Wolfies of Warwick to close due to giant wholesale prices

Wholesale potato prices skyrocketed during the pandemic, only coming back down to $40 for a 40-pound bag; The shop used to pay about $16 for a 40-pound bag.

Ben Nandy

Mar 26, 2024, 10:28 PM

Updated 20 days ago

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The matzo ball soup, latkas and pastrami at Wolfies of Warwick are as popular as ever, but the numbers have not been adding up for the owners.
The sandwich shop is about to close, just short of what would have been its 10th anniversary.
Chef Sarah Carew and her father started Wolfies to share their culture's cuisine.
They worked through several ups and downs in recent years, and came out of the pandemic in one piece.
Over the last few months though, "our ends weren't meeting," Carew said.
She said that four years ago, a wholesale order of 30 dozen eggs would cost about $20. The last time she checked the price, it was $86 for the same-sized order. Carew said their prices on potatoes and certain gluten-free breads have tripled.
She does not entirely blame the pandemic. She said a confluence of factors put the restaurant in this crunch, and that Wolfies has seen their wholesale rates steadily climb for years.
Wholesale potato prices skyrocketed during the pandemic, only coming back down to $40 for a 40-pound bag; The shop used to pay about $16 for a 40-pound bag.
"It gets to be snowballing," Carew said, "like your cost of goods is reaching upwards, taking up that profit margin that there is no profit margin anymore. Now we're just like paying the bills."
Staff at several other Warwick restaurants told News 12 Tuesday they have raised prices to make up for expensive meats, produce, utilities and rent.
At Wolfies, about 10 people will lose their jobs come March 30, the restaurant's final day of operation.
Most are part-time employees, Carew said.
"I'm going to apply for another job, and see what [else] I can do," said Chef Leno Olivera. "Every single day's a challenge, so we have to do it."
Olivera said he is proud of the owners and staff for the impact they have made in downtown.
Carew said she is against using cheaper ingredients to keep the shop afloat, and that she cannot raise menu prices much more than she already has.
Customers said they are glad Wolfies did not choose that route.
Regular Quinn Kimball said he has always come to the shop because of the kind staff and highest quality food.
"The food is home-cooked and delicious, so yea, probably those to things we'll miss the most," Kimball said.
Carew's family owns the building where Wolfies is located.
After closing, they plan to rent out the space, possibly to a retail business.


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