Rising Cost of Coffee Affecting Local Shops

RENO, NV - Coffee is a luxury that many people count on to get them through their day, but shop owners in Reno say this year's drought in Brazil has brought up the cost of coffee roughly 50%. According to Bloomberg Business Week, the country accounts for about one third of the world's coffee supply, and with a shortage in high-grade beans that means a hit to consumers' wallets. Businesses in Reno have had to increase drink prices anywhere from 25 to 50 cents across the board. April Warne, owner of Espresso To Go, says it was hard for her to raise her prices.

"You have to be able to stay in the market, stay competitive and make a profit. So it's tough," she says.

Paul Martin, owner of Bibo Coffee Company, says he's had to get creative to keep his prices affordable for customers.

"My wife just a started a gelato business to help bring up our bottom line a little bit for the business aspect," he says.

Espresso To Go held off on raising prices for about seven years before the burden became too much to bear.

"Unfortunately, every item we use has raised in price and so you can only do that for so long until it's not profitable and not a good business choice," says Warne.

Yet, the higher prices don't seem to be deterring customers.

"Paying three dollars, three fifty, for a coffee plus a tip seemed outrageous to some people. It's not that big of a deal anymore. People are willing to pay that much now, so I don't know why 50 cents or a dollar more should be that big of a deal," says Ryan McElhinney.

Although they're willing to pay a little more for their caffeine fix, coffee shop owners say the dip in the economy has caused some customers to be a bit more conservative with their spending.

"When the recession hit we certainly saw different buying patterns. People might come 3 days a week instead of 5 days a week," says Martin.

Either way, consumers say they'll deal with the increase if it means keeping dollars in the local economy.


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