Milk and Bread? Area Shoppers Flock to Grocery Stores Ahead of Snow Storm

| January 19, 2019

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – Did you get your milk and bread?

With the anticipation of a massive snow storm on its way, area shoppers gathered their essentials on Friday.

Personnel from local grocery stores told there was an uptick in sales once the news of the storm let loose.

Manager of Sharp Shopper Bryan Burns said, “The biggest thing we sell before a storm is salt and calcium. We probably sell ten times as much as we do in a normal week.”

And, it is true – people do rush to the grocery store for milk and bread.

Jeff Huffman, manager of Tom’s Riverside in Knox, said that all of the staples are sold when locals hear a storm is coming.

“Rock salt goes like crazy, then milk, eggs, and bread. All of your staples, really,” explained Huffman.

Gene Schruers, assistant manager of Comet Food Warehouse in Clarion, echoed Huffman’s sentiments.

“It’s always the essentials like milk, bread, and toilet paper,” he noted.

Smaller, specialty markets, like Heath’s Market in Oil City, also see a boost in business with a storm on the way.

“I posted on Facebook earlier, we had to call in an extra meat cutter we were so busy today (Friday),” owner Becky Colvin said.

According to Colvin, being a meat market, their top-selling items were things like roasts.

“Anything you can put in the oven to help warm your house up, that’s what’s selling the most today,” Colvin noted.

While news from some larger cities may show a lot of empty shelves before an impending storm, most of the people in the grocery business in our region don’t see keeping the shelves stocked as much of a problem.

“We don’t usually run completely out of anything. We might get low on milk or bread if we get slammed, but we can usually replenish it pretty well,” said Comet’s Schruers.

Riverside’s Huffman explained, “We have an experienced team here, and we know when it’s coming to up our orders. With the forecasts now, you can see out a little further and know when a storm is coming, which certainly helps.”

According to the folks behind the food, there are a couple of things you might want to remember before you stock up.

“Make sure you make a list before you leave, so you’re not trying to think while you’re shopping. Then you can make sure you have what you need,” Huffman said.

“Just don’t panic,” Schruers said. “They get it wrong as often as they get it right, so look outside and not just at the TV.”

According to the National Weather Service, your primary concerns at home or work during a winter storm are loss of heat, power, and telephone service, and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day.

They recommend having the following:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information
  • Extra food and water such as dried fruit, nuts, granola bars and other food requiring no cooking or refrigeration.
  • Extra prescription medicine
  • Baby items such as diapers and formula
  • First-aid supplies
  • Heating fuel: refuel before you are empty; fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm
  • Emergency heat source: fireplace, wood stove or space heater properly ventilated to prevent a fire
  • Fire extinguisher, smoke alarm; test smoke alarms monthly to ensure they work properly
  • Extra pet food and warm shelter for pets

For more tips on winter weather safety, visit the National Weather Service website at

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