A couple weeks back, we talked to local bar owners and restaurateurs about how they’re handling the ongoing lime shortage—supplies are still scarce and prices have as much as tripled—and now, via DNAinfo, another local staple that’s having a rough time of it: Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies.
After their most recent shipment of limes came in at 500 instead of the usual 2,000 (“They were horrendous. They were the size of grapes,” said owner Steve Tarpin), the Red Hook bakery has had to raise the prices of its pies by around nine percent, and stopped selling its signature limeade altogether. Pies now cost $30 for a 10-inch, $20 for an 8-inch, and $5 for a 4-inch, according to DNAinfo, but Tarpin’s not planning on raising prices further. “It’s a duty to our customers as well. We don’t want to increase our prices,” he said.
Tarpin seems confident that the “manufactured crisis” will taper off soon enough, but in the meantime, is considering changing to suppliers in South America instead of their current source in Mexico, and even growing limes in a greenhouse above the shop. “In a perfect world, we could pull that off,” he said.
Again, not anything as rough as what the lime farmers are going through right now, but also sad to see a small business—especially one that worked as hard as Steve’s has to bounce back from Sandy—take a financial hit that’s beyond their control. Fingers crossed we’ll be back to guzzling limeade sooner rather than later.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.