Popular cookware 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 their business if serious supply chain issues persist.

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

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

Castriota, like large companies, faces shipping delays and rising manufacturing costs, which have significantly hampered its ability to sell during key seasons.

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

The first blow came when she said “Amazon has shut down non-essential products so they can focus only on the essentials.”

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

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

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

But, it never happened.

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“The containers were overdue and this product didn’t arrive until 2021,” Castriota said. “So I missed a very, very important fourth quarter.”

It’s a recurring problem for her.

She placed another order in March 2021, but the product only arrived recently, which means she missed the entire third trimester.

“I have a product, but it’s a product that I couldn’t sell in the third quarter,” she said. “I’m trying to make up both quarters.”

In fact, Castriota has said she has been “on pins and needles” for over a month, wondering if she will even get the product in time for this holiday season.

The Cuchina Safe ventilated glass cover. (Castriota Designs)

On top of that, she said container prices have gone up 300% and that doesn’t even factor in factory prices. It also faces a 27% increase in the unit price to manufacture its products.

“It blows my mind. And now my profit margin is down,” she said.

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

“I still have to pay my bills and insurance and everything and my warehouse costs,” she said. “If it continues like this until 2022, I’m not sure I can do it.”

Castriota said she would shut down or try to sell the business to a larger entity with more capital.

I’m just a small business… when you get hit by something like that, it’s big for a small business, ”she added.


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