I know the wall is littered with posts about where to get produce. Hopefully, this thread may make it easier for people to sift through the information.
Right now, I purchase my organic produce at Kroger. It's reasonably priced and very close to me (~.8mi). I'm going to be looking into various wholesale companies to see what products they offer and at what price.
The first I'm visiting is Sanfillipo in Columbus. I have heard good things from non-811ers. And hopefully I can get fresher produce at a cost. I'll be sure to post what they have to offer.
Hi, I'm in Columbus and am new to 80/10/10 as of about mid-december 2011. This whole idea of shopping around for food is rather new to me and I am rather picky, wanting everything organic. Let me tell you what I've found so far in Columbus.
I have been buying at least half, pretty much all organic, from Whole Foods which is right down the road from me. Also I have been buying some papayas, persimmons, and mangoes from an Indian grocers named Patel Brothers, Aloe Vera leaves from a Mexican store called La Michoacana, and some frozen Durian from a place called Asian Supermarket. Dates are bought (Large-sized Palastinian Medjools) for about $47/5 kg box from an African/Middle Eastern store called Yasmin Market. I'm finding more options the more I look.
So far for wholesalers I checked into Sanfillipo, Roth, and DNO all on 5th Ave right next to the airport. None of these places sell organics if that matters to you. It matters to me. Sanfillipo seems to be the biggest of these with the most accounts with local businesses. They have a walkin office for people who don't have accounts, located in the middle of the dock. I talked with Robin who I believe runs the place. I can't really give any pricing as I turned away when I discovered that they do not carry organic. Between these places you can probably find high quality conventionally grown produce if you don't mind going that route. I don't like to chance my health or the health of the earth for bulk chemical soup produce. While I'm not sure the stuff I'm buying from the foreign stores is organically grown, my understanding is that a lot of tropical fruits are not generally contaminated with chemicals so I lax off on that for the moment.
Whole Foods Market (Two locations in Columbus) always seems to have a good quality food for a premium price, though they will give 10% case discount. They will even give you a case discount on a case of already-sale-priced items. Most days I have been able to get a case of organic bananas for $32.04, 40lbs.I still need to ask about expiring/ripe produce. They never have that issue with Bananas as they sell through them all.
There is a little co-op in Bexley on Cassady, between 5th and East Broad called I think Bexley Natural Market. I know the produce manager. They have a nice selection of organic produce and they buy alot of local seasonal greens and such, though you may not be able to really buy much in bulk as they don't have any room to store stuff. They do offer an 8% case discount (not wholesale), though with their space arrangement, I got the impression working with them for ordering might be very situational and you would have to pick stuff up promptly.
My new favorite retailer will probably be Raisin Rack off Schrock Road and Cleveland Ave. They have a rather decent and varied selection of standard organic fruits, veggies, and greens and offer a low-price guarantee so they keep their prices low. They would be able to sell a case of organic Bananas for $25. They offer no case-discount or wholesale, yet the prices seem much lower than whole foods on a lot of things; the food looks good and everything except the young coconuts, and some avocados and cucumbers are organic.
Another thing that will become part of my shopping this year for the first time will be the farmer's markets. I know the North Market in the Short North/Arena District area is supposed to be rather nice, also there is one that goes on in Worthington at the intersection of 161 Dublin-Granville Rd and North High Street. These should offer really great local, seasonal stuff. You can probably find out from the growers how they treat their produce, and maybe get a good deal here.
Also there are some crop-sharing groups that go on throughout the summer/fall where you could buy one or more 'shares' of the groups' harvests on a regular basis and get a variety of local seasonal stuff in a basket. I don't have any specific info on any of these atm, though I intend look to find out.
In addition to all these options, this year I am going to be resuming my back-yard garden and radically converting my backyard into a food-forest-in-progress. There will be lots of blackberry bushes, raspberries, strawberries, kiwis, figs, collumnar apples, watermelons, muskmelons, cantaloupes, cukes, tomatoes, lettuces, herbs, okra, squashes, herbs, and many other things. This is my new passion.
I'm excited to find where everyone else is shopping and/or what grown.
Glad to hear I'm not the only one getting my fruit at Kroger! I'm in Cincinnati and Kroger is just the easiest place for me to get to, although I really want to check out the farmer's market at some point as well. I think it's pretty easy to get fruit here for pretty cheap, although I'd like to be able to buy some things (like bananas) more in bulk and WISH they had medjool dates all the time!
I lived in Columbus for a few years. They have a farmers market on Tuesday and Friday downtown, starts in May-October. Could be worth checking out for some local grown produce. Look it up for the times Its been a couple years for me.
I will be moving to Youngstown soon. Does anyone know of any good whole sale produce places, or where the cheapest place to get produce is? Also any good farmers markets?