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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, April 19, 2024

Davis Square’s bfresh set to close

The grocery store’s closing feeds into students’ frustrations over a lack of dining options.

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The Davis Square branch of bfresh is pictured on Oct. 3.

The bfresh grocery store located in Davis Square will close after Oct. 12. Opened in 2017, the store has been a go-to source for Tufts students to purchase healthier options and organic groceries at affordable prices.

According to a spokesperson for the store’s sibling company, the market was underperforming financially.

Stop & Shop has made the difficult decision not to renew the lease for our bfresh store as the store was not meeting financial expectations,” Caroline Meredinos, the external and corporate communications manager for Stop & Shop, wrote in an email to the Daily.

Meredinos added that all bfresh associates “will be given the opportunity to transfer to other Stop & Shop locations,” and referred customers to nearby Stop & Shop locations across Medford, Malden, Arlington and Watertown.

Despite there being other nearby grocery alternatives in Medford and Somerville, some Tufts students feel they are losing access to an affordable food source.

“I don’t want to have to scrape out the inside of my pockets to buy groceries,” sophomore Ella Irvine said.

Sophomore Molly Sikma voiced a similar opinion.

“I’m mad it’s closing. It was super accessible for me and also [had] decent prices, which is nice since I don’t have a crazy big income as a college student,” Sikma said.

Both shared that key appeals of bfresh were its proximity to campus, its affordability and its wide selection of produce.

“I like to have fresh fruits and veggies that I can have as a snack,” Sikma said. “I can’t really get that from the CVS [in Davis Square] but I could get that from bfresh. … Since it is closing I’m not sure where I’m going to get [fruit] from now.”

While neither student is afraid of going hungry, they expressed disappointment about not having more options for affordable produce.

“It’s not like we live in a food desert,” Irvine said. “[bfresh] was a very nice alternative [to Tufts Dining] because you can buy bananas for the regular price, as opposed to over one dollar for a single banana [at Hodge]. … I don’t want to say that we necessarily need that grocery store, because we do still have food offered at Tufts. It’s just overpriced.”

Simka referred to the recent change to the Tufts meal plan, which no longer allows students to use two meal swipes in one dining period at a retail location.

She further noted how she feels particularly constrained for food options at Tufts on weekends. On Saturday and Sunday, Fresh at Carmichael Dining Center and Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center are the only dining halls which are open and accept meal swipes.

Irvine is now searching for alternative grocery stores.

“I’ll probably go more often to Target. … I was talking about [going to Star Market] with my coworkers,” Irvine said. “They were like, ‘We go there but it’s so expensive.’

It is currently unknown which new tenant will occupy the space held by bfresh after it closes.