BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — It's been a sticky situation for businesses that rely on cocoa beans to produce their products.
One local shop is coming out of pocket because of the global shortage.
What You Need To Know
- Global supply chain issues are causing headaches for businesses
- A cocoa bean shortage is impacting chocolatiers
- Farms are not able to keep up with demand
Every day there's a mix of salty and sweet at Grimaldi Candies in Rockledge.
Right in the mix is Annette Hudacek, who leads by example when it comes to quality control of their tasty chocolate potato chips.
"We are looking for a chip, a nice flat chip like the ones going into the machine right now," Hudacek said as she worked the assembly line. "These are the perfect size."
Hudacek has been here for 12 years, and has done every job there is to do — from making the chips to creating truffles to retail.
She moved from England to Florida two decades ago.
Over her career, she's bounced around as a cook, working in restaurants.
But when she found out about this treat factory, she knew she had found her golden ticket.
"I literally get to do a little bit of everything," she said. "You get to see it from start to finish. You get to see the chips come out of the bag, go down the roller and weigh them out, package them up and see them go out to the customer."
The shop has come under some difficult times lately with supply chain issues, though — there's a cocoa bean shortage.
Experts say that farms aren't able to produce enough beans to keep up with demand.
Owner Jim Frazier said his company is having to go outside its normal contracts to find comparable chocolate, and they are paying 20% more for the same product.
"There's definitely some pressures and it's impacting the chocolate industry," he said. "If we can't get the beans, we can't get the chocolate."
Frazier said he's also down half his assembly line staff, so it's good that experienced workers like Annette can plug the gaps in the back and front of the house.
Frazier said they have been able to keep up with Valentine's Day demand.
They expect to be busy over the weekend into the big day on Monday.