Pine Village Preschool Moving Into Old Harvest Co-Op Building on South Street

From groceries to little kids: the old Harvest Co-Op building on South Street will be empty no more come September.

Joana Araujo, director of the Pine Village Preschool, confirmed to Jamaica Plain News that the school will be moving its classrooms at the First Baptist Church (633 Centre St.) to a roomier space at the former Harvest Co-Op location at 57 South St.

Pine Village Preschool (PVP) is a Spanish Language Immersion school for toddlers and preschoolers with two locations in Jamaica Plain, with the second in St John’s Episcopal Church on Revere Street.


“Our Mission is to educate and nurture each child’s individuality within a culturally diverse, bilingual community so that every child develops a true passion for learning and an ability to engage in any environment and community,” says the school’s website.

Empty no more: Pine Village Pre School will move in to the former Harvest Cop Op storefront in September

Richard Heath

Empty no more: Pine Village Preschool will move in to the former Harvest Co-Op storefront in September.

Araujo, originally from the Azores, immigrated to the United Sates 14 years ago. She speaks three languages and started as a teacher with the school and has been its director since it moved into the First Baptist Church in 2012.

The Centre Street school currently has 52 students ranging in age from 15 months to 5 years of age.

Harvest Co-Op announced in January 2015 it would close the South Street location, citing intense competition from Whole Foods in Hyde Square, among other factors.

The company that marketed the property had advertised it as ideal for retail or restaurants. Initial reaction on social media was decidedly mixed. In response to the news, one commenter on the Jamaica Plain News Facebook page said, “I adore that preschool. I abhor storefronts used for preschools. Kills the vibrant street life of a previously day/night neighborhood hub. Sigh.”

The prime property at the corner of South and Custer streets has been among the most-discussed in the neighborhood in terms of what residents would like to see there. Restaurants, a small grocery store, maybe a diner all seemed to have word-of-mouth support.

The preschool will likely need to clear city red tape to open its doors in the new location. That’s because, at least according to online zoning maps, the parcel is zoned for “local convenience,” defined as “commercial/retail/shopping serving the immediate area.”

  • Paula

    Extremely disappointed by the coming of a pre-school to the old Harvest Market location. Residents now have no options for grocery shopping within walking distance except for City Feed six blocks away. What a shame!…

    • paul

      If 6 blocks isn’t considered walking distance, you have a bigger problem than where to get groceries

    • Gladys

      Paula, if you wanted a grocery store there I wonder why didn’t you rent out the space and open one? Contrary to your entitled little delusions, dear, the world doesn’t owe you a supermarket outside your door.

      • Malena

        Wow, why the anger Gladys and others? Paula made a very reasonable comment about her disappointment at not having what she needs. She didn’t put down anybody or anyone. And FYI – there are many elderly and disabled people for whom 6 blocks is too far. The closing of the old Co-Op didn’t really affect me because I don’t live nearby, I have a car, and can walk easily. But I do remember going in there and seeing many older people, moms with strollers, etc. who live nearby taking advantage of a convenient source of mostly reasonably -priced fresh foods. I, for one, wish the new tenants nothing but the best of luck and I’m not worried about them taking over Fiore’s – actually, I would think it would be a business boom for them.

        • Gladys

          Reality check, Marla: it’s not anger to point out the rediculousness of someone’s post. I think it’s called Free Speech. Here’s another dose of reality for you:
          It’s commonly agreed that:
          1). the store was dirty.
          2). the product there was overpriced.
          3). the produce was often and usually anything but fresh.
          The “neighbors” and “moms with strollers” spoke up, said we don’t want to shop here any more, and instead started shopping at the new Harvest, City Feed, and Whole Foods, thus the store closed for a lack of enough customers to make it financially viable. And FYI: I suggest you and Paula open your own place, sell food at a loss, and see how long you stay open. Cearly that’s what you expect others to do.

    • Scott

      You can always schlep to Roche’s, Weggies, or Stoppies like the rest of JP has to.

  • Monster

    Not the most exciting use of prime commercial space.

  • Gail

    Fiore’s will be over run with kids…

  • Walburga

    I agree with those stating this is disappointing. I wish them the best of luck, but it means that the space will be empty at night, which as the author of this article pointed out, does not contribute to a vibrant community and raises concerns for safety. And stop with the nasty comments – we can disagree and still be nice about it.

    • Chris Helms

      Hey everyone, it’s Chris from Jamaica Plain News. I wanted to thank the folks on this thread who have spoken up for civility. We’re neighbors here. There’s no need for this space to remind us of the comment sections of the Herald or Globe.

      • Gladys

        Right…so no dissenting opinions allowed. Thx for the clarification.

      • Scott

        Chris – Most of these comments are whiny, hostile, anti-family, and/or anti-JP.

  • pat

    Poor use of a space that had great potential to help invigorate boring downtown JP. Sad to say that’s the best we can do, it would never happen in south end, south boston, etc. JP remains just a mostly forgotten sleepy backwater.

  • Scott

    Great use of space! Lots of JP families need child care and Pine Village is an award winning program. JP is plenty vibrant. If you don’t like it here you are free to move.

  • Sheila

    Not an easy location for drop-off/pick-up by car. Maybe they have a good workaround in mind.

  • RodeoBelle

    A very busy and dangerous location for a daycare center. Good grief the school will be right on the main street. Cars, buses, bicyclists, coming and going all along that stretch. Safety first.

    • Scott

      Good grief is right. If you knew anything about JP and its daycare scene you would know Pine Village has another center at the First Baptist Church of Jamaica Plain on Centre Street. Think first.

      • RodeoBelle

        I know quite a bit about daycare centers. I don’t know of any directly on a busy main street in JP. But maybe you do. The church has a wonderful , very large lawn with circular driveway in front of the school. It is not 6ft. from the curb of a main street, like the old Harvest location. Just my opinion.

        • Scott

          Jeez louise, what is the acceptable set back required to get your blessing?