'No one is happy about it': Rising cost of ingredients forces bakery shops to raise prices

Food prices have increased by over 6% in the last year

No matter what you're buying these days, you're probably going to pay more for it. Inflation is at the highest it's been in four decades. 

Small businesses across the country are paying more for goods, including bakeries. Bakery shop owners say nearly every ingredient they use costs more. 

"One week it's coco powder, the next week it's butter," said bakery owner Cheryl Scripter. "The week after that it's going to be eggs, any dairy, just across the board, everything has been an increase." 

Inflation bakery prices increasing

Bakery owners say nearly every ingredient they use is costing more.

Food prices have increased by over 6% in the last year, and business owners are left to make tough decisions. 


"With a small business, that's what you live and die by, how much your food cost is," said bakery owner Hillary Guttman. "If it goes up even 5%, it can really impact your revenue, your ability to pay employees, pay rent, and keep the lights on."

Inflation is forcing some bakery shop owners to raise prices for the first time in years. 

"Unfortunately, we did have to raise the prices of our cakes because it was such a big deal," Scripter said. "I couldn't absorb any more of it." 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's latest Small Business Index found that inflation is now the dominant issue affecting small businesses. 

In 2021, their surveys found 63% of small businesses raised prices, 40% cut staff, and 45% took out loans as a result of inflation. 


At Bittersweet Confections in New Orleans, Scripter says they're making fewer cakes. 

"Prior to covid, all my pastry cases would be completely filled and we'd restock almost every day," Scripter said. "Now you can see we just don't put any out because we're afraid we're making things no one's going to need after we put the time into it, the labor, and materials." 

Inflation bakery prices increasing

Bakery owner Cheryl Scripter shows the empty shelf in her pastry case. The shop isn't making as many cakes since the pandemic. 

Guttman, the owner of Laurel Street Bakery says raising prices feels inevitable. 

"No one is happy about it," Guttman said. "Hopefully the customers can be understanding. If it continues to go up at all, I'll have to raise prices across the board. It's extremely unpredictable." 

Guttman says even things a customer might not think about are costing more. 

"The cup the coffee goes in, the straws, all the condiments that go in the coffee, you have to have all of that, but even those costs have skyrocketed and consistently gone up and up over the past 6 months," Guttman said. 


Supply is also a factor. 

"That's the other thing, supply is so sporadic that if you get your hands on something, even if it's twice as much as the week before, you still buy it because they actually have it," Guttman said. 

"We're having to change recipes because the ingredients we usually use, we can't find," Scripter added. "It just makes everything more challenging.