SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Things are busy during lunch rush at Pete's 7 Restaurant and Brewhouse in Downtown Sacramento. The restaurant offers a wide variety of food on their menu, but their signature item is pizza. One of the key ingredients for success is tomato sauce.
"A lot of my business is tomato based. Our pizza sauce, we have tomatoes, we have a sandwich where we use tomatoes," said owner Sonu Chatha.
Tomatoes and tomato based items could be in short supply in the coming months because of the worsening drought and water restrictions in California, which negatively affect tomato crops for many. Farmers are now struggling to keep up with demand. California is the nation's largest supplier of tomatoes used in products like ketchup and pasta sauce.
The potential shortage could mean a price hike in those items which would impact Chatha's business.
"It's scary to even think about, to be honest. We're gonna have to cut back on a lot of items too. We can't offer the same product anymore if there aren't tomatoes," said Chatha. "Hopefully we will adjust with the change."
At Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op however, there's no shortage of tomatoes in stock. The store currently purchases them from farms in the Sacramento region and from Mexico during the off-season.
"None of our farms specifically have talked about any shortages," said Stacie Larkin, the store's marketing director. "I don't at this point see any reason to think that we'll be super negatively impacted by any price hikes or by any shortages."
Larkin says commodity growers, who are growing for canning and for production and processing, are the ones who could be harshly impacted.
Both Pete's 7 Restaurant and Bar and Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op are hopeful that their businesses won't take a hard hit.
"No worries yet. I think these crops are gonna be strong through September and then maybe we'll see then if we start to experience any drops in product supply," said Larkin.
Watch more from ABC10: New Drought Monitor shows extreme drought decreasing in parts of California