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Seeing the Spike: Three Lakes Town Market experiencing rise in prices for certain grocery items

Three Lakes Town Market 1.jpg
Katie Thoresen

Chris Klar has noticed the prices for grocery items slowly creeping up over the last year.

“You know you watch the news you hear everything skyrocketing, skyrocketing this, skyrocketing that. We certainly saw things going up but not skyrocketing,” said Klar.

That changed last week.

Klar and his wife have owned the Three Lakes Town Market for the last five years.

“Early in the pandemic, April/May of 2020, there was some serious gouging going on. People were trying to take advantage. That got squelched pretty quickly. But other than that couple month period during the pandemic, we’ve never seen price increases like this before,” said Klar.

Klar says eggs have become a commodity. The price of those increased over $1 per dozen from last week to this one.

Fresh chicken costs rose 20 percent.

Even the shortening they use in the deep fryer jumped from $35/5 gallons to $68/5 gallons.

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On top of that, Klar says his vendors have been adding fuel surcharges to cover that high cost of gas.

“You got your invoice. You got all your items and at the bottom there’s a fuel surcharge. That can be $7.50. It could be $25. But everybody is starting to add that now where they didn’t in the past,” said Klar.

Klar says throughout the pandemic, he’s been trying his best to keep price increases reasonable.

But lately the prices rose too much and now they’re reflected at the cash register.

At the end of the day, Klar just wants to be honest and open about what’s happening.

“We’re seeing unprecedented costs here. We’re not gouging. We’re not profiteering from any of this. We’re just passing the costs on cause we can’t absorb it all. We still have to keep the lights on at the end of the day,” he said.

Klar, of course, is not the only grocery store owner to be dealing with this issue.

The USDA puts out a monthly Consumer Price Index.

Its latest report forecasts the average food prices to increase about 5% as compared to last year, with poultry and fats and oils to expected to see the largest increases.

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