Businesses relying on glass products are seeing challenges

Local

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas businesses that rely on glass are facing challenges in getting the products they need. The pandemic, inflation, and shipping problems are causing higher prices and shortages that business owners are having to deal with.

Prairie Fire Winery in Paxico has struggled to get many supplies. Currently, they’re out of a certain bottle they want to fill before the holidays get here.

“Right now, for example, we have had 32-ounce growlers that we do our sangrias in and our mulled wines, we haven’t had for maybe three or four months,” owner Bob DesRuisseaux said. “We’ve had three pallets on order for months, and we haven’t seen them, so there’s been some timing with bottles. We’re definitely out of stock on more things than we ever have been.”

But these aren’t new problems the business is facing.

“We tended to take a strategy of overordering, knowing that if you ordered 14 items, hopefully, you’d get eight, so you’d have enough of a variety and enough for what people would want,” DesRuisseaux said about previous orders during the COVID-19 crisis.

The owner at Prairie Glass Studio in Topeka, Kymm Ledbetter, sees items out of stock, specific glass colors not being made, and costs are up.

“Glass prices itself has gone up, but everything else has gone up too, so shipping, we order big crates of glass, well that’s like double now the price, and I just talked to my supplier this morning, and it’s also taking longer to get it,” Ledbetter said.

Though the issues vary.

“It’s not all the glass in general. It’s just certain colors. They can’t get what they need to make the glass that color,” Ledbetter said.

That’s forced larger totals on customers’ receipts.

“Yes, all the prices have raised. We have to if we want to stay in business,” she said.

The owners are counting on customers to keep them afloat when times get tough.

“We actually have a lot of customers that bring their bottles back to us, anything that we can do to keep a bottle out of the landfill,” DesRuisseaux said.

The empty bottles are then formed into candles, or they’re cleaned up and refilled with wine.

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