Edmonton eating places and grocery shops are elevating costs as provide pressures mount

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Shipping costs, fuel price increases, and poor agricultural growing seasons due to adverse weather conditions have forced Edmonton’s restaurateurs and retailers to raise prices.

Author of the article:

Blair McBride

Publication date:

October 25, 202115 hours agoRead for 2 minutes 27 comments Paul Shufelt, owner of Workshop Eatery in southeast Edmonton, says he had to increase the price of his restaurant menu by 10-15 percent to offset his costs, but also to give something back to his employees. Paul Shufelt, owner of Workshop Eatery in southeast Edmonton, says he had to increase the price of his restaurant menu by 10-15 percent to offset his costs, but also to give something back to his employees. Photo by Larry Wong /Postal media

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Some local Edmonton restaurants and grocery stores are raising prices as supplier costs rise due to pandemic and climatic pressures.

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Shipping costs, fuel price increases and weak agricultural growing seasons due to unfavorable weather conditions have forced restaurateurs and retailers to increase prices.

The restrictions are forcing Beaumont Restaurant Chartier, which focuses on using ingredients from local sources, to change aspects of its business model.

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“There was a balance between adjusting the portion sizes and the ingredients so there weren’t any big price increases for customers,” said owner Darren Cheverie.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Chartier detailed how some of its ingredients have risen in price since 2018. The cost of rapeseed oil rose by 82.3 percent, bacon by 57.4 percent, flour by 39.4 percent and take-out boxes by 29.6 percent.

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

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

“When there was a shortage of lettuce, we were forced to buy from indoor lettuce farmers who cost more. Negative as that is, it has shown that direct marketing is such an important part of food, ”said Cheverie.

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Prices at Earth’s General Store in Edmonton have risen about two percent in the past few months and are expected to continue to rise.

Michael Kalmanovitch, the owner of the 82 Avenue independent shop, said he had received letters from several vendors this year stating that the California drought and higher utility, manufacturing and transportation costs caused them to pay additional fees pass on to retailers.

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One of these suppliers is the Californian organic producer Lundberg Rice.

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

For Paul Shufelt, owner of the Workshop Eatery in South Edmonton, some of his input costs have increased by more than 50 percent.

Despite shopping from Albertan suppliers, a pound of butter is up $ 1 year over year and beef is up 10 percent.

Getting paper for napkins and take-out boxes was one of his worst headaches.

“I placed an order for paper products from China in June when shipping was $ 9,000,” he said. “By August it was $ 26,000. We ordered three containers, two arrived, one is still on a ship in the port of Vancouver because there aren’t enough people to unload it. “

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Shufelt has increased its menu prices by 10 to 15 percent to offset the cost and give something back to its employees.

“You have been through a lot in the past year. We gave every hourly employee a 15 percent raise, ”he said.

The consumer price index (CPI) in Canada rose 4.4 percent in September year-over-year, the fastest increase since 2003 and an increase of 4.1 percent from August, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

In Alberta, the CPI rose four percent from September 2020 to September 2021. Prince Edward Island saw the highest increase of the provinces at 6.3 percent.

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