TERRE HAUTE/CLINTON, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Inflation continues to hammer small businesses. Now, it’s even reached those producing luxury items, like wine.
Tyler Woodward, Manager of Water Tower Estates, said key ingredients like fruits and juices have jumped in price by 30%-40%.
On top of costing more, supply chain issues have made those items even harder to obtain.
“Our budget is also getting tighter, those margins are getting slimmer. It becomes hard to be profitable when inflation is like this,” He said.
The company found new ways to save money by not labeling their slushie bottles.
Aside from not raising its prices, Water Tower has not discontinued any of its wines. That’s because Woodward knows his customers are paying more for everyday items.
“It’s kind of what we’re dealing with. We’d like to not raise prices on customers just yet, we’re trying to wait out the storm. But, if prices keep increasing that’s something we may have to look into the future,” Woodward stated.
Miles away, at the TJ Haase Winery in Clinton, it’s a similar situation.
“It kind of crept up on us,” Owner, Doug Haase, said. “We just our prices start going up on several items.”
He adds a 12-bottle case of wine bottles has increased by $2. That can create challenges for Haase and the staff who orders several panels at a time.
At one time, the winery carried 25 different flavors of wine. Now, that number has been reduced to around 18.
“When I opened this place, I wanted to make a good quality product and give people a break on the price. We haven’t raised our prices over the last year or two years with COVID. I’m hoping we don’t have to,” Haase said.
As the weather warms up, foot traffic has been low at the winery. Haase said he believes current gas prices could be a contributing factor.
“People are just not out and venturing like they would if they could afford gas. It’s a problem,” He added.