From top left to bottom right: Palatero Miguel Munoz, Enelia Estrada selling tamales, pineapples from Whole Foods on Valencia, the front of Casa Guadalupe market, watermelon bomb pop and snapper from a fish market.
From top left to bottom right: Palatero Miguel Munoz, Enelia Estrada selling tamales, pineapples from Whole Foods on Valencia, the front of Casa Guadalupe market, watermelon bomb pop and snapper from a fish market. Graphic by Carolyn Stein.

It’s hot out these days in the Mission. And nothing beats the heat like a cold, sweet treat.

But here’s something that’s not-so-sweet: The cost of that treat has likely gone up by 15, 25 or even 50 percent.

Palatero Miguel Munoz used to sell his watermelon bomb pops for $2. Now he’s selling them for $3. Munoz told Mission Local that everything he sells has gone up by at least 30 percent.

At Bi-Rite Creamery, the price of a small ice cream (which includes two scoops) has gone from $4.75 to $5.50 in the past five years, an increase of 15 percent.

And at the Smitten on Valencia Street, prices have gone up, too. In 2018, a small cup would’ve cost you $5 and gotten you two scoops of ice cream. Now, a small costs $5.75 and gets you one scoop. 

The U.S. food inflation rate increased, from 6.3 percent to 10.9 percent, over the past year, the largest 12-month increase since 1979. For some consumers, the rise is hitting their pockets hard. But how are businesses in the Mission doing?

Take a look at how food prices have changed in the Mission using our inflation calculator. Click the checkboxes to add food to your basket.

Interactive by Will Jarrett. Pineapple, eggs and milk from Whole Foods. Popsicle from Miguel Munoz. Salmon from Sun Fat Seafood Co. Snapper from the Fresh Meat Seafood Market. Pupusas from Panchita’s #2. Tamales from Enelia Estrada. Coffee from Farming Hope. Burrito from Taqueria. Sandwich from Rhea’s. Chocolate from Dandelion. Some figures are estimates.

“Everything is going up,” a worker at Sun Fat Seafood Co. explained. “Especially in the last two years, everything is going up very fast.” 

Enelia Estrada has been selling tamales for two years. Chicken, meat, masa prices — everything is going up, she said. Her tamales have risen from $2 each to two for $5, or $2.50 each, a 25 percent jump. It’s not enough, she says, referring to her new prices, “but I want to sell them.” 

Kati Bautista, who sells cups filled with sliced melon, papaya and pineapple on the street, says that her regular cups have jumped from $5 to $7 in the last couple of years and her large plate has gone from $10 to $12.

“We’ve definitely been cutting costs recently, not spending as much,” said Liam Kaplan at Farming Hope, the nonprofit that runs the cafe at Manny’s. It has raised pastry prices by 50 cents each over the past six months, and it has started buying from a new wholesaler to bring costs down. Coffees and other drinks have seen prices rise to keep up with inflation.

Dandelion Chocolate raised its prices on Tuesday, the first jump in several years, according to employee Annie Kapler.

“They held on as long as they could,” said Kapler. She said that the chocolatier raised prices so that it could increase employees’ wages, and to account for higher wholesale and transport costs. She said that it had been a difficult decision, and the business tried to keep prices down.

So with prices increasing, are customers buying less?

One worker at Smitten doesn’t think so. “Occasionally, everybody needs a sweet treat, even though everything is expensive,” he said.

Munoz expressed a similar sentiment. His customers are all accustomed to the price increases, he said. 

Lydia Chávez and Will Jarrett contributed to this report.

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Intern reporter. Carolyn grew up in Los Angeles. She previously served as a desk editor for her college newspaper The Stanford Daily. When she's not reporting, you can find her going on an unnecessarily long walk.

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