Monday, February 6, 2023

Grand Strand farmer, business owner affected by rising egg prices

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Rising egg prices are not only affecting consumers, but also farmers and business owners.

According to the Consumer Price Index data, egg prices have increased by 60% in one year.

Farmer Tim Fox has been raising chickens and selling eggs for several years, but says recent demand has skyrocketed.

“I have people calling me that I don’t know who they are; I’ve never seen them before,” Fox said. “But because they can’t get eggs where they normally would, which would be the grocery store, because of the shortages, then suddenly there are more people calling me.”

Right now, Fox sells a dozen eggs for $6, but is considering raising prices, not only because of higher demand, but because it has to pay more for supplies such as chicken feed and egg cartons. But he says he tries to keep prices as consistent as possible.

“We’re not trying to get rich off of this, but we have to at least pay for what we’re doing,” Fox said.

Business owners are also seeing the impacts. Lee Zulanch, the owner of Benjamin’s Bakery, said he orders eggs in 40-pound containers, but they are not always easy to get, as the price of eggs has nearly tripled from what it was a year ago.

“It’s our 29th year and I feel like I’m running the business like the first year,” Zulanch said. “At the end of the month, if there’s still money in the checkbook, woohoo, we should be good.”

Zulanch also said other supplies, such as yeast and flour, are in high demand and he has to plan ahead when ordering supplies.

“We actually rented an entire additional building on this block, just to stock hard-to-get items because when they become available, instead of fighting for stock and another two to four weeks , we are buying a minimum of six months a year of durable goods at a time,” Zulanch said.

But despite the challenges, both Fox and Zulanch value their clients’ business.

“Our customers know what they’re getting,” Zulanch said. “I don’t want to, you know, throw something into their head that they’re not expecting.”

“I’m extremely grateful for the support, that we’re still here,” Zulanch said. “We’re still in business and I promise you we strive to earn that level of support that the community has given us.”

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