Two bakeries: Weathering the cost of eggs
Easton, Pa. — Small businesses and consumers alike have seen the impact of the rise in the price of eggs and butter.
Some bakers in Easton are choosing to eat the extra inflation costs to produce their baked goods, while others are adapting to methods that allow them to be a bit more flexible with what they serve.
- The increased prices of eggs and butter are hitting the bottom line for bakeries like Pie + Tart and Sweet Girlz Bakery
- Pie + Tart owners' shop sales looked to local sources for items they need to keep costs low
- Sweet Girlz Bakery has not raised prices for their customers yet, despite strain from suppliers
Pie + Tart
For Anne Gerr and Lisa Yelagin, owners of Pie + Tart bakery, the change in prices is something they’ve seen before in their business. They sell traditional fruit pies and chocolate tarts along with savory pies like a sausage, cheddar and caramelized onion quiche as well as mushroom and merlot pot pie. Gerr said their business has weathered chicken, beef, and even flour and chocolate expense increases.
“It comes as no surprise to anyone who shops that eggs were $.10 a piece four years ago, and are over $.30 now. And while many prices continue to be high, we have seen the prices of butter and half-and-half, for example, and even eggs, though only slightly, start to fall,” Gerr said.
Only having two owner-employees allows Pie + Tart some resistance to price increases, Gerr said. They've increased prices enough to cover expenses but she also said they've worked to reduce waste and cut costs in other areas of the business.
“We have several things going for us that many larger businesses don’t… the two of us do absolutely everything, from keeping up with social media to shopping, baking, selling, cleaning, and paperwork,” Gerr said.
Being small also gives them flexibility with the menu, purchasing supplies locally, catching sales when they can and buying only what they need. Gerr said it also helps that they are the only dedicated pie shop in the Lehigh Valley.
Sweet Girlz Bakery
Sweet Girlz Bakery co-owner Andriana Gionis has been in business for 11 years and has seen prices for supplies rise and fall.
This time around she said she’s trying to ensure that she doesn’t have to raise prices, and is holding off until she absolutely has to.
“We don't want to inflate our prices too high for our customers but obviously we need to do what we need to do to pay for production and all that good stuff,” Gionis said.
“Rapport and customer service – that means a lot to us."Kari Kirchgessner, co-owner of Sweet Girlz Bakery
Like Pie + Tart's owners, Gionis has needed to shop around at different suppliers to meet her egg and butter needs.
“We have to go to different places that have different prices for eggs. There’s also a butter shortage. The butter price hasn’t increased as drastically as eggs but [finding] butter right now is a more difficult task,” Gionis said.
Sweet Girlz Bakery’s usual supplier for eggs and butter is Sam’s Club, but the corporation has limited quantities of eggs and butter people can purchase due to shortages. Sam’s Club isn’t a direct supplier for businesses, so Gionis also buys from places like Restaurant Depot.
Meanwhile, orders remain consistent at Sweet Girlz Bakery, and Gionis emphasized that they don’t want to increase prices for customers that have been with them since they opened. She said she watched those customers order baked goods for high school and college graduations, and eventually wedding ceremonies.
“Rapport and customer service – that means a lot to us,” Gionis said.
If prices keep increasing, Gionis said they’ll consider a cost increase in baked goods. For now, she said, they’ll wait to see if prices will adjust.