SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- You may have noticed in the past few weeks, empty shelves at the grocery store where cartons of eggs once were. When you do find them, prices are often sky-high. But we found there's at least one place in the Bay Area where the prices are rock bottom and there is PLENTY of supply.
Tucked away in its own corner of the Berryessa neighborhood of San Jose, you'll notice something decidedly different about the Olivera Egg Ranch compared to your local market.
"We've been getting calls all day long do you have eggs, do you have eggs!" Exclaims one of the owners, Tanya Olivera, whose grandfather started the business back in 1949.
Boy do they have eggs. From duck, to quail, organic and even chicken eggs with double yolks. In addition to their wholesale operation, this family-run business sells 43,000 eggs in-store a week. Many are sold for much less than other retailers.
One customer poked her head behind a plastic sheet asking what the cheapest eggs are. "Checks and Dirties! Either they have dirt that can't be washed off on the machine or they have a crack on the eggshell. They're not grade AA eggs, they're off-grade eggs, so they're a lot cheaper. They're $3 a dozen right now!," she replies.
We found throngs of customers who came from far and wide to buy them.
Erik Dao made a stop at the Egg Ranch because he "started revisiting this spot when we noticed there weren't any eggs at Costco."
For weeks, Americans have been dealing with not only empty store shelves, once stocked full of eggs but high prices.
At one point, the USDA wholesale high topped $7 a dozen. So we were surprised to learn there's actually no shortage of eggs in the country.
Karyn Rispoli is the editor of the Urner Barry Egg Price Current, a commodity-tracking media company. She says Avian Flu wiped out more than 43 million egg-laying birds in the past year. But there's a reason why consumers didn't see the price hikes during the holidays when demand is extra high.
"There were a lot of retailers using eggs as a loss leader where they were selling them for cheaper than wholesale market."
Loss leaders are items businesses know they'll lose money on, in hopes of drawing customers into the store to buy other items.
Even though wholesale prices are now down to $5.36 a dozen in California now, Rispoli believes it might still be a while before those savings are passed on to consumers.
"Are they going to pass these recent market declines down to the consumer or keep them steady to make up for some profit they were giving up over the past couple of months."
While specialty eggs such as organics and pasture-raised are still more difficult to procure given their smaller production numbers, Olivera has their own chicken farm, meaning they don't contend with as many supply chain issues.
While Tanya enjoys the surge of business the past few weeks, saying "It's always nice to have an equal supply and demand across the country so pricing is fair on both sides."
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