THIS IS WHAT
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BRONX TIMES R 4 EPORTER, DECEMBER 18-24, 2020 BTR
Desus & Mero pay for bodega’s rent
Desus Nice and The Kid Mero present the
Best Animated Feature movie award. REUTERS/
the community, it’s very real and it’s
organic…it’s not like a photo-op it’s not
BS,” he added in regards to the larger,
citywide Pepsi mission at hand.
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BY ALEX MITCHELL
Desus & Mero are called The Bodega
Boys for a reason.
This holiday season, the Bronx’s
very own late night show duo have
embarked on a campaign to help a familiar
cornerstone of New York City’s
small business sector — bodegas.
Teaming up with Pepsi, Desus
Nice and The Kid Mero trekked back
to their home borough where they
met Juan, the owner of JJN Corp Deli
and Grocery on Washington Avenue
in Claremont, surprising him with a
check to go towards year’s worth of
rent for his store in a short fi lm titled
‘The Bodega Giveback.’
The fi lm not only addresses the
2020 challenges to Juan and his bodega,
but also features his loyal and
local customers who he has seen grow
up in his store for the past three decades.
After Juan tragically lost his father
and original shop owner earlier
this year to COVID-19, the store
briefl y had closed down, reopening
with the burden of operation felt by
both himself and his son Jefferson in
the recent months.
“When we gave the check to Juan
to pay his rent for a year, you can see
in his eyes he was just overcome with
emotion and so were we,” Desus said.
“The neighborhood needs a bodega,
that’s where they get everything, so
they reopened,” he added, commending
Juan and Jefferson for inadvertently
becoming essential workers
while mourning a loved one.
Mero, who found Juan’s west Bronx
bodega continued that sentiment, telling
what an important presence the
owner had become to Washington Avenue.
“There’s a real community connection
between Juan and the neighborhood…
people were getting misty eyed
when he closed down for a week,” Mero
“When you’re that entrenched in
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As part of that initiative, the brand
will also be surprising local customers
across all fi ve boroughs with $100
prepaid credit cards when they go into
their neighborhood bodegas until Sunday,
Pepsi will also be gifting cash to bodega
owners in NYC this holiday season
“They’re putting their money
where their mouth is,” Mero said.
Up next for the Bodega Boys is an
interview with former President Barack
Obama this Sunday, Dec. 13 at
11:05 p.m. on Showtime.
In a teaser trailer, Obama gave
Desus & Mero his own Bronx cheer,
saying it”looks like y’all could play for
To get into the spirit or to shine a
spotlight on your neighborhood bodega
for a potential giveback, hashtag
#PepsiBodega on social media.
“If it’s important to your community,
give it a shoutout,” Mero said.
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Stock photo with model