Coffee shops face shortages of labor, cups, rising coffee prices

Frank Genovese, owner of Ohio Roasting Co. in Jackson Township, makes an espresso while testing out his coffee blends for the shop's opening in the near future. Coffee-makers have seen bean prices climb in the past year.

With frost in Brazil disrupting coffee bean production, the price of Arabica coffee beans surged by more than 40% in the past year to more than $2 a pound — a level last experienced in 2014.

The price this month retreated to about $1.91 a pound.

But a couple of local coffee shop owners say the climbing bean prices haven’t affected their businesses as much as increases in shipping costs, shortage of packaging materials, lack of workers and scarcity of plastic cups.

Andrew Keim, the owner of Pioneer Collective Coffee in Massillon and Dalton, said the cost to ship coffee beans have more than tripled. It also can take months to obtain the bags that Pioneer uses to package its roasted coffee beans.

He said coffee bean prices have certainly gone up. But it’s difficult to compare the difference because Pioneer, to save on costs, began to roast its own coffee beans at the start of this year.