CINCINNATI — As war rages in Ukraine, one Hyde Park bread seller is seeing the price of his raw materials rise.
Breadsmith, an artisan bread bakery near Hyde Park Square, is just one of the many businesses in our community that relies on wheat — something that’s in short supply with two of the world’s biggest producers at war.
Now, Will Bahlman is being forced to bake in some added costs.
“We’re probably looking at every bit of of $30 for a bag of flour now,” he said. “When two countries are tete’ and tete’ with each other they’re not going to be able to produce as much wheat as they used to,” Bahlman said. “They’re going to switch to making tank traps or whatever, so the whole market can now raise their prices.”
That extra cost is now impacting him with no end in sight.
“I have to find an extra two to three grand a week just to continue doing what I’m doing and that doesn’t involve raises," he said. "That doesn’t involve purchasing new equipment, hiring new people, none of it.”
The good news is Bahlman’s loyal customer base are continuing to roll the cost of his loaves into their budgets, even after he warned them prior to rising prices.
“It was a picture of a little square we were handing out saying ‘hey, we’re raising prices on ya,’" he said. "And everyone’s like ‘hey, congratulations. Kudos to you. Let’s go.’”
Bahlman is currently hoping that level of support lasts.
“The biggest problem with that is convincing your customer is it still worth it?" he said. "Are you still willing to, if gas is seven dollars a gallon anymore, are you willing to pay a dollar or two for an artisan loaf of bread?”
Bahlman added it’s more important now than ever to support the local businesses we have left because they’re dealing with long-term impacts of the pandemic and supply chain issues the war in Ukraine is delivering.
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