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Inflation hits some St. Louis Easter treats

The price of kitchen staples like milk, flour and butter are all up.

ST. LOUIS — Treats for your Easter holiday may cost a bit more this year. The price of kitchen staples like milk, flour and butter are all up. Inflation is impacting everyone, from the at-home baker to pastry shops to chocolatiers.

Let's start with the good news, St. Louis-based Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate and Bissinger's secure their ingredients years in advance so the good news is your Easter bunnies will be the same price as last season. 

"Because Easter is like a revolving target, it's really become a last-minute holiday," said Dan Abel Jr., Chief Chocolate Officer at Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate and Bissinger's on The Hill.

That means it's crunch time. Friday and Saturday will be busy days for St. Louis chocolatiers and bakers. 

"The fun thing about Easter is there are so many small-batch products that we make that you don't see at other times of the year," said Abel Jr., "so it's an excuse to eat candy."

The price of many of Abel Jr.'s treats is the same as last year. He hopes the company can make up the loss from inflation over the long term.

Local bakeries, like Helfer's in Florissant, don't have the footprint that Bissinger's and Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate does, and that makes a difference at the register. 

Jamie Lewis is part of the Helfer's Pastries and Deli family, she said they aren't trying to make money, they are just trying to keep their quality. 

"That's something we're not willing to compromise," said Lewis. "We're getting the top ingredients to make the best product that our customers are used to, so we have absorbed some of that cost, but unfortunately our prices have had to go up just based on how much raw goods are costing us."

Lewis estimates ingredients are up around 15% from last year. 

Back at Bissinger's, to keep costs steady, they are doubling, even tripling their usual orders.

"Instead of buying a two-week supply of chocolate, or a three-week supply of chocolate, we're buying two months' supply of chocolate which is a storage and cash flow situation," said Abel Jr.

Abel Jr. said running out of chocolate is just not an option.

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