RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When Pies and Cakes owner Chastity Rodriguez-Hise opened her bakery in the Carver neighborhood of Richmond last summer, she was paying less than $7 for a carton of 24 eggs. Now she’s paying between $10-$11 for the same amount.

Egg prices have increased recently because of hens dying from an outbreak of avian flu. The Virginia Egg Council previously told 8News around 44 million laying hens have died from avian flu in 2022. This has led to steeper prices on the eggs healthy hens produce.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of a dozen eggs was up 60% last month compared to 2021.

Rodriguez-Hise uses eggs in just about everything she makes and the rising costs are creating challenges for her business, including preventing her from hiring people.

“I don’t want to hire anyone until I know I can pay them well. That’s really important to me,” Rodriguez-Hise said. “If we are spending more money on product, that leaves less for me to allocate towards hiring staff.”

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

‘Eggflation‘ has also caused Rodriguez-Hise to plan more, including making sure she has enough eggs each week and how the eggs fit into the bakery’s weekly budget. She hasn’t increased the price of her pastries yet, but feels she might have to eventually because of these rising costs.

“I don’t want to have to do that,” she said. “We have a small following but a loyal following and so, I don’t want to eliminate that but at the same time if things don’t start stabling out a little bit more, that might be something we have to consider.”

Rodriguez-Hise hopes the price of eggs drops soon so she can focus less on the budget of her goods and more on baking treats people love.