Ok, I just had a meeting with my “insider”… With her permission, I am going to share some information on how you can buy in bulk and access a wholesale food supplier in your area.
Depending on your location and competitive markets, this may or may not be helpful information. Their prices may be comparable or even better, depending on the fluctuating food market prices.
This is ideal for those of us who do not live within a reasonable driving distance to Sam’s or Costco. In my case, there is only one grocery store in town. It’s a 160 mile round-trip to the nearest stores and a four-hour one way drive to the nearest Costco.
Apparently, there are wholesale food distributors who do not require a business license, tax number, or any of the other rigmarole necessary to do business with them. Some of them, like this company, don’t even require a minimum purchase.
If you don’t have a tax number, you simply have to pay sales tax on the items you buy. I have been asked not to name my “insider” or her company. Her goal is not to “corner a market” with new eager buyers, but to help people at large find discounted food sources. Just as a point of interest my “insider”, her boss, and another employee of the company have joined Dehydrating Way Beyond Jerky. How cool is that? <grin> There are a number of companies similar to hers around the country. You can find them on line. I am opening an account number with her company.
Here is what I will get by doing so:
- Once I fill out the form and send it in, the account will be opened within two business days. Very important for those of us who are eager to get started.
- The only reference I need is my bank account.
- No minimum order. One bag, box or case can be delivered. Also, you are not required to buy a certain amount of volume per month. If no orders are made within six months, then the account is closed. But it can be easily reopened with a simple phone call.
- There is a $6 drop charge for delivery. However, if several people go together, that cost can be split between them. With this in mind, it would be economical to buy as much as you can afford, or have time to process.
- Orders are C.O.D. So no problems with billing, etc.
- They will deliver to my house, or anywhere else I prefer as long as someone will be there to receive it.
- Deliveries are on Monday and Thursday in our area.
- This company handles not only food, but toiletries, basic kitchen supplies, food processing equipment, medical and first aid supplies, and an assortment of other things.
- Opening an account gives me access to the following information
- Marketing reports
- Product guide
- Recipe data base – this is way cool. If you want to know the cost per serving of a particular recipe simply type in the ingredients and it will tell you what it costs. Especially useful if you want to put up say, ten or twenty of that recipe
- Nutritional information
- Real-time delivery truck location tracking
- Material safety data sheets
- Foodservice industry New Items / Trends
- Seasonal recommendations, recipes & ideas
- Links to helpful industry sites
In general, here are some tips to help you get the most for your dollar:
- It is perfectly acceptable for several people to buy say, a 50 pound bag of carrots and split the order.
- Ask for the “soup grade” produce. There is nothing wrong with it except there may be a few blemishes.
- Ask about closeouts. Sometimes there is a mistake in ordering, so instead of a hundred cases of something, a thousand cases were ordered. It has to be moved quickly, so it will be substantially marked down.
- With my company, if you order on line, you will pay a “zone price” for your purchases, but if you order directly from the company rep, you can sometimes get a lower price. Be sure to ask about that.
- Get a number of people in your community together to share volume orders. The more you buy, the less it costs.
- Here are some vendors you might want to check over:
- Keep in mind that each company requires different minimums on drops and some do not do business with “little guys”.
- If you can’t find a vendor that will do business with you, maybe you have a friend or relative with a restaurant who will let you order on their account.
- Ask questions, compare services, prices and delivery costs. Do your homework. You can make a difference!