Rising egg prices impacting Richmond bakeries

The price of eggs keeps going up…and one group that's been hit particularly hard is bakeries.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 7:10 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -The price of eggs keeps going, and one group that’s been hit particularly hard is bakeries.

Bakers rely on eggs to make many products, like cakes and cookies. Local Carytown bakery Montana Gold Bread Co. uses eggs in many products they sell.

Store owner Rich Lahvic says the price he’s paying for eggs is two to three times more than what he was paying last year.

Lahvic said he started noticing those egg prices going up about a month ago.

“Like the eggs are fairly recent, we try to absorb cost increases where we can, but I mean, are they gonna get chickens to start laying eggs again soon? I mean, I don’t know. Nobody knows,” he said.

Montana Gold Bread said they’re not raising prices just yet. They can now cover the cost difference, so customers don’t have to. But as a local business already dealing with the economic problems that have come over the past 2 years, it’s hitting them hard.

“Butter went sky high, let’s see, wheat and wheat flours are very hard to get...over the past year or two, we’ve had to raise prices more than we’ve had ever,” Lahvic explained.

On grocery store shelves, eggs sold for an average cost of about $3.59 in November.

The egg prices at some of the grocery stores in Carytown matched that average. At Kroger, a dozen eggs cost $3.69. Publix’s price was set at $5.29, and Ellwood Thompson’s had a dozen eggs selling for $6.59.

Some of the reasons egg prices keep going up are that poultry farmers are still dealing with the fallout of bird flu, as well as high feed prices and labor costs. Egg experts say buying those eggs could still be worth it.

“When you think about who you can feed with a dozen eggs, and for what price, that’s healthy protein for omelets for six people,” stated Hobey Bauhan, president of the Virginia Poultry Federation.

If you can’t afford those rising costs, vegan bakers at Minglewood Bake Shop say there are some alternatives you can use.

“We use baking soda and vinegar, which are very inexpensive and easily accessible ingredients that’s what goes into our cakes. We also use applesauce and flax seed or mashed banana that goes into our coffee cake and anything else that may traditionally require an egg,” said Chris Sheehy, owner of Minglewood Bake Shop.

The Virginia Poultry Federation is unsure when those egg prices might come down.