LUMBERTON, Texas — Southeast Texas businesses are feeling the impact of inflation, and they're starting to pass the costs on to customers.
A new report released Wednesday showed inflation turned out to be even worse than expected. From gas to housing, and food we're all paying more.
All of this has catapulted US inflation to a new four-decade peak last month. Consumer prices have soared just over 9% compared to last year.
Coffee Shop Hard Bean celebrated the opening of its second location in Beaumont, but when costumers walk in the doors, their cup of coffee is going to cost them a little bit more.
Small business owners have had a few rough years. First COVID-19, and now they're dealing with higher costs as inflation rises.
"Everyone is going up on prices, not just the gas prices, it was before that,” said owner Diane Martin. “It was supply and demand and for the longest time, we just tried to eat those costs, eat those costs, eat those costs. It's coming to a point it's been a year and a half now."
Martin owns Hard Bean in Lumberton, and now a new location in Beaumont.
She said costs are up across the board. For example, the price of coffee cups has tripled.
Going from $40 per case to $150 per case, it's forced her to make some changes.
"In the afternoon, we had a "cappy hour" from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. time,” Martin said. “During that time, drinks were half priced. That's when we were actually paying the customer to come in and take a drink out the door. Because at half price, our drinks cost even more than that to even make.”
Martin notified her loyal customers on Facebook that prices are going up.
And so far, people have been supportive and understanding.
“Everybody knows that we are in tough times right now and so, I'm a business owner so I get it. We had to do the same thing, it is what it is,” customer Mandy Walden said.
Martin is thankful for her customers' support and wants to continue to offer the same quality coffee in Lumberton and now Beaumont.
“As we evolved, with our gift shop which is in the same shopping center,” Martin said. “Now, this is our latest concept that we are opening which is a coffee shop and gift shop combined in the Beaumont area. Now we are dipping our toe in Beaumont.”