Thanksgiving is a time for spending a few quality hours with friends and family, and then after eating pounds of turkey, potatoes, stuffing and the like, finding oneself in a tryptophan daze.
While the increased price for grocery items may make it harder for the holiday evening’s usual spread, obtaining the food in order to sell it to customers is not that easy for store owners.
The Daily World spoke briefly to Jack Peterson, who owns Gordon’s Select Market in McCleary. Peterson spoke about the challenges he faces in acquiring food to sell to his customers.
“(The costs are) up tremendously,” Peterson said. “Every time we get a load, it seems like the price raises.”
Peterson wants to be fair to his customers, but he also has to keep his own business — including his staff members — in mind.
“I try to make (food costs) palatable, but we need to pay bills. We need to keep people employed,” Peterson said.
Some items are harder to get for a good price.
“Mainly, it’s on perishable items,” Peterson said. “They fluctuate so much.”
Peterson wanted to make people aware the increased prices are hard on stores.
“Our costs have gone up,” Peterson said. “Our retails have to match the cost to keep the doors open. We’ve got bills to pay. The result is the consumer will pay for it. We need to have the availability.”
Peterson also wanted to dispel an idea he said people might have.
“People think we’re making beaucoup bucks, but we’re not,” Peterson said. “We’re surviving.”
Ann Galland, the owner of Pick-Rite Thriftway in Montesano, spoke to The Daily World. It sounds as though her store is facing similar hurdles.
“All of our department managers have been trying to secure the best quality items at a fair price,” Galland said. “Granted, virtually everything has seen price increases and availability challenges. We at Thriftway take pride in providing our community and our customers with the best product and variety available.”
Galland expressed her feeling for her customer base.
“We at Thriftway have a very loyal customer base and our customers know that we continually offer quality products,” Galland said. “Quality and variety is what sets us apart. (That’s) not only at the holidays, but consistently.”
Unfortunately, during the season of perfectly golden-brown turkeys and all the fixings, getting the flightless bird has been difficult.
“Turkey supply continues to be a challenge,” Galland said. “And that’s nationwide. We don’t have any secret source for products. Our meat department committed for turkeys months ago knowing there would be supply issues.”
It isn’t just turkeys, according to Galland.
“That goes for other items that are in high demand for each holiday,” Galland said. “Just because one commits to the supplier for pre-orders, that does not necessarily mean the items are guaranteed to ship. But, we do the best we can. That’s all anybody can do.”
The increased price of food items lead The Daily World to wonder how to help people make a cost-efficient turkey and dressing meal.
The three best prices:
Whole turkey — Walmart (98 cents-per-pound), Ocean Shores IGA ($1.69-per-pound) and Shop’n Kart ($1.99-per-pound)
Stuffing — Shop’n Kart ($1.69-per-bag), Walmart ($2.28-per-box) and Swanson’s SuperValu ($2.29-per-box)
Potatoes — Shop’n Kart ($3.99 for a 10-pound bag), Ocean Shores IGA ($1.99 for a 5-pound bag) and Walmart ($4.26 for a 10-pound bag)
Cranberry sauce — Shop’n Kart ($1.69 for a 14-oz can), Grocery Outlet ($1.99 for a 14-oz can) and Ocean Shores IGA ($1.99 for a 14-ounce can)
Sweet potatoes and/or yams — Walmart — (92 cents-per-pound for yams and sweet potatoes), Swanson’s ($1.49-per-pound for yams) and Thriftway ($1.29-per-pound for yams, $1.49-per-pound for sweet potatoes)
Pumpkin pie mix — Gordon’s Select Market (Two 30-ounce cans for $6), Walmart ($4.24 for a 29- to 30-ounce can) and Grocery Outlet ($4.29 for a 29-ounce can)
In addition to buying the items individually, select stores also provide a meal deal.
To help the customers at Gordon’s Select Market attain a few of the principle Thanksgiving items, Gordon’s provides a “Thanksgiving Meal” for $32.99. The meal comes with turkey breast, potatoes, stuffing mix, gravy mix, whole kernel corn, cut green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, whipped topping and an 8-inch pumpkin pie.
Shop’n Kart in Westport also offers a deal to make holiday shopping easier, for $40. The meal consists of a 14- to 16-pound Jenni-O frozen turkey, or a bone-in portion ham — up to 9 pounds, a bottle of Martinelli’s Apple Cider, olives, two cans of canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, two gravy mixes, one container of stuffing, an 8-count of dinner rolls, an 8-inch pumpkin or apple pie and a five-pound bag of potatoes.
Swanson’s SuperValu also has a deal, while it’s more expensive at $45.99, it includes both turkey and ham. Swanson’s offers a 4-pound ham and an 8- to 10-pound turkey, a 9-inch pie, five-pound bag of potatoes, a can of corn or green beans, a package of turkey gravy mix, a box of stuffing, whipped topping and olives.
Contact Matthew N. Wells at The Daily World for story ideas at email@example.com.