LATHAM, N.Y. (WTEN) – Consumer prices are on the rise, and shoppers can see the change in their receipt totals. But how is the price increase of edible goods impacting the Capital Region?
Robert Cardona, Cardona Market co-owner, brought out a one-gallon bottle of Dolce Vita oil. The store utilizes the canola/olive oil mixture in most of the market’s ready-to-eat foods.
“This used to be $30 a case. Now it’s $70,” Cardona said while holding up the yellow jug.
Cardona said it’s normal to see the expense of goods fluctuate within a small percentage. Usually, the store would hold off on changing prices for customers. However, he has no choice when an item doubles in cost for an extended amount of time.
“We’ve seen a 100%, sometimes 125 to 150%, rise in certain food items that we use on a daily basis,” Cardona said. “We can only eat these costs for so long before we have to pass them off to the consumer.”
Paesan’s Pizza co-owner, Frank Scavio, said upping prices on his customers is the hardest part.
“I’ve been in business 30 years. I’ve never seen anything like this in 30 years,” Scavio said.
While seated in a booth at Paesan’s Pizza’s Latham location, Scavio compared the restaurant’s overall expenses—such as labor and goods—from year to year.
“It’s a lot of red ink. Very sad. Everything is up double digits,” Scavio said.
From a rise in the cost of employees to must-have pizza ingredients like flour and oil, everything impacts his loyal customer base. Scavio said he feels for the families who have come to Paesan’s for 20 years expecting more affordable prices.
“Some places feel so bad that they just take it off the menu,” Scavio said.
Echoing the same sentiment, Cardona said nobody is winning.
“It’s difficult when you’re dealing with customers that have been with you for a long time,” Cardona said. “It’s a hard decision, but it had to be made.”
Both owners ask the community for some understanding for all the local restaurants and grocery stores during these unprecedented times.