperative. Chau.—el barrio rosa
Update (Week of 15 July 2019): Have they lost more workers at Rainbow? That’s the impression we’re getting. On our visits to the store this week they seemed to be short on cashiers. How could they be short on cashiers when we’ve been seeing cashiers trained since the drama intenso shocked the store. Last week, I heard a cashier ask a customer, “Do you need a receipt?” I’ve never heard that asked at Rainbow, which is why I perked up. They automatically give receipts. Or do they not want any customers returning anything to their struggling store, which of course a customer could not do without a receipt? Mi amigo/My friend overheard a senior citizen say when walking out of the store, “the cashier asked to see my ID. They’ve never done that before and it was after he had already given me my 10% off as a senior.” Are they hurting that much that they’re now checking to see who is a senior and who is not? I think they used to take the customer’s word for it. To us the store had an uncomfortable feel to it. It’s also being overrun by instacarters and phone addicts. One wonders how these pathetic people shopped before they got severely addicted to a phone? I don’t know who “they” are who seem to be running the show at Rainbow, but based on how most of the workers are acting, they’re in the process of ruining the store that some of us have appreciated for decades, and they are too short-sighted to see that. They seem to be taking measures to the extreme. Typical of misguided “management.” Chau.—el barrio rosa
El 24 de noviembre de 2013. Hola. Rainbow Grocery Cooperative is the best grocery store in San Francisco. The store is owned and operated by the workers using a cooperative structure. There is no “employer” or “employees.” The workers own their store. And what’s especially special about Rainbow is that it’s a vegetarian/vegan store. No dead animals in the place! Not a one!
Despite lies and misinformation from shills and hacks for the mega-corporate chain grocery stores (their initials: WF, TJ and other corporate chains), Rainbow keeps their prices as low as possible and I know that for a fact. I’ve shopped at Rainbow every week since the early 1990s. These days, nearly everything I buy is always the same price at Rainbow and my receipt each week is roughly in the same price range, unless of course I buy more chocolate than usual (I don’t feel one should be deprived of chocolate) and then the bill is higher of course. The organic produce can vary in price and that’s based on the local supplier. One example of the prices staying as low as possible that comes to mind: Rainbow carries the bionaturae organic pastas from Italia. I used to buy the bionaturae organic whole wheat pasta and that pasta has been $2.79 for several years now. The Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips in the Bulk Department’s gravity bins were over $5.00/pound there for awhile. Then I was surprised to see they went down in price to $4.70/pound and they have been at that price for (I would guess) over a year now. Other than items “On Sale,” how often does an item go down in price on a long-term basis at a corporate chain store? Also, Rainbow sometimes has a lengthy period of time for products to be “On Sale.” The pasta I currently buy (the organic Quinoa/Corn pasta) has been “On Sale” for I’d say about 2-3 months now continuously. How often does one see that in your corporate chain store? When the prices go up at Rainbow it’s because their supplier has raised the price—not because of greed on Rainbow’s part—and/or they can’t find another supplier locally. Rainbow is not about greed. Corporate chain stores are about greed. And even if a product were higher (which I don’t believe) at Rainbow than at one’s mega-corporate chain store, wouldn’t one prefer to give that extra dinero/money to Rainbow’s workers who live in our community instead of a faceless mega-corporation? Rainbow focuses on local organically-grown produce and suppliers, and non-GMO organically-grown/environmentally-sustainably-grown food.
Rainbow needs your business and I’m sure they will appreciate your business. I sense the store is not doing well by all indications that I’ve seen as a longtime customer. It concerns me, which is why I’m writing this. Why is the store not doing well? The store is not doing well because San Francisco is not the city it was when I moved here, unfortunately. I’ll explain what I mean by that in the next paragraph. Also, Rainbow’s competition these days is primarily a predatory, parasitic mega-corporate store (their initials: WF) which seems to want one of their stores on every city block. They seem to want to saturate San Francisco with their stores full of GMO products from what I’ve read about them (see links below). Interestingly, this mega-corporate grocery chain store gets very bad reviews online which you can read here.
