Local grocers weigh in on Thanksgiving supply fears

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GATES, N.Y. (WHEC) — As the countdown begins to turkey time, Gates Big M store manager Greg Newman is busy planning and managing inventory for his customers.

“I’m just ordering as much as I can with the intentions that hopefully we get it, which we have been. If by chance after the holiday and it’s leftover, we’ll sell it eventually, but I just want to make sure our customers have what they’re looking for,” Newman said.

Given the COVID economy, Newman has been staying ahead of the game in order to maintain a steady flow of Thanksgiving Day supplies.

“We’ve been stocking up for months. I ordered turkeys back in August. We are expecting those to be delivered on Friday for our first delivery,” Newman added.

On the supply chain side, the store manager says he has not experienced any turkey shortages while ordering from his wholesaler, nor has he experienced any hiccups with other items that help fill up that Thanksgiving plate.

“We’ve been trying to stock up on gravies as best we can. They’ve limited us what we can order, so I’ve been ordering as much as I can each delivery. We’ve got a good stockpile here. Stuffing mix, same thing, We’ve been stockpiling it,” Newman said.

On the other side of town at McCann’s Local Meat Market, head butcher Kevin McCann orders his birds locally.

“I would say that the supply that we had was very good. The local food chain is very strong, so we could have gotten as many turkeys as we wanted,” McCann said.

The owner of the local meat store says his customers are planning well in advance, too, in order to beat the rush.

“We actually had our first Christmas order even before we had our first Thanksgiving order this year. We got an order for a Christmas tenderloin in August,” McCann said.

While not everyone is planning their meals months in advance, shoppers like Chris Harrington says she is starting to prepare the list and her wallet for the Thanksgiving meal with her family.

“I thought turkeys were going to be short, so I’m praying that I’ll get there before everybody takes them,” Harrington said. “I got a feeling everything’s up. Prices are going to go up, potatoes are up. The meals going to stay the same, it’s just going to cost a little more.”

For now, all the Thanksgiving essentials seem to be in supply at Gates Big M. A piece of advice Newman and McCann have for shoppers planning that big Thanksgiving meal: If you see it, get it right away. Don’t wait until that last-minute rush.

Wegmans weighed in on Thanksgiving supply fears, saying "Each year, we start planning for the next holiday season during the summer months, and in some categories, even as early as January. We’ve taken proactive steps to secure holiday essentials earlier than usual and leveraged both Wegmans brand and national brand suppliers to ensure we have options available for our customers."