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Omaha businesses forced to increase prices due to inflation

'It's a dire situation'
Posted at 7:00 PM, Jul 21, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — While many businesses began adapting and raising prices during the early stages of the pandemic, owner of The Omaha Bakery, Michelle Kaiser decided against any price increases.

"I believe not raising prices in the middle of that crisis, that was important because people knew we’re just trying to make it work for you and provide quality product," Kaiser said. "I know my business is a luxury item and when people financially can’t afford their gas and groceries I’m going to be the person who’s going to be cut out. My business is not going to be their top priority because get real, they have to feed their family they have to get to work all of those things become their necessity."

After holding off though, it's now become necessary in order to stay in business. This week The Omaha Bakery announced it will be raising prices of some baked goods.

Necessary items to run a bakery like flour, sugar, cream cheese and dairy, even packaging, has increased about 30 percent in just the past few months.

"Our cheesecakes we had to increase because the cost of cream cheese, the butter, the cream, the sour cream, the eggs, dairy has increased 20 to 30 percent," Kaiser said.

Not only have items become more expensive but they're also getting harder to find and quality is dropping.

"Every week it's something new. Pan spray, who would’ve thought pan spray would be something that would be hard to get a hold of? Right now, three of my suppliers have said there's no pan spray available," Kaiser said.

The Omaha Bakery is not the only metro business experiencing this. Block 16 announced they too have to pay more for certain necessities and therefore forced to raise prices. The particular fryer oil that Block 16 uses formerly cost $17 per container, now it's up to $45.

"Basically we’re left with either 'cut down on quality and quality ingredients' or 'raise prices,' and there's no way we’re going to cut the quality down," Paul Urban, owner of Block 16, said.

Both businesses have said the price increases aren't going to be too steep but small increases makes a huge difference over time.

"We knew we needed to do something that people could still afford," Kaiser said, explaining items they sell high volumes of like cookies will go up about 25 cents. "There's such a high volume so a quarter here or there it’s not going to break somebody but it's going to help us out in the long run."

"It really depends on the items we look at the entire cost of the item. Some of them we didn’t need to move they were fine, we’re at our percentage, but some of them we were so far off we had to raise them a dollar, two dollars. It's just really a matter of hitting that number to cover that cost every day," Urban said.

While both were reluctant, they say they're grateful their customers understand.