Lumberton cafe owner makes tough decisions due to inflation

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LUMBERTON, Texas — Businesses in Southeast Texas are feeling the impact of inflation and are beginning to pass the costs on to their customers.

A new report released on Wednesday showed that inflation turned out to be even worse than expected. From gas to housing to food, we all pay more.

All of this catapulted US inflation to a new four-decade high last month. Consumer prices rose just over 9% from a year ago.

Coffee Shop Hard Bean has celebrated the opening of its second location in Beaumont, but when customers walk through the doors, their cup of coffee will cost them a little more.

Small business owners have had a tough few years. First COVID-19, and now they face higher costs as inflation rises.

“Everyone is raising prices, not just gas prices, it was before that,” owner Diane Martin said. “It was supply and demand and for a very long time we just tried to eat those costs, eat those costs, eat those costs. It comes 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 were rising across the board. For example, the price of coffee cups has tripled.

Going from $40 per crate to $150 per crate forced her to make some changes.

“In the afternoon, we had a ‘cappy hour’ from 3 to 5 p.m.,” Martin said. “During this period the drinks were half price. This is when we would pay the customer to come in and have a drink outside. Because at half price our drinks still cost more expensive to prepare.

Martin informed his loyal customers on Facebook that the prices were increasing.
And so far people have been supportive and understanding.

“Everyone knows we’re going through tough times right now and so, I’m a business owner, so I get it. We had to do the same thing, that’s what it is,” said the client Mandy Walden.

Martin is grateful for the support of her customers and wants to continue to provide the same quality coffee in Lumberton and now in Beaumont.

“As we grew, with our gift shop being in the same mall,” Martin said. “Now this is our latest concept that we are opening which is a combined cafe and gift shop in the Beaumont area. Now we dip our toes in Beaumont.

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