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Neighborhood Watch

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Orlando Rodriguez, born-and-bred on the Lower East Side, learned how to cater to the neighborhood's new population before opening Essex Street shop E&S Wholesome Foods. "He knew that the neighborhood wanted a store that carried more health-conscious and organic items, so he educated himself on the products by doing research over the Internet and visiting other stores that carry similar products. He found inspiration by taking note of the way the other gourmet stores carried and stocked their items. His partner Fernandez also had valuable expertise to share from his health and personal-training background. 'It’s like double the price of regular stuff, but also good, so it has a good presentation,' remarked Rodriguez of his shop’s healthy offerings. In addition to brewing and carrying Jim’s Organic Coffee, E&S Wholesome Foods has products from Tom’s of Maine and a large selection of nondairy milk alternatives, including soy milk, rice milk and hemp milk." [Villager]