Maine chocolatiers resist raising prices as holiday sales start

At Dean’s Sweets in Portland, Maine, the holiday season begins. Or, at least, it looks like it’s around the corner.

“Just last week a couple walked into one of our stores and I was helping them out,” said co-owner, Kristen Thalheimer Bingham. One of them was really excited and kind of danced around the store saying, ‘I found my stocking stuffers! I found my stocking stuffers! So you can check it out on your holiday shopping list.”

As preparations for the holidays continue, one of the biggest questions Bingham has to deal with has been pricing.

Costs have changed, even in the past few months. Chocolate is up 10% to 15%, Bingham said, a continuation of the 10% to 15% that had already gone up in the spring and early summer. “The butter supplier has also informed us that they have raised their prices as well. We use local butter, so the increase came with an apology.”

But Bingham, who runs the chocolate business with her husband Dean Bingham, hasn’t raised most of its prices — yet.

“We’re resisting, really resisting the price hike,” she said. “The fear, of course, is that if we raise our prices, we will have fewer customers.”

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