Andre Lemus, owner of Las Palmeras, holds a couple of avocados in his Red Deer restaurant Friday afternoon. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Price of avocados, other fruits and vegetables put Red Deer businesses in a pickle

One Red Deer restaurant knows the impact fluctuating costs of fruits and vegetables can have on a business.

Andre Lemus, owner of Mexican restaurant Las Palmeras in Red Deer, said the price of avocados has “gone up a lot” over the past few years.

“To keep our prices in line, we don’t put as much (guacamole) on the plate as we normally did,” said Lemus.

A few years ago, an avocado would have cost between $1.50 and $1.75, but now they’re paying about $2.36.

“You don’t want to change your menu prices all the time. Your per-cent-to-profit margin is sometimes very good and is sometimes not so good.

“You just have to stay ahead of the market to keep your prices in line or try something different in order to maintain the same prices,” said Lemus.

Lemus said he doesn’t expect the price of avocados to go down any time soon.

Glow Juicery and Raw Food Eatery, a Red Deer juice shop, was recently hit with skyrocketing prices of celery juice.

“For a short period of time – it was about five months where the celery prices were astronomical,” said owner Fenella Gilbert.

From late March to early June, a case of celery juice cost as much as $129. At the start of the year, a case was $80 to $90, and now a case is about $55.

“As a business owner or a restaurant, you sometimes have to decide what’s more important to you: your bottom line or your client,” said Gilbert.

“You can suck a lot of the cost up and cross your fingers that it’s not going to stay for a long period of time.”

The juice shop had to adjust prices slightly to account for the spike in celery cost.

“We did end up raising our prices by 50 cents a bottle, but for the most part, we ended up sucking it up,” she said.

“We basically knew by talking to the produce manager that the price would come down, and it wouldn’t be this high for long.

“Maybe our bottom line took a bit of a hit, but it was worth it, because we didn’t see a decrease in clients coming in.”

While the cost of celery isn’t nearly as high was it was a couple of months ago, carrots and beets are more expensive than they were earlier this year, said Gilbert.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Red Deer seeking further public input on transit network improvements

Proposed new routes, improved frequency, connectivity and accessibility are all part of… Continue reading

14 year old pedestrian injured in motor vehicle collision in Red Deer

A young pedestrian was injured during a motor vehicle collision Monday evening… Continue reading

Edmonton trial hears woman was repeatedly stabbed, her organs removed

GRAPHIC WARNING: This story contains details that may disturb some readers. EDMONTON… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Liberals granting more leeway to would-be Venezuelan immigrants, refugees

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are easing immigration and refugee rules for… Continue reading

Transat continues to back Air Canada bid following comments by Peladeau

MONTREAL — Transat A.T. Inc. repeated its recommendation that shareholders support a… Continue reading

Manitoba Liberal candidate says he was attacked in apartment building

WINNIPEG — A candidate in the upcoming Manitoba provincial election says he… Continue reading

Greenland leader again rejects Trump buying idea

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Greenland has again stolen the limelight when its premier… Continue reading

Kenney says Legault has shaky grasp of history when it comes to equalization

QUEBEC — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shot back at his Quebec counterpart… Continue reading

Judge acquits Manitoba Mountie of manslaughter but not driving charge

THOMPSON, Man. — A judge says he believes that a northern Manitoba… Continue reading

U.S. secretary of state to meet with Trudeau, Freeland ahead of G7 summit

OTTAWA — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Canada later… Continue reading

Most Read