BOERNE, Texas - As we continue to cover the impacts of COVID-19, we're constantly seeing the toll it's taking on small local businesses.
- Demand for protein-rich products increased
- Supply for grains has decreased
"I wish I could give them all more hours, but it's just a tough situation right now, unfortunately," said Grain4Grain co-founder Matthew Machtly.
No matter how much Mechtly, Yoni Medhin, and their staff at Grain4Grain suit up to protect their product and customers, the issue of business struggles remains the same.
It's a situation small business owners understand far too well right now.
"It's looking like if nothing changes here in a couple months, we won't be able to sell any product because we'll be out of flour," said Mechtly.
The two former engineering students have a unique business model.
"We take the spent grain from the beer brewing process after they've removed out all the carbs and we take that leftover grain and turn it into low-carb flour," he said.
They've been at it for a year and a half and their products including pancake mix and flour are still selling despite the pandemic.
"We're in a really interesting situation because demand for shelf stable, protein-rich products has really peaked right now, so our sales have increased, not only online and anecdotally if you go to H-E-B, a lot of our products are lower in stock than they normally would," Mechtly said.
Sounds too good to be true--the catch is on the supply side when it comes to beer.
"We've actually seen a decrease in the supply because a lot of their consumption of the beer happens at restaurants, which have been particularly hit hard so they're not brewing as much as we're not able to make as much flour," he said.
Already they've had to make tough choices.
"We've decreased the amount of hours we give out and that really hurts," said Mechtly.
It's a hurt that owners across the nation continue to feel with every day that goes by.