Igor Yakovlev’s business is all the rage on Staten Island.
He started Beezy Beez Honey about seven years ago.
“We produce local raw honey for New York and we are also manufacturers of CBD for different hemp products,” Yakovlev said.
As COVID-19 made its way through town and restrictions began, Beezy Beez was seen as essential, so it was business as usual for Igor. But he began to face challenges six months after the start of the pandemic.
“That’s when you started seeing issues with supply chains, issues with ingredients,” Yakovlev explained. “These are big bulk warehouses, so they get them from overseas as well.”
The delays are felt far beyond the city. It’s a global problem, according to Merih Uctum, professor of economics at Brooklyn College.
“Companies froze orders, they downsized, they reduced inventory, which created a large-scale disruption of what we call the supply chain,” Uctum explained.
Yakovlev said coconut oil is a main ingredient in many of its products. A drum cost him $ 350. Now it’s almost $ 100 more.
He even had to change the way he packages his products.
“I used glass bottles because it’s greener and stuff like that and I used to buy them overseas from Sweden. So now, because of all the tariffs, all the shipping problems, I can’t afford to ship glass jars anymore because a glass jar that cost me 25 cents is now costing me a dollar. So that’s almost four times the price and when it comes to small, discounted items, you know, $ 3.99 milk, $ 5.99 honey, that extra 75 cents is a big hit for a little one. company like me, ”Yakovlev said.
To generate more income, Igor started adding things like freshly roasted coffee to his list of products, but he said even coffee beans were getting more expensive.
“I don’t really increase my prices because customers are used to a certain price. I especially do not want to lower the quality of the product. At the end of the day, as a business owner, I lose money and my family lose money. I don’t want to have to fire an employee because everyone here is like family. Everyone here has been here for over two years, over three years, ”Yakovlev explained.
And yet he keeps a positive attitude and says he thinks the supply will come back and everything will be “Beerific! “