Some personal history: I moved to San Francisco in 1979. The city I moved to existed until approximately 2009 I would say or a little before (that’s my rough estimate). Since that time, the San Francisco (meaning the residents) that I moved to is gone. There have been many reasons for this: the high cost of living in San Francisco, the rampant gentrification encouraged by parasitic corporatist conservative politicians, escalating evictions of longtime tenants (including Rainbow customers and some Rainbow workers, I believe) and many people have left because they do not like the “new San Francisco.”
The Conservative Corporatists Have Taken Over San Francisco
The Bohemian, radical and rebellious city that I moved to in 1979 and for which San Francisco became nationally and internationally known for is gone, and some conservative corporatists are doing all they can to completely erase that from history and sanitize San Francisco to make this a boring city for the wealthy and/or one-percent. Because of the tech industry’s predatory and parasitic intrusion into San Francisco, San Francisco has already become a suburb/bedroom community of San José and Silicon Valley with thousands of techbots (tech employees) commuting via 2-story tall tech shuttles to the Peninsula and South Bay while “luxuriating” in their “Luxury Design Condos” Dahling in San Francisco at night. (The green concept of living close to where one works completely escapes the techbots). So everyone remember: when you’re on that gadget you’re obsessed with day and night and staring at that screen you’re helping the data-mining and state-surveillance tech industry (although I suspect that goes right over most people’s head). I see glimpses of the San Francisco of the past on rare occasions such as a recent Critical Mass bicycle ride (whom the conservatives/right-wing despise/hate) through the Castro one recent Friday evening. Seeing that reminded me of the San Francisco I moved to. Just little unexpected events like that on the odd occasion remind me of the San Francisco of the past.
Generally speaking, corporatists support/shop at corporate stores because they’ve been brainwashed to do so by television and targeted advertising. If targeted advertising wasn’t effective it wouldn’t be used. Corporatists generally don’t shop at a worker-owned and operated store such as Rainbow Grocery, nor do they want anything to do with such a store. From my observations with online message forums, corporatists hate on a store like Rainbow Grocery because, in part, Rainbow workers look like individuals. Rainbow workers don’t look like corporate cookie-cutter mannequins in silly clone uniforms sent to them from “Corporate Headquarters,” and because Rainbow is not a corporate store and fortunately it does not feel like a corporate store. On the rare occasion on message forums when I’ve interacted with shills, trolls and hacks for WF (and presented the links at the bottom of this page to them about WF), they completely ignored the links and would not watch these videos, even the video from the corporate media. Then they began to hate on organic food which Rainbow specializes in. I then said to them: Well if none of that matters to you and organic food doesn’t matter to you, why are you shopping at WF that touts itself as “organic?” They shop there for status purposes only. (I have a relative who shops at WF and she too is a corporatist and dismisses the concept of organic food and says, “it doesn’t matter what you eat.” With someone who thinks like that, one is not about to change the person’s mind so don’t bother trying. Realising I was wasting my time with the trolls for WF, to them it did not matter what WF sold as long as it’s a corporate chain and corporate was the most important thing to them. This experience really reminded me of partisan Democrats (where that useless corporatist right-wing party can do anything and the messiahbots will still support the parasitic politicians with a D next to their name regardless of what they do). Then mi amiga/my friend said to me as I was writing this article: Well look at you, you’re objective. No one can call you a hack or a shill for a business or for Rainbow because you’re writing this article about Rainbow and you also recently wrote an article of criticism about Rainbow, which included my input. True. And you can read that here. Yes, whenever the topic of Rainbow Grocery comes up online, the comments directed at Rainbow from the conservatives and their shill trolls are consistently nasty, hateful, vengeful and willfully-ignorant about Rainbow. Clearly, most people who hate on Rainbow have never shopped at Rainbow. Until Rainbow becomes a corporate chain store like the corporate stores that the haters support, the haters will continue to hate on Rainbow no matter what the store does. So it’s just best to ignore the haters and fortunately they—with their nasty disposition—don’t shop at Rainbow and I’m glad they don’t.
