Gold miners in the Cariboo gold rush weren’t the only ones hoping to strike pay dirt. Merchants and entrepreneurs speculated on the supply and demand of food and provisions. As a result, gold miners were exposed to fluctuating costs in the price of food.
Another factor that contributed to the cost of food included freighting costs.
This excerpt from a letter from the Cariboo, printed in the British Columbian on April 4, 1865 says it all:
Some merchants would go to great lengths to secure what they figured was a sure profit!