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Rising milk prices affecting businesses

WILMINGTON -- Milk prices are going up and it's costing more than ever for dairy products. Prices are not only affecting consumers, they're also affecting businesses that have to feed hundreds of people to make a profit. Every day hungry patrons flood downtown pizzeria Slice of Life. The busiest shift is the eight a.m.-three p.m. shift, and the busier the better. On any given day employees cook up more than 100 pizzas. Despite the dollars they see coming in, there's plenty of dough going out, as costs of ingredients, like cheese, go up. Slice of Life manager Craig Funk said, "Our cheese has definitely gone up and so have some of our other dairy products, like our milk and half-and-half has gone up." Funk traces the increase back to fuel prices. Corn has become a hot commodity for ethanol production. Because farmers are paying more for corn to feed their livestock, they have to increase the price of milk in order to make money. Consumer Dave Reinoehl said, "It's costing a lot more. It's probably not going to change the way I buy groceries, but it will change some of the other things that I do." Consumer Kim Rosabal said, "My husband doesn't actually understand how much because he doesn't do the shopping. So, I actually have to do more to try and fit more into our foods." As for Slice of Life, employees say business continues to boom despite having to raise the price of a pie. Funk said, "We stay busy. Morning, noon and night we have a steady business." And their thoughts on whether the rising costs will affect profits? Funk said, "I really don't see that being a problem." Employees at other local markets say they're trying to hold off on raising prices on dairy products as long as possible.

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