CONCORD, Ala. (WIAT) – The current supply chain issues felt throughout the country are also being felt in Central Alabama.
Parvez Mulji, the owner of Steve’s Grocery in Concord, says the price of meat and other ingredients like flour and sugar have sky rocketed in recent months. He says even bacon prices have increased from $60 a box to $110 per box. Supply prices have increased from 25% to 30%.
“But if you look at a box of chicken tenders, it used to be about $40 to $50. Now, the same chicken tender box is costing us about $125,” Mulji said.
Because of that, he says he’s had to increase prices for the food he serves in order to meet demand and to pay his employees.
“But the thing is, we are facing the consumer, and then consumers are complaining to us that you are increasing the prices. But we are not the ones increasing prices, we have to stay profitable to survive this market,” Mulji said.
Mulji says on Monday, one customer took to social media to complain about his prices for food. He responded with a post of his own in order to explain everything. For the most part, a lot of customers CBS 42 chatted with on Thursday understood why prices were up.
“A local small business doesn’t have investors. You know, we’re not a publicly traded company,” customer Thomas Tatum said.
Tatum says he’s been going to the restaurant and convenience store for nearly a decade. He says the food, like chicken tenders and cheeseburgers, are usually a slam dunk to order. He says when he saw the post on Monday, he knew he had to defend Mulji and the restaurant.
“When prices rise, some of that has to be eaten by business. But you know, you have to pass some along to the consumer as well,” Tatum said.
While most stores and restaurants go through this tough time, both Mulji and the regulars of Steve’s Grocery hope customers can have patience going forward.
“Quality of food is our main focus and we want to make sure that we provide quality food to our customers,” Mulji said.
“And be kind to one another. Because kindness is free. And if we had more of that, then the world would be a little nicer,” Tatum said.