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Increase in Cocoa Butter Costs Hurts Local Chocolatiers

GRANDVIEW (Ashley Yore) An increase in the price of cocoa butter may force people with a sweet-tooth to do their gourmet chocolate shopping early this holiday season. The increase has sent wholesale chocolate prices soaring, and in turn hurting local chocolatiers.

I've seen it go as high as $3 to $3.20 a pound higher in wholesale chocolates so it could be a pretty big high jump," said the owner of Pure Imagination Chocolatier Daniel Cooper.

Pure Imagination Chocolatier has been in business for 17 years. Cooper said the price of chocolate has been climbing in recent months, so he made sure to contract a price before a major increase.

It can hurt a lot of people and I have seen chocolatiers and chocolate companies actually go out of business recently and I'm not sure if thats the reason why, Cooper said.

He was forced to increase the price of chocolates by about ten cents per piece, but he says customers havent complained.

It was shocking, I didn't want to do it because we want to keep our prices low, affordable and where people can buy chocolate and not get sticker shock so yeah it was kind of a surprise but we saw it coming as the time progressed we saw what was going to happen so that's why we had to hurry up and lock it in, he said.

Anthony Thomas said their prices are contracted through Easter, but if wholesale chocolate prices continue to rise, it could affect them in the spring as well.
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