In response to rising electric costs and decreasing business, Annaly Farms has decided to close its storefront the last two Mondays of each month.
The owners and managers tried to reduce costs by reducing staff and updating machinery, according to the business’ founder Hans Lawaetz, but it wasn’t enough. About four months ago, he said, the decision was made to cut the farm’s days of operation. But Lawaetz said it hasn’t made much of a dent in the $7,000 monthly V.I. Water and Power Authority bill the business generates.
Lawaetz said electric prices have been going up for the last three years and business has declined in the same period. About five years ago Annaly Farms slaughtered about nine or 10 locally raised Senepol cattle each month, he said, adding that now they are down to two or three in response to lower demand. Back in their wholesale heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, Lawaetz said, they would slaughter 10 a week.
Annaly Farms started out in 1974 as a wholesale meat supplier and opened the Estate Upper Love retail storefront in 1990. They are open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (except the last two Mondays of each month).
Lawaetz said they will continue cutting costs wherever they can so that Annaly Farms can continue providing the community with local cuts of beef, pork, lamb and fish.
For more information, call Annaly Farms at 340-778-2229.