Sams Club Vs Cosco Vs Bj Wholesale...

Business By lovetofrost Updated 12 Apr 2008 , 11:09pm by melsherard

lovetofrost Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 3:11am
post #1 of 19

I am just starting my business and am thinking it will save me money if I buy bulk as opposed to just a regular 2 lb bag of powdered sugar and all of that other stuff that is associated with cakes. I'm looking into joining one of these places and was wondering what everyone thought about the different stores. Do you have a membership there and what do you think about it? Is one better than the other for this type of business.Thanks for your help.

18 replies
JanH Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 3:42am
post #2 of 19
roxxxy_luvs_duff Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 5:42am
post #3 of 19

i really like sams club and i think there prices are cheaper then costco's. well the one in my area is. oil , cream, and eggs are always cheaper

lovetofrost Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 12:09pm
post #4 of 19

janH,
thanks for the post. I think I'm definitely going to get a membership. I guess I'll just have to go price it and see which one I like better. thanks.

loriemoms Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 3:28pm
post #5 of 19

I belong to both BJs and Costco. (I have been tempted to join Sams too! hahaha) I like Costco for their eggs and we shop for our family there because they have a lot of organic products a lot cheaper then at organic markets, and such. I like BJS because they have the 4 lb bag of 10 x domino sugar and the 25 lbs bags of sugar and flour. (I cannot find any cake flour ANYWHERE In bulk...I am paying a fortune at Walmart for it. (it seems to go up every week!) Does Sams carry it??? OR am I missing something and there are recipes for cake with regular all purpose flour?

Costco also has a big walk in fridge for their veggies, so everything is very fresh. Of course, it is nice on a 90 degree day too! haha

Mommaskip Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 9:06pm
post #6 of 19

We have a membership to Sams and love it. We dont have Costco where I live but have always heard good things about it. Sams does sell everything they use in their bakery like the buttercream in 25lb tubs i think and cake boards etc. I havent made it over there recently to scan more but we get our dog and cat food there and we love their meats. check out sams club website. they show you some of what they carry.

DNBunny Posted 9 Apr 2008 , 9:45pm
post #7 of 19

I got a price list from the friendly manager at the Sam's Club Bakery. They seem to sell a lot of their supplies that they actually use although they don't put those things out in the regular shopping area. Mine has to print labels on the stuff that I want to buy, so I call in a day ahead and tell the Bakery what I want to buy.

You can get cake flour and pastry flour in 25lb bags from restaurant supply stores if you live in a sufficiently urban area. There's one called Restaurant Depot that carries cake flour in bulk (http://www.restaurantdepot.com). I don't know how formal your business has to be to order from them - there is a membership card so I don't think it's open to the general public.

The price of wheat is crazy now so that's why flour is so expensive.

smab109 Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 1:46am
post #8 of 19

I have gone as far as creating a spreadsheet...comparing the prices, per lb on items between Sams, BJ's and my local grocery store. Sams and BJ's....it is a dead tie. One store is cheaper on some items than the other. Sams doesnt carry marshmallows, BJ's does. Sams Club has the better deal on Powdered Sugar, but BJ's carries the Domino Brand. Sams doesnt have unsalted butter in 1/2 C increments, BJ's does.... and some of the ingredients arent simply available in bulk. I have a membership to both and use both equally (they are within the same shopping center so I dont mind).

loriemoms Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 12:26pm
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNBunny

I got a price list from the friendly manager at the Sam's Club Bakery. They seem to sell a lot of their supplies that they actually use although they don't put those things out in the regular shopping area. Mine has to print labels on the stuff that I want to buy, so I call in a day ahead and tell the Bakery what I want to buy.

You can get cake flour and pastry flour in 25lb bags from restaurant supply stores if you live in a sufficiently urban area. There's one called Restaurant Depot that carries cake flour in bulk (http://www.restaurantdepot.com). I don't know how formal your business has to be to order from them - there is a membership card so I don't think it's open to the general public.

The price of wheat is crazy now so that's why flour is so expensive.




Thanks that was very helpful!! I am going to call our local sams today and see if they will do the same thing...

The restaurantdepot site did not have any place anywhere near us! Its too bad, it looks like a great place! It is really sad in our area, we don't have ANYTHING here, except Michaels and AC Moore. I have to even order cake drums online..We live in the capital of North Carolina and you would think we would have more decent stores! icon_eek.gif

I am going up to my mom's in Maryland in May, and we always go to Ikea and stock up on cool stuff, and I saw there was a restaurantdepot near her...so I am going to try to see if I can get over there on that trip!

loriemoms Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 12:29pm
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by smab109

I have gone as far as creating a spreadsheet...comparing the prices, per lb on items between Sams, BJ's and my local grocery store. Sams and BJ's....it is a dead tie. One store is cheaper on some items than the other. Sams doesnt carry marshmallows, BJ's does. Sams Club has the better deal on Powdered Sugar, but BJ's carries the Domino Brand. Sams doesnt have unsalted butter in 1/2 C increments, BJ's does.... and some of the ingredients arent simply available in bulk. I have a membership to both and use both equally (they are within the same shopping center so I dont mind).




I am no where near as organized as you are! haha! But I agree you kind of have to join everything!

btw, if you have a tax id, do get your tax exemption with them! I know it doesn't sound like much, but those 2-5 dollars you save on every trip adds up!! Our state has the same form for all the stores and I just made copies of mine filled out and droped it off everywhere. Even walmart..(of course, you can ONLY use it for stuff you are going to use in your cakes...no jeans! haha)

DNBunny Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 5:49pm
post #11 of 19

I don't know if this will help anyone but you can buy cake flour in 50lb bags here: http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/browseproducts/Sno-King-Cake-Flour-50-LB.HTML. I have no idea how good this brand is (never tried their brand). It might be worth a look because 50lbs is $57 + $4.50 shipping to contiguous USA. It's slightly cheaper than buying smaller quantities from the grocery store.

