Cans of Campbell's Soup are stocked on a shelf at a grocery store in Phoenix
Cans of Campbell's Soup are stocked on a shelf at a grocery store in Phoenix Reuters

If you live in New York City or other major cities in the country, you’ve probably been to a bodega, local market or corner store.

Bodegas are small mom and pop stores replete with products from snacks and drinks to headache remedies and hair gel. The bodega is where people in the neighborhood go and buy milk for the next morning or ice cream for their late nights. At bodegas, everyone interacts with the store vendor behind the counter and the cats (or sometime multiple cats) that walk around the store.

While the bodega sounds like a great community spot, two former Google employees are trying to make them a thing of the past with their startup, according to Fast Company. The startup -- called Bodega -- sets up unmanned five-foot wide pantry boxes in apartments, offices, dorms or gyms. The boxes contain products that are non-perishable. The Bodega app allows people to unlock the pantry box, while cameras powered with computer vision will register what has been taken so the person’s credit card can be automatically charged. Using Bodega means people won’t have to interact with their neighborhood bodega vendor, which would lower sales for the mom and pop stores.

Bodega — which has a cat as a logo — was started by Paul McDonald, who worked as a product manager at Google for 13 years, along with Ashwath Rajan, who was also at the search engine company.

“The vision here is much bigger than the box itself,” McDonald told Fast Company. “Eventually, centralized shopping locations won’t be necessary, because there will be 100,000 Bodegas spread out, with one always 100 feet away from you.”

The internet did not like the idea of the startup, with some people calling it a vending machine and others attacking it for stealing ideas from their communities.

Here's a sampling of Twitter reaction: