A nationwide shortage of everyday household items like meat and flour is actually helping some Wabash Valley businesses have their best season yet.
Mike Rowe owns a flour mill in Parke County, while Daren Krockenburger owns a butcher shop in Vigo County. Both are very different jobs, but this year, they have one thing in common.
“People started calling us back in early march saying, ‘Hey the stores are out of flour do you make flour?’ And I said well I can make some,” Rowe said.
“Right after that really hit and people kinda freaked out we were doing meat packages back then and we had like 140 meat packages on the board,” Krockenburger said.
Both businesses saw a surge in orders during the pandemic. They’ve also seen the hardships that come with it. Krockenberger has seen more first responders in his business looking to feed their families.
“Got a lot of requests, ‘Hey can you stay open later can you do something for us,'” Krockenburger said.
Rowe would normally be prepping for the covered bridge fest, but that was canceled. So this year, he’s supplying folks across the country with his mill’s product.
“We’ve been shipping to California, the East Coast, Texas, Chicago, all over,” Rowe said. “Now, a lot of people are coming here because they like our flour.”
Krockenburger said it was something no one expected.
“No, who did? I mean other stores were running out of the product and we stayed aggressive. When that hit we just got after it on making sure we had plenty of product,” Krockenburger said.
Rowe says they’ve made record sales.
“It’s amazing this summer. We’ve been open this summer and this is the best summer we’ve ever had,” he said.
For Rowe and Krockenburger this surge in business was unexpected during a pandemic. But, they said they hope they’ve earned customers for life.