After nearly two years in Harlem, gourmet market Citarella became a bit more community-friendly last week by finally accepting EBT cards—what used to be known as food stamps. Though its five sibling stores still hold true to cash or credit only, the underpopulated 125th Street branch is making changes to accommodate the vastness of the neighborhood (and the fact that it’s located across from the General Grant Houses). “If people walk in and can’t afford it, they walk out,” says manager Charles Schillaci. “What good is that for us or for them? Our prices are comparable to those of other stores in the area.” The store sells both Gorgonzola tortellini and Goya black beans. “When you open a new store, it’s a process to see what the neighborhood needs,” adds Schillaci. “It was about demand, and, of course, it doesn’t hurt our bottom line.”
Gentrification Now Takes Food Stamps
Citarella adjusts to Harlem.
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