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Tomato shortage felt by Kansas City area pizzeria: 'We are holding out as long as we can'

California drought hits tomato supply
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Posted at 10:46 AM, Aug 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-19 12:13:54-04

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — The drought in California is causing trouble for the tomato supply across the United States, including Kansas City.

NBC News reports California is facing its worst drought in more than 1,200 years.

KSHB 41 News spoke with Long-Bell Pizza Co. in Lee's Summit about this issue as the company is already seeing prices go up.

"The first thing that goes up is the canned stuff. Pizza sauce, canned tomatoes, kind of the base for our pizza sauce. Once the price starts going up on that, like it did with the cheese and everything, it starts to affect the bottom line," said Jayson Eggers, owner of Long-Bell Pizza Co.

Eggers said he hasn't had any issues with availability but is going to keep a watchful eye on it. He hopes to not have to raise prices.

"We are holding out as long as we can," Eggers said. "I had to raise my prices once. The first time we have done it since 2019. If things continue, we will have to raise it again. We don't want to, but we gotta do what we gotta do."

NBC points out California is responsible for 25% of the world's output of tomatoes.