Meat Market Owner Says Business Is Busy, Like Holidays With 'No Dec. 25 To Look Forward To'

Meat Market
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Meat markets have been extremely busy since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, and one Chicago butcher expects that higher prices and fewer choices will affect consumers. 

At Gepperth's Meat Market in Lincoln Park, Owner Otto Demke said the biggest thing right now is an increase in wholesale prices, which will eventually have to be passed onto consumers. 

"They are creeping up because of the virus, and the plants are shutting down, a lot of animals are in danger of being destroyed because we cannot process them," Demke said.

WBBM: Have you seen this kind of thing happen before?

"No, never. I mean have you seen a virus like this before? Never. I hope people don't going running to the markets and start buying. We've had days like that, and that is the same idea as buying tons of toilet paper," Demke said.

He said he is not seeing shortages right not, but he is getting less processed meat.

Business, he said, has been very busy like the holidays every day.

"Pretty much working like mad men, we are almost doubling our business every day so that's kind of interesting. It's harder to keep up. We have people standing outside the door yesterday pretty much from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and even after 4 p.m." Demke said.

WBBM: How are your employees holding up?

"Tired, tired by the end of the day. We cut our working hours by three hours a day, so we can get out of here and relax. Maybe have a kind of bourbon or something before we go to sleep, you know," Demke said.

WBBM: And then come back and do it all again.

"And do it all again. It kind of reminds me of the holidays, but there is no December 25 to look forward to," he said.

Demke said he wonders if Trump's order of keeping processors open may backfire.