Food stores

Edmonton restaurants and food stores raise prices as supply pressures intensify

Shipping costs, increases in fuel prices and sluggish agricultural growing seasons due to inclement weather have all forced Edmonton’s restaurateurs and retailers to raise prices.

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Some local restaurants and food stores in Edmonton are raising prices as supplier costs rise due to pandemic and climate pressures.

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Shipping costs, increases in fuel prices and sluggish agricultural growing seasons due to inclement weather have all forced restaurateurs and retailers to raise their prices.

The constraints push the Beaumont Chartier restaurant, which relies on the use of locally sourced ingredients, to change certain aspects of its business model.

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“It was a good balance between adjusting the portion sizes and the ingredients, so that there wasn’t a huge price increase for customers,” said owner Darren Cheverie.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Chartier explained how the price of some of its ingredients has increased since 2018. The cost of canola oil has increased by 82.3%, bacon by 57.4%, flour from 39.4% and take-out boxes. by 29.6 percent.

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The most significant factor affecting Chartier’s Alberta suppliers was this summer’s drought, one of the worst in many years.

But Cheverie said the pressure gave Chartier the opportunity to get creative and become “hyper-local”.

“(With) the lettuce shortages, we have been forced to buy more expensive indoor lettuce growers. As negative as it may be, it highlighted that direct-to-market farming is such an important part of the diet, ”Cheverie said.

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At Earth’s General Store in Edmonton, prices have risen about 2% in recent months and are expected to rise even more.

Michael Kalmanovich, owner of the independent store at 82 Avenue, said this year he received letters from several vendors explaining that the drought in California and the higher costs of utilities, manufacturing and transportation pushed them to pass the costs on. additional on retailers.

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One of those suppliers is California organic producer Lundberg Rice.

“I had to increase the price of (their product) from $ 7.80 to $ 8,” Kalmanovich said.

For Paul Shufelt, owner of Workshop Eatery in south Edmonton, some of its input costs have risen by more than 50 percent.

Even though it sources from Alberta suppliers, a pound of butter is up $ 1 from a year ago, and beef is up 10%.

One of her biggest headaches has been sourcing paper for napkins and takeout boxes.

“I placed an order for paper products in June from China when the shipping cost was $ 9,000,” he said. “In August, it rose to $ 26,000. We have ordered three containers, two have arrived, one is still on a ship in the Port of Vancouver because there are not enough people to unload it.

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Shufelt has increased the prices of its menus by 10-15% to offset costs and give back to its employees.

“They’ve been through a lot in the last year. We gave every hourly employee a 15 percent raise, ”he said.

The pressure on food costs comes as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Canada rose 4.4% year-over-year in September, the fastest increase since 2003 and a 4.1% increase from August, according to Statistics Canada said wednesday .

In Alberta, the CPI rose 4% from September 2020 to September 2021. Prince Edward Island had the highest peak of the provinces at 6.3%.

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