Hey guys, I'm confused as to how to locate produce markets and buy fruits/produce in bulk. I'd like to buy bananas, mangos, watermelon, etc. in bulk but am confused as to how to go about this process. Do I go to my local grocery store and ask a manager if I can buy in discount boxes of produce? Or do I have to go to a wholesaler market and buy from them? I feel like I don't have many options in the vicinity I live in - it'd be more than an hours drive to the only wholesaler I know of... I live in the East Bay Area of California - about 1.5 hours from San Francisco where I know there is a wholesale produce market...
I feel like research this way of life, everyone makes it sound so easy to just go and buy a box of produce from a wholesaler and that's it, like it's that easy? Is it? Is there a good website to search for wholesale markets in your area? Just looking for more advice about how to go about this because I'm not the most extroverted person and it's difficult for me to just go and do something if it's not how it's supposed to be done...
Also, looking for people in the East Bay California area that could be a support buddy.
Check if you have a Costco nearby!
The Costco near where I live sells only conventionally grown and gmo fruit and veggies? Is this not true for every Costco?
I'm pretty sure my Costco does have some organics - not too sure about many fruits but I know lots of greens/veggies are organic...
I called a wholesaler once. He seemed kind of annoyed by me, stating his company shipped hundreds of boxes, thousands of pounds of food to grocery stores, and that my requesting for just one box of this and one box of that would be more of a nuisance (even if I met him at the stores they deliver to). I live in Iowa, though. You may have actual wholesaler locations in your area that you could visit, though, not just making deliveries. Mike Arnstein has video footage doing this on his YouTube channel.
If not, your best bet may be to call around to different grocers in your area and ask if they give discounts on large/box items. I know Whole Foods does - at least on their nanners. Also look into Sam's Club. I don't have a membership there, but I think they run off the concept of saving the consumer money with their bulk buys.
go to your local fruit veg shop - ask for the owner/manager then say to them your raw vegan and will be buying whole boxes of fruits at a time and can they supply you with a good discount 2 twice a week.
Go to the wholesaler.
Seriously the Bay Area has loads of options. What about Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market? Go to a farmer's market right before it is about to close and you can find some great deals. Ask the farmer for "seconds".
I personally drive an hour each way once per week to get to the wholesaler in my town. It is totally worth it with the money you save. Contact Earl's Organics and they can email you a weekly price list.
Here is a wholesaler search engine: http://www.careersingrocery.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/showresourcesl...
Here is a local group on 30BaD: http://www.30bananasaday.com/group/sfbaylfrv
Thanks for the advice Nate!! I'm hoping to meet more like-minded people in my area!!
As a general rule, if you buy boxes from your regular grocer, they will only give you about a 10% discount - if you're lucky. That's not usually considered "wholesale".
If you put in an order with a wholesaler, you can save more money, but they will often require a very large minimum to deliver - often too large to make it worth your while, unless you get together with a group of friends and order for all of you. Also, they often require a tax ID number.
You can sometimes get around the large minimum by doing cash and carry. There are several wholesalers in NYC, for example, where you can just walk in to their place, pick up a box or two, and pay with cash.
I'm looking into everything. Wondering if I'd be spending money on gas just to drive to my wholesaler. I guess I'll never know until I find out how much of a price difference it is by just trying it out...
Yeah, depending on how far you have to drive, it might not make much sense. Another expense to consider is your time. But like you said, it's worth trying :)
Oh you are so set living in the East Bay - lucky!! I just bought a bunch of Organic fruit at Costco in Richmond last weekend - crates of organic raspberries, blueberries, and grapes. Also some imports like persimmons. I get the best price on organic bananas and medjool dates at Trader Joes - they will sell you a case no problem. Mi Pueblo will also give you a discount on cases of coconuts and other things.
I honestly wish I still lived in the East Bay because Berkeley Bowl has everything!!! I got some dragon fruit and starfruit from the quick sale section for nothing - people here don't like to buy their fruit ripe.
Also, I rely on farmfreshtoyou.com ($44 a week) to deliver my weekly organic fruit. It's the same fruit they sell at a high price at the ferry building in SF.Then I go get my own greens, bananas, dates, and any other things I want and don't get in my csa box. Let me know if you want a discount code and haven't tried it.