BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The effects of Hurricane Ida still linger and the food industry is now carrying the weight of a pandemic and a natural disaster.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said Wholesales Operations President Hayden Pizzolato.
Those in the food industry hope this bad dream ends after a blow from Hurricane Ida.
“Look, a hurricane just came through. We might be a little later on deliveries, we might not have some stuff, but I believe we made it through pretty well,” he said.
He said the storm hit major suppliers in the New Orleans area, which impacted everyone.
“One of our big mushroom and specialty suppliers is in New Orleans. We probably get 50 or 60 different items from them for restaurants, and since they were out of it we were out for like two to three weeks,” explained Pizzolato.
Products are harder to obtain because of this problem.
“We kind of had to stretch our reach further to get the product. That again raises the price of everything. When New Orleans is shut down, that’s a big shipping hub,” said Pizzolato.
“Production houses and facilities just don’t have the people to get these things made and pumped out of these places,” said Mike Anderson’s General Manager Joshua Jones.
Although things have gotten a little better, he said he has been experiencing similar circumstances, especially in the seafood industry. He didn’t get oysters back until a few days ago.
“Obviously, we are an oyster bar, a seafood restaurant. That is one of the main things we pride ourselves on here and we couldn’t get them at all. All oysters come from Hodell, Louisiana which was drastically impacted by the Hurricane,” said Jones.
He said they continue to fight through the pandemic and the disaster.
“We are just subbing stuff out and hoping you have enough stuff to stay open to serve some good Louisiana seafood,” he added.
Although it’s been tough so far, they do believe things will start to get better as major suppliers in New Orleans get back up and running.