PS they also have other flour in 50lb bags like AP and pastry flour.

southernbelle Posted 11 Apr 2008 , 1:06am
post #12 of 19

I get my icing, boxes and boards at Sam's. The only problem I have had is that I call ahead, place my order and my dh picks up for me as I can't leave the shop to often. When he gets there one girl that works there always gives him a hard time....they don't have my order, don't have enought icing...blah, blah, blah....so this time when I ordered I talked to the manager. He took my order, told me when it would be ready and my dh went today and picked up. I explained to the manager the problems my dh has had when he gets there. The manager said my dh should ask for him.

Well, dh drives to Sam's on his lunch hour, of course, they can't find the order...same old stuff. Finally my dh gets irritated and asks for the manager.....they go in the back and out comes my order.....the manager doesn't even stick around to apologize or anything. I don't know that complaining will do any good as then I might not ever get my stuff.....Another Sam's is to far away.

Anyway...sorry so long, don't know if anyone else has had this problem but it is getting really old.

punkin712 Posted 11 Apr 2008 , 11:01am
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNBunny

I don't know if this will help anyone but you can buy cake flour in 50lb bags here: http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/browseproducts/Sno-King-Cake-Flour-50-LB.HTML. I have no idea how good this brand is (never tried their brand). It might be worth a look because 50lbs is $57 + $4.50 shipping to contiguous USA. It's slightly cheaper than buying smaller quantities from the grocery store.

PS they also have other flour in 50lb bags like AP and pastry flour.




Wow - that's really expensive. I have been getting quotes from distributors/suppliers and the highest price I've come across is $31 for 50# of General Mills Purasnow (the foodservice version of Softasilk).

It might be worth calling a local bakery to see if they can tack on a bag or two for you with their regular order. Or, you could contact some foodservice distributors to find out who delivers in your area. Fair warning - Sysco requires a 28 item/$750 purchase minimum, but I've found that to be the exception more than the rule.

Good luck!

punkin712 Posted 11 Apr 2008 , 11:02am
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNBunny

I don't know if this will help anyone but you can buy cake flour in 50lb bags here: http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/browseproducts/Sno-King-Cake-Flour-50-LB.HTML. I have no idea how good this brand is (never tried their brand). It might be worth a look because 50lbs is $57 + $4.50 shipping to contiguous USA. It's slightly cheaper than buying smaller quantities from the grocery store.

PS they also have other flour in 50lb bags like AP and pastry flour.




Wow - that's really expensive. I have been getting quotes from distributors/suppliers and the highest price I've come across is $31 for 50# of General Mills Purasnow (the foodservice version of Softasilk).

It might be worth calling a local bakery to see if they can tack on a bag or two for you with their regular order. Or, you could contact some foodservice distributors to find out who delivers in your area. Fair warning - Sysco requires a 28 item/$750 purchase minimum, but I've found that to be the exception more than the rule.

Good luck!

loriemoms Posted 11 Apr 2008 , 4:56pm
post #15 of 19

Well, we spoke with our Sams manager...(VERY nice lady) who faxed me over her list of stuff she can sell me. Unfortantly, our sams does not make their own anything. They get their cakes in frozen, use Masterblend frosting (anyone know if that is any good?) and put all their cakes in those plastic dome type things (no boxes) They do sell the 2 lbs pastry fililngs I like, so I may get it from them instead of CK.

MichelleM77 Posted 11 Apr 2008 , 6:56pm
post #16 of 19

I have got to check out BJ's. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything online about what types/brands of food they carry, just electronics and stuff like that was on their website, unless there is a separate one. Anyone know?

melsherard Posted 11 Apr 2008 , 7:23pm
post #17 of 19

I work at Costco... everything we sell there is absolutely top quality... however, we do not sell some of the things you might need to run a cake business. For this reason, I keep a Sam's membership so I can buy my cake boards, boxes, and icing. At Costco, we make our own cake, filling, and icing, but we do not sell it... even to employees! Bummer! If I had to choose between the 2, I would choose Sam's Club, but I have always kept both memberships, even before I worked at Costco.
On the pricing, Costco has a set percentage that they charge over cost for their items, and it is really low, so you do know that you are never overpaying. Some of the stuff is more expensive there, but that is because you are getting a higher quality product.
Hope this helps!

loriemoms Posted 12 Apr 2008 , 1:29am
post #18 of 19

melsherard:

May I add that people that work at Costco are the best I have seen at any store, even our little grocery stores! We thought it was just our local costco that was so nice (no other store has two people helping you check out and they talk to YOU, not each other!) but when we went into Costco in MD and in Myrtle Beach, we found the same kind of great service. My DH read an article that Costco is a great place (the company itself) to work for, so I guess that is why you guys seem to love your jobs.

When I need something electronic, or like I said, organic foods, I go to Costco..they do have a better quality of stuff. (they even sell organic FRESH chickens and turkeys, which is all we will eat in our household)

Costco also has business hours for those who belong to the excective club (its 100 dollars a year and you get a rebate at the end of the year) which the other clubs dont have..I love it because I can go shopping in the morning and I have the store to myself! haha!

melsherard Posted 12 Apr 2008 , 11:09pm
post #19 of 19

Hi Loriemoms...
Yes Costco is a GREAT place to work! I did cakes in a grocery chain for over 14 years, and I am so bummed out that I wasted all those years! They pay really well, and the benefits are FANTASTIC! I have been working there since November, and I love it....
Thanks for the nice comments!

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