Donut making costs impacted by drought - - Jackson, MS

Donut making costs impacted by drought

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The drought of 2012 has corn crops dry and shriveled up across the country. As a result, the price of the parched crops jumped 23 percent in July.

Since corn is in just about everything from cereal to soda pop, prices at the grocery store are rising too. The impact isn't just hitting consumers.

"We're affected directly," said Mark Scurlock, the owner of Scurlock's Donut Shop and Eatery in the Capital Towers building in downtown Jackson.

Scurlock said the cost to make his assortment of homemade glazed and chocolate dipped donuts and the variety of other sweet fried favorites is on the rise. Basic ingredients to make donuts like flour and cooking oil come from corn.

"On the cooking oil it has gone up $3 to $4 on a 50-pound cube of oil within the past couple weeks, $3-$4 adds up when buying 3, 4, 5, 6 cubes of fifty pound shortening," Scurlock said.

To help deal with paying the higher prices to make his pastries, Scurlock said he's carefully monitoring how much he's dipping and frying.

"We'll come in and cook a certain amount for each day then as we start selling we'll just have to cook more as needed to keep from having a lot of waste," Scurlock said.

While the drought is spiking prices on the veteran donut maker, Scurlock said he doesn't plan to raise prices. However, if prices did go up, longtime customer Syl Burrell said it wouldn't stop her from buying her sweet treats.

"This is the best product I've ever had in my life, I love coming here," Burrell said.

In addition to corn costs rising, the Department of Agriculture predicts we'll see a hike from 3.5 to 5 percent on all foods next year.

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