‘Shop Talk’ series hopes to spark solutions in Englewood - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

`Shop Talk` series hopes to spark solutions in Englewood

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The best conversations happen at the hair salon or barber shop.

The public was invited to one hosted by Englewood native Rashanah Baldwin who returned home after receiving her Masters from DePaul and Bachelors from UIC. She Co-Founded RAGE - the Resident Association of Greater Englewood and hosted the this one-hour 'shop talk' sparked by Whole Foods coming to the poverty-ridden Englewood neighborhood.

Dozens showed up.

"The reaction has been mixed. A lot of people talked about gentrification, a lot of people talked about not being able to afford the prices inside Whole Foods and a lot of people welcome Whole Foods to come here," said Baldwin.

The city's Planning Commission signed off on the project this week. The Thursday approval paves the way for Whole Foods to develop its 18,000 square foot building and open in 2016.

"What happens in Englewood could very well happen in your individual communities," said 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer.

And 100 jobs are up for grabs when the upscale grocer opens.

Sawyer who attended Thursday night's barber shop talk says it's also an opportunity for Chicago-area entrepreneurs.

"There are local vendors that can open and get wears in Whole Foods," said Sawyer.

Shop talk - energetic and filled with good ideas is just getting started.

Fox 32's Tisha Lewis reports the ‘shop talk' is just the first of a year-long, monthly conversation series happening at the barber shop. The next one is scheduled for January, it's focused on voter registration.

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