NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Independent butchers and meat markets are seeing a surge in customers in North Texas as grocery stores struggle to keep coolers stocked.
Fort Worth's Country Meat Market has had lines out the door, and owner Lewis Chadwick had to call in his kids to help with staffing.
Z Bar Cattle Co. in Keller was seeing as many customers in a single day as they usually average in a week.
Both stores were well-stocked though Friday, benefiting from direct connections to suppliers and in Z Bar's case, the fact they produce their own beef.
"We control earth, harvest, distribution, retail, so we're not really dependent on anybody for all of that," said owner Stephen Kirkland.
He said three out of four customers coming in this week were there for the first time. However, he had to stop taking internet orders due to demand.
Lewis Chadwick had to do the same thing at Country Meat Market, and had a backlog of hundreds of phone calls.
Some of his truck deliveries were running behind, something Kirkland said was also affecting his operation.
"But we'll start receiving those tomorrow (Saturday)," Chadwick said. "And we're going to work for the community and public as much as we can to keep the trucks rolling and coming to where we can fill your freezers."
While shoppers were buying in bulk, which created the supply shortage at larger stores, both owners said they were consciously working to help supply seniors and those who now may be experiencing job losses.
Chadwick said he was trying to fill even the smallest orders for those who on a tight budget.
Kirkland said by next week, his store will arrange a series of coolers with free selections for those in need, half-price items for those able to afford it and some wildly over-priced cuts, as a way for people with the means to donate to the effort.
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