Rogue Valley restaurants facing severe shortage as covid impacts food supply chain

The article below has been updated to reflect an official word from US Foods on the issue

ASHLAND, Ore — An Ashland restaurant is among many across the Pacific Northwest, facing a shortage on food supplies amid the surge in coronavirus cases and lack of staffing.

Blue Toba shared on Facebook Monday, that its unable to get many of its supplies from the local US Foods CHEF’STORE.  The third party supplier to CHEF’STORE, UNFI, partially shut down their operations due to a covid outbreak- leading to the shortage in products.

“The temporary suspension of operations at UNFI’s Centralia distribution center, a supplier to CHEF’STORE, has impacted our ability to keep some product in stock at our CHEF’STORE location.” A spokesperson said. “UNFI has resumed normal operations, and we’re working closely with them to replenish products. We value our CHEF’STORE customers and we sincerely appreciate their patience and flexibility as we manage through this challenge.”

BricktownE Brewing Company in downtown Medford closed permanently in late July due to similar circumstances. The restaurant shared in its final post, “In the last several months we have experienced import issues, many shortages on stainless steel, chlorine, cod, brewing yeast, brewing equipment, and many food sources on a state and national level that help us present a viable menu to all.”

Caplan is encouraging residents to continue to support local businesses in the time being.

“I am sharing this to say please be incredibly patient with restaurants,” Caplan said in the Facebook post. “Supply chains feel to be collapsing. We are scrambling to find some very basic, vital things in order to keep running. So far, we are still able to get the what we need from Indonesia which is a blessing, but without the basic, essentials that we get here, we are just deeply concerned.”

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