Iowans will be paying more for at least one popular food for celebrating the New Year. Seafood stores are blaming the Gulf oil spill for spiking oyster prices.
In Cedar Rapids, Boston Fish store owner Suzette Zoll is still stocking oysters – but charging more. “Nobody’s buying from the south, so they’re all buying from the east (coast) which raises my prices,” Zoll said. “It’s up about $40 a gallon from $60 to $100. They’ve gone up considerably.”
Zoll pays about $100 a gallon, but she’s selling oysters buy the pint. Zoll’s charging $17.50 for a pint of “select” oysters and $16.50 for “standard” oysters. She previously charged around $12 per pint. “It’s a little high,” Zoll admits. “They’re exceptional oysters, but people aren’t buying as much as they used to.”
While she admits the prices are high, Zoll says she’s absorbing much of the cost. “I can’t mark it up the full mark up, that would be outrageous,” Zoll said. “We’re just trying to get a little above cost.” Zoll says the Gulf oil spill isn’t affecting most other seafood prices.