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Braintree ice cream shop owner explains steep price increase: "It's heartbreaking"

Braintree ice cream shop owner explains steep price increase: "It's heartbreaking"
Braintree ice cream shop owner explains steep price increase: "It's heartbreaking" 02:14

BRAINTREE - A popular ice cream shop in Braintree had some explaining to do after customers noticed a hike in price.

Foleys Ice Cream along Hancock Street says their costs for ice cream and supplies has increased by more than 50% and the only way to stay in business is for some of that cost to fall on the loyal customer base.

Foleys in Braintree has been around for years.

"The staff is always friendly, always helpful," said Amanda Scully, who has her favorites at the popular ice cream shop, but recently guests have noticed prices have gone up.

"It's heartbreaking," says owner Jennifer Foley.

News of the costly ice cream spreading through town forced her to take to social media to explain.

"Our costs have gone up," Foley says.

Foley claims the products she buys like ice cream, eggs, spoons and containers have all gotten more expensive to buy and her overall operating costs have jumped 65%.

"Once COVID hit we stayed open, we plowed through, and almost immediately our prices had to go up," she said.

Foley was forced to charge customers more to keep up with costs and keep the doors open.

"As a small business there's nothing that I've found that we can do except to pass it on," she said.

Foleys Ice Cream Shoppe in Braintree CBS Boston

Experts say it's a problem facing small businesses in every industry.

"We're seeing higher prices across the board and it is disconcerning. Going back to the beginning of the pandemic, March 2020, we had this experience with rolling shortages of different goods," said Boston College Economics professor Peter Ireland. 

He explained those shortages led to lack of supply – pushing prices up.

"It started with toilet paper earlier in the spring the problem was with eggs. You'd go into Star Market and there'd be no eggs. If there were the pricing was significantly higher and now it seems to be true for ice cream and the ingredients for ice cream," he said.

The circumstances left business owners with no choice.

"If you want to open up you have to pass those higher costs along to the customer. You can't operate at a loss. You need to keep your business running profitably, you need to pay workers, you need to make a living yourself," Ireland said.

Foley is hoping to drop prices, but for now, staying in business for her customers is what counts.

"I'm glad people are coming in and we'd love to keep them coming in," she said.

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