The Tech Industry’s Corporate Welfare from San Francisco
I touched on this earlier. The predatory tech industry is taking over San Francisco. The tech industry receives corporate welfare—a generous, cushy gift of as much as $56 MILLION—from the City and County of San Francisco through payroll and stock-option tax breaks. Who’s responsible for this corporate welfare to tech? Mostly conservative political parasites in San Francisco City Hall whose real owners are venture capitalists. But tech gives very little back to San Francisco in return. And because of the parasitic tech industry’s predatory encroachment into San Francisco, the average monthly apartment rental rate is now approximately $3,400.00. But the techbots (who seem to try to isolate themselves from the average San Franciscan whenever possible) are not shopping at Rainbow, even though from what I read recently there are over 40 tech companies en el distrito de la Misión where Rainbow Grocery is located. If the techbots shop at all for groceries—instead of ordering them on their gadget and having groceries delivered to their “Luxury Designer Condo” Dahling—the techbots would likely not go to Rainbow but rather Rainbow’s competition (their initials: WF). Why would they shop at WF? It’s all about “Keeping Up with the Jones-ses” Dahling. Or as mi amiga/my friend says: Just shallow, superficial and pretentious young people trying to keep up appearances by putting on snooty airs and trying to impress others by being seen shopping at WF. I would like to point out that people who are secure themselves don’t feel the (insecure) need to try to impress anyone and “keep up with” others for status purposes. And they don’t concern themselves with “being seen” somewhere for status purposes. People who need therapy do that sort of thing.
Rainbow’s customer base has largely been forced out of San Francisco, unfortunately. And today what remains of San Francisco’s GLBTQ populace, they too are now mostly corporatised/gadgetised sheep—having abandoned and erased their radical/rebellious/alternative/”progressive” past—and from what I see most GLBTQs think nothing of supporting corporate chain and big box stores. It’s so much easier to be one of the pro-Establishment sheep rather than a thinking, socially-aware and non-Establishment person—as GLBTQs were in the former San Francisco and challenging the corporatist status quo.
What I would have done differently than Rainbow?
Remember Rainbow’s 20% off coupon days? Rainbow’s coupon days were not that long ago and they were extremely successful in bringing in a lot of people to the store to the point where the store was often packed with lines to the registers going all the way back to the Produce Department. I once saw a muchacha with two shopping carts piled high on a coupon day. I think the workers lost dinero/money despite the volume of products being sold so I think that’s why the store ended the coupons. If I were Rainbow, I may have kept the “coupon days” but in a different way: give 10% off to all customers at the register (no yellow page coupons needed) on certain days of a month announced ahead of time. That would have been a compromise of sorts, if they couldn’t afford 20% off to all customers. Some people think that Rainbow should have expanded their business by adding another store in the Haight or Castro districts of San Francisco. Some say that Rainbow should have taken the store in the Haight where WF is. They also say that Rainbow should have taken the old Tower Records store (that’s a two story building) which was “For Lease” for years on Market Street and has now been leased to yet another corporate chain drug store. I don’t know that either location in the Haight or Castro would have done anything for Rainbow’s business because again corporatists and a corporatist city only support corporate chain and big box stores which corporatists often drive to in their SUV. Even corporate chains expand and add stores but end up closing them later. Also, fortunately Rainbow owns their current building so they can’t be kicked out for any reason. Due to outrageous and greed-based real estate prices today, I suspect they cannot afford to buy another building in The Haight or Castro (for example) to expand to and I would guess they would oppose leasing (understandably in this instance) because they could be kicked out at any time or subject to whatever ludicrous demands some asshole landlord or management company required of them. Well screw that! In the Castro, there are two independent/non-corporate “health food stores” (similar to Rainbow but on a much, much smaller scale) and at this point I really don’t know how either store stays open. Neither of them seem to do much business no matter when I walk by them.
As a longtime Rainbow customer, I would hate to see Rainbow Grocery Cooperative become extinct, so that’s why I’ve decided to write this endorsement and advertisement for them (which I’ve never done before for any business) in that this might help their business. So if you live in San Francisco or someplace close in the Bay Area or plan to move here, please support Rainbow Grocery Cooperative at 1745 Folsom Street in San Francisco (and take your own bags with you for your groceries or buy the store’s cloth bags there…you’ll get a bag credit at the register each visit). Why would people support a corporate chain store to begin with? I don’t understand that, other than it’s the sheep thing to do. Do people really enjoy and get off on supporting corporations? WHY?
