Popular kitchenware maker may be forced to sell if supply chain issues persist

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A small business owner whose popular kitchen products can be found online at Amazon, Target and Walmart may be forced to sell her business if the dire supply chain issues persist.

Susan Castriota is the owner and inventor of Cucina Safe, which is known for cookware including the glass Cuchina Safe Vented Glass Lid and Cover ‘n Cook Glass Microwave Plate Cover. 

The Cover‘n Cook Glass Microwave Plate Cover.  (Castriota Designs)

Castriota – just like major corporations – is dealing with shipment delays and increased manufacturing costs, which have significantly hindered her ability to sell during pivotal seasons. 

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The issues for Castriota and her business began when the pandemic first hit, she told FOX Business. 

The first blow came when she says "Amazon shut down non-essential products so they could concentrate on just the essentials." 

She then had to make up for weeks of lost sales after they stopped selling Cuchina safe cookware for over a month. 

Owner Susan Castriota with the Cover’ n Cook as a serving dish.  (Castriota Designs)

Then, in June 2020, Castriota ordered products from her manufacturer in China, which were supposed to arrive around September or October for the holiday shopping season – one of the most important quarters for retailers. 

But, it never arrived. 

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"The containers were late and that product did not come in until 2021," Castriota said. "So I missed out on a very, very important fourth quarter."  

It has been a reoccurring issue for her. 

She placed another order in March 2021, but the product didn't come in until recently, which means she missed out on the entire third quarter. 

"I have product, but it was product that I didn't get to sell in the third quarter," she said. "I'm trying to make up for two quarters." 

In fact, Castriota said she was "on pins and needles" for over a month wondering if she would even get the product in time for this holiday season. 

The Cuchina Safe Vented Glass Lid.  (Castriota Designs)

On top of that, she said that container prices have increased 300% and that's not even accounting for the factory prices. She is also facing a 27% increase in unit price to manufacture her products. 

"It blows me away. And so now my profit margin is way down," she said. 

As a small business owner, Castriota said she has to worry about many other people that depend on her. 

"I still have to pay my bills, my insurance and everything else and my warehouse fees," she said. "If it continues like this into 2022, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do it." 

Castriota said she will either shut down or try and sell the business to a bigger entity that has more capital. 

"I'm just a small business … when you get hit by something like this, it's major for a small business," she added. 

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