Rising food prices affect grocery shoppers, store owners

4:05 PM, Mar 17, 2011   |    comments
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  • Rising food prices affect grocery shoppers, store owners
  • Rising food prices affect grocery shoppers, store owners
  • Rising food prices affect grocery shoppers, store owners

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Some places just make big cities feel like small towns.

Korte's Super Market in St. Paul is one of those places and there isn't a darn thing wrong with that.

What's wrong, and uncontrollable, is that food prices are at levels not seen in decades.

While that hurts everyone who buys the food at the grocery store, don't forget it also really hurts the guy who buys that food to stock the shelves.

That guy is Steve Korte.

"It is just, whether it is chicken, beef, pork, it's thru the roof," Korte said from his store Wednesday.

These days it all costs more. The produce, the meat and the dairy products.

In an ever growing global population, rising fuel costs and a fragile consumer confidence level, so many things can be blamed for rising food costs.

"Another couple of years like this is going to be bad. Small businesses will close by the thousands. We just can't keep up and survive," Korte lamented.

Anywhere food is sold it is the same story.

The food minds at the Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis are tackling this issue in two ways.

First, they are keeping the food source close to eliminate transportation costs. They do this by using local farmers to stock their menus.

Second, the Birchwood serves food in season and that way the price war isn't being fought with everyone else.

"We are affected every year with the costs going up so we have to find more creative ways to stay sustainable," Birchwood manager Jimmy Layer said.

Creativity at Korte's also is in the basics.

"Smile, service, quality at a fair price," Steve Korte said.

The prices are fair, not lower than the big chains all the time, but really close.

And the folks there are your neighbors, or your neighbor's kid.

The owner, Steve, he's just an old throwback to what makes a corner store a cornerstone.

He'll do anything, just about, to keep you coming into his grocery.

"Jump people's car, give them a ride home. I'm just the old fashioned kind and an old fashioned grocer."

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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