Vote with your dinero/money
People should vote with their dinero/money. Voting with one’s dinero is the best way to vote and one knows that one’s vote is counted by that vote. Wouldn’t people prefer that their dinero/money go to the workers-owners of a local store rather than a faceless mega-corporation? The Earth needs more cooperatives, not more corporations. In case no one has noticed, corporations are ruining the planet. Muchísimas gracias for supporting Rainbow Grocery Cooperative. Rainbow is open 9am to 9pm every day. The phone number is 415.863.0620 and their address again is:
1745 Folsom Steet
San Francisco CA
Chau.—el barrio rosa
UPDATE (Spring 2019): Well, let’s see what’s new to say about Rainbow since my last update in 2016. The pizza place on their premises that was selling animal products/meat/dead animals closed sometime ago. Have no idea what they will do with that space, if anything. There is zero activism of any kind among the workers that I see or hear about as there was in the store of the Old City (pre-Tech Industrial Complex invasion giving millionaire-billionaire corporations corporate welfare through tax breaks). Rainbow once informed customers about one food corporation taking over another so customers could make informed buying choices, such as when one large chocolate conglomerate takes over a small independent chocolate manufacturer or where the small independent sold-out to corporations. Rainbow doesn’t inform customers about that anymore. The days of the workers boycotting/refusing to carry some products on political or religious principles of the Old City are gone. Despite the Israel/Palestinian problem still existing, Rainbow carries products from Israel and puts out their Hanukkah display at that time of year, although one sort of has to look for it to see the display (it was on the end of an aisle during the Hanukkah season where I last saw it). Today, they carry anything it seems and put all boycott responsibilities on the customer. Lately, I’ve been looking for a couple of food items that I’ve not bought before of a certain brand thinking “Well Rainbow will have it.” They don’t. They don’t carry those particular items (a certain brand of soy chocolate milk), whereas in the Old City there was a saying, “If Rainbow doesn’t have it, nobody will.” That’s a change in the store. In the Old City, their monthly membership meetings had quite the reputation of proudly-radical activism with some disagreements among workers and the like and were said to run well into the night (sometimes 3AM, I think). These days, my source tells me they’re the opposite. Conformity and agreement. Well, these days, none of the workers that come to mind really strike me as being “proudly-radical” as was the case in the store of the Old City before the store’s renovation. At least in their outward appearance, the workers seem more mainstream conformist now (some even wearing corporate sports team shirts), which is a rather major change in the store and the reputation it once had. I sense quite a few workers have left or are leaving based on the turnover of cashiers. Perhaps they got another pay cut and some just can’t afford to work there anymore. The workers have had some pay cuts over the years compared to their being pretty well-paid in the Old City. I think that’s about it. It’s still my favourite place to shop for groceries and the atmosphere of the store is the same as it was, which is a real positive. You’ll hear some hot Latin music there depending upon when you go. But the days of boycott this and boycott that and various activist/religious groups standing outside Rainbow and protesting some decisions they’ve made, well, those days are gone. For safety concerns of their store, I think Rainbow decided it’s best to no longer get involved in boycotts — there are too many nuts out there — and let the customers decide what they want to boycott. I can understand where they’re coming from. I don’t think Rainbow is subject to any “bad PR” these days (not that I see or hear) other than probably from conservative locals who still live in their warped time bubble and think that San Francisco and Rainbow are like they were when they (the conservatives) despised Rainbow and hated on them during the Old City days. I don’t hear anybody hating on Rainbow these days the way the conservatives did in the Old City. The conservatives prefer corporate chain stores. I do think a lot of the workers eat meat now — or maybe they did to begin with! — despite working in a vegetarian-vegan worker-owned grocery store supposedly concerned about the ethical treatment of animals. Also, I rarely see anyone come in on a bicycle anymore and Rainbow ended the discount for cyclists years ago. But, as I said, it’s the best grocery store in San Francisco as far as I’m concerned and I especially like helping the workers by giving them my business. Chau.—el barrio rosa
UPDATE (Spring 2016): What’s this about Meat at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative? WTF?
For those who just love spending their dinero at corporate WF, that mega corporate chain store is not what you think it is. Check out this video from a corporate news source:
Regardless of what you think about Infowars, this particular information is credible: