Higher costs keeping milk off NYC shelves

September 19, 2011 3:28:49 PM PDT
If you buy milk you know the cost is through the roof. Or maybe through the barn is more accurate.

But it seems to only in New York City. In fact the average price for a half gallon has gone up 1%. But in most cities the cost has actually gone down.

The F and P market has stood on a East Harlem corner for 23 years and its owner, Yolanda Paulino, says her customers have been equally loyal to her.

It's one of the reasons she says no matter how much it cost her, she'll always keep milk on her shelves.

"You have to have milk even though you don't make any money," she said.

A growing number of bodegas and small stores around the city say rising supplier costs, coupled with competition from bigger supermarkets is making it less cost-effective to even stock milk.

But Paulino says she negotiates with her supplier to keep her prices competitive, about $2.29 for a half gallon.

She also believes in being responsive to community needs like making fresh fruits and vegetables available to customers in a neighborhood with fewer nutritious food options.

Paulino says sometimes, it's not about the money.