REGINA – It was a bustling Sunday brunch at Fresh & Sweet, but soon there will be a fresh menu addition that isn’t very sweet; higher prices.
The restaurant is seeing the impact of soaring grocery prices, especially produce, and according to the owner of the downtown restaurant Allison Sweet, the low loonie isn’t the only factor.
“It’s that we’re having to go to different locations to get it. So instead of getting produce from California it’s being shipped from Chile and Spain,” she explained.
Sweet said customers have been asking about price increases, and while they aren’t in place yet she said they will likely climb five to eight per cent.
Over in the Warehouse District, Bushwakker is also feeling the pinch. Cauliflower has been removed from the menu, and they are looking at substituting certain ingredients to save cost.
The pub is also going to be introducing increased prices with a new menu in the Spring. Bar and marketing manager Grant Frew said he doesn’t know for sure what the increase will be, but it has become essential.
“Well I think everybody is going to be on the same playing field. We’re all going to have to increase prices. We’re just not going to able to stay in business if we don’t do that,” he said.
Locally sourced ingredients may be a solution to the financial woes.
Fresh & Sweet gets plenty of produce from farms near Lumsden in the growing season, but in the winter the only local ingredient they source at this point are eggs.
Frew said Bushwakker is looking into more local options, and it’s a business tactic that’s working for The Willow on Wascana and Beer Bros.
“If anything they have maybe come down a little bit because gas is cheap and transportation is a little bit cheaper now,” said James Taylor, owner and managing partner of both establishments.
“So we don’t have to worry about the produce or anything coming from a thousand miles away. It’s coming from around the corner or down the street.”