As stores struggle to keep certain items stocked, business booms for local meat market

Local News

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) — Many essentials have disappeared from grocery store shelves amid ongoing concerns over COVID-19.

WSPA reached out to Wal-Mart, Target, Publix and other grocery stores. Several companies replied via email and said they are working to restock shelves quickly but did not provide timelines of when that might be.

“[Grocery stores] are wiped out. Absolutely, completely wiped out,” Kelly Wyatt told 7News.

Shelves, though, were well stocked at Tate Meatworks in Spartanburg, located at 670 E Main St., and business was booming.

“It’s insane,” Grant Tate, the owner of the store said. “So many people are coming in, spending $250, $300, $400 and coming back the next day and doing it again.”

He said at least half of the customers he’s seen this week are first-time customers who were likely unable to find what they needed at grocery stores.

Tate said while grocery stores order their products from retail suppliers, he orders meats from service industry suppliers, which now have an overabundance of stock due to the shuttering of restaurants’ dining rooms amid COVID-19 concerns.

To keep up with the increased demand he’s seen this week, Tate’s company is buying shipments of hundred of pounds of meat — estimated between $7,000 and $10,000 per shipment, according to Tate — every day.

“I brought in like a 120 pounds of chicken breast and a couple hundred pounds of ground beef and figured I’d be good for a couple of days or a week,” he said. “I sold out in about two hours.”

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