WEST ALTON, MO — The operator of Captain Jim’s Fireworks in West Alton had been part of the family-owned business his entire life.
“This is our 75th anniversary this year,” said owner Jim Meyers. “My grandmother had it before my father, and my father ran it until 2005, and I’ve had it since then.”
He said the past two years were unlike any he had experienced before. Supply chain troubles and other factors led to fireworks shortages.
“Our store was really bare after the 4th of July last year,” said Meyers.
This year, his shelves are full and customers are taking notice.
“When I came by last year, it was wiped out,” said East Alton resident Ashley Arnold. She said she wanted to make sure she could find the items she was looking for in case there are shortages again this year.
Meyers says there are some fireworks staples shoppers might not be able to find this year.
“Normally we would have four buckets full of smoke balls back here and we have none,” he said.
He expects the variety of sparklers to be fewer than in previous years and says his bottle rocket supply is less than normal.
Myers adds that if customers can’t find the exact product they are looking for then there should be plenty of other products that are similar. For example, instead of smoke balls, the business had a large supply of smoke tubes.