Local grocers resuming operations after Monday’s disruption

Local supermarkets and their suppliers are slowly getting back to normal this morning after Monday’s ice storm effectively shuttered the entire Capital Region.

Associated Grocers, which was unable to deliver to its Baton Rouge-area stores Monday, will resume deliveries today, though with some limitations, says AG President Manard Lagasse.

“The roads look much better today so we’re going to do everything we can as safely as we can. A lot of our stores are calling and requesting their deliveries so that is a good sign.”

Grocers who were able to reopen this morning say Monday’s disruption didn’t cause too many problems for them because it was so short lived, though some employees have had trouble  getting to work because of icy roads and limited bus service.

“We’ve had some challenges getting our people in to work this morning,” says Ernie Matherne, whose downtown and LSU Matherne’s locations were both open. “We’re pretty much operating with a skeleton crew.”

Though losing a day of business is never a good thing, Hi Nabor owner Jim Crifasi was expecting to make up Monday’s lost revenues at the deli counter today.

“We’re expecting today to be busy because people are hungry,” says Crifasi, who opened his stores for a few hours Monday morning but closed them at noon, when the icy parking lots became hazardous. “Plus, a lot of people are still without power so we’re expecting them to come to the deli.”

While sales later today and Wednesday may make up for Monday’s closure, some inventory was lost in the closure.

“We had to throw away all our prepared food from yesterday—the sushi and sandwiches,” Matherne says. “It’s a shame but it is what it is.”

Given the harsh winter weather continuing to blanket the country, Lagasse says there could be some supply chain issues in the days to come, though likely not anything that will cause major problems for local retailers.

“It’s going to be a little bit challenging for some of the companies to deliver here because of challenges throughout the country,” he says. “But we’ve got plenty of inventory we’re able to deliver to our members.”