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Baking powder shortage forces Richmond fried chicken eatery to close

Richmond businesses are being squeezed by supply chain issues due to flooding.

No baking powder, no fried chicken. 

That was the case at a Richmond restaurant that was forced to post a notice on its door last week stating it had closed temporarily because some of its raw materials couldn’t be delivered as a result of the floods in the Fraser Valley.

A staff member at Hot Star Large Fried Chicken told the Richmond News they were “forced to” take a break for a full week after the eatery ran out of baking powder, an essential ingredient to make fried chicken. 

While the restaurant on McClelland Rd. reopened on Nov. 28, a staff person said the future remained uncertain.

Hot Star is not the only local business grappling with disrupted supply chains thanks to road closures and damage to rail lines.

Jason Yang, the owner of Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine in Richmond, said he has not just faced shortages, but dramatic price increases as well.

One container of canola oil, for example, went from around $18 before the pandemic, to $33 during the pandemic and is now at $42 thanks to the floods. 

Moreover, he can’t get his hands on an adequate supply.

“I have to go to Costco each week to purchase oil, since our whole business heavily relies on it,” said Yang. 

However, each Costco member is only allowed to buy ten containers of canola oil per visit, but that amount only sustains his business for a week, said Yang. 

The frustrating part of all this is the fact his business had been recovering well in recent months, “but our profits have been offset by the rising costs of raw materials and ingredients. So it’s not easy for business owners to thrive,” said Yang.

Along with baking powder and canola oil, Christmas trees are also in short supply in Richmond.

According to an update on IKEA’s website, the store is currently experiencing limited availability and significant delays for certain products due to supply chain issues. Christmas trees are listed among the affected items. 

“We know live trees have been a much-loved tradition for IKEA and our customers over many years and we sincerely apologize,” read the release.