Local produce suppliers feeling financial impacts of coronavirus

Posted at 7:13 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 14:17:02-04

MILWAUKEE — As the coronavirus continues to spread, businesses are feeling the financial impacts. Machi Produce deliver fruits and vegetables to grocery stores and restaurants and are feeling the effects from both ends.

About 20% of their business comes from grocery stores. Peter Machi, Co-owner of Machi Produce, said those orders have been bigger than average, but on the other hand, most of his business comes from the food-service industry. With most restaurants closed or suspended their dining experience, he said everyone is taking a hit.

Typically he ships 210 orders. On Tuesday, they shipped only 62.

"My heart goes out to the restaurant operators in the area, and the country who really their margins are razor-thin and they need people coming through the door to make it work, and that's not happening now," said Machi.

Machi said his main concern is taking care of his employees. He said he would work on other ways to make sure his employees get hours, like moving up their quarterly deep clean to this month.

"It's just making sure our employees are in good shape, that they are working a little bit so they can pay their bills and our customers can pay their bills and keep their people employed because, at the end of the day, our employees make us what we are," said Machi.

Machi hopes people will continue to support the local restaurants, through placing to-go orders or delivery services because the ripple effects impact more than just one person and one business.

"We are all going to get through this together," said Machi. "We are all human beings, and at the end of the day, we all need to take care of each other, that's what it's all about."

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