Supply chain issues force Arizona business owner to seek supplies from New Mexico


TEMPE, AZ (CBS Newspath) – The owners of an Arizona dessert shop are now finding it hard to find supplies. They had to travel more than five hours to New Mexico to obtain the ingredients they need.

The Paleta Bar near ASU in Tempe makes an assortment of specialty popsicles, shakes, and sweets. Co-owner Brandon Crespin wondered recently if they’d have to close down when a shipment of ingredients never arrived and their supplier wasn’t much help.

“He said, we’ve got to let you know you guys aren’t going to get anything. We don’t know when we don’t have an ETA, we don’t have drivers, our warehouse, there’s no workers. We literally don’t have the manpower to get you guys anything,” said Crespin.

Small businesses like this one are feeling the pain of a nationwide supply chain shortage that’s limiting the goods and services they can provide customers. But instead of caving to the crisis, Crespin got creative and found the unique chocolate and creams they use for their desserts was available in New Mexico.

The savvy business owner asked his mother to drive up back and forth from Albuquerque to bring him what he needed so he could keep making popsicles. “She was completely ok with it knowing that her son needed help with his store so she stepped in and saved us because if not, all we would have had to sell was a couple of water-based paletas and a couple drinks. Everything else we wouldn’t have had supplies for it,” said Crespin.

Rick Murray with the Arizona Small Business Association says more and more owners are having to think outside the box to keep their businesses going. We asked him what advice he has for consumers, confronted with the reality that their favorite grocery store, restaurant, or retail shop may not have what they need.

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“If you need to buy something today or you need it in a couple of weeks, buy it today, don’t wait because you are going to be disappointed if you need something immediately,” said Murray.

“This is our normal for now. We’re short truck drivers, even if the stuff is at the Port we can’t get it out of the ports to some distribution centers,” said Murray. The supplies mom picked up in New Mexico will keep that popsicle shop going for a couple of weeks but mom may have to make another delivery run.

The supply chain shortage could last well into February or March of next year.

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