WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The pecan harvesting season has officially begun and already gotten off to a strong start for local business the Pecan Shed.
But with labor shortages and product back-orders, a season of success will be more difficult to achieve.
In fact, there are several other factors that come into play such as increase in shipping costs due to rising gas prices, all of these issues creating a domino effect that businesses like The Pecan Shed are forced to face head-on.
It’s only the beginning of pecan harvesting season, but it’s already a success for local business The Pecan Shed. With its orchard experiencing a larger productive harvest, they are on track to provide an abundance of product to its loyal customers.
“We have over 25,000 trees on a thousand acres so this year we’re expecting to harvest about a million pounds of pecans,” store manager Jill Montz said.
But with nationwide labor shortages and vendors putting materials on backorder, Montz said getting product to customers will be more difficult than ever.
“It’s our busy season. I always tell people the Wichita Falls store alone makes 80% of its money in 60 days so this is a crunch time,” Montz said.
With the holidays fast approaching Montz has done her best to prepare for her busiest season, even purchasing product three months ahead of time in order to meet consumer demand but even the smallest items are taking the longest time to reach the production line.
“The availability of things like plastic bags, getting them into bags, our pecans has been such a struggle. The plastic containers we use to put the candied pecans in, we’re calling our vendors and they’re saying they’re back-ordered and they don’t know when they’ll be in. So that’s definitely a problem we’re seeing,” Montz said.
Lack of product isn’t the only issue for this small business. The Pecan Shed and its orchard have seen a staff shortage of 25%, forcing Montz to offer a higher pay for overtime work to the staff that still remain.
For now, Montz plans on solving these problems to the best of her ability.
“As business owners, we’re just trying to make the best of a difficult situation and hopefully not have too many hiccups for our customers where they don’t notice it too much,” Montz said.
While difficulties lie ahead this season, Montz said celebrating the Pecan Shed’s 40th year in business only proves that it won’t crack under pressure.