Purchasing Flour In Bulk

Business By pounds6 Updated 10 Jun 2012 , 12:59pm by hieperdepiep

pounds6 Posted 20 Nov 2011 , 4:35pm
post #1 of 18

Had a home bakery since 2004. I am about to realize my dream and open a cake shop. I've always bought flour from the groceery store and recently joined a restaurant supply warehouse. The problem is, the brands I am used to buying in the store (White Lilly, Pillsbury etc) are not in the supply store. They have 50lb bags of flour from brands I have never heard from. They carry a pastry flour that I think I can use. For those of you who buy in bulk (which greatly increases profit margin) what do you buy? Or...do you just buy lots of 5 pound bags of your favorite brand from the grocery store? Help please!

17 replies
jason_kraft Posted 20 Nov 2011 , 4:44pm
post #2 of 18

We buy 50# bags of cake flour (Conagra Mills) and rice flour (General Mills) from a restaurant supply store, Restaurant Depot. It's worth getting to know how the bulk brands of flour work in your recipes, since the small flour bags in grocery stores can be 3-4 times more expensive than the 50# bags.

pounds6 Posted 20 Nov 2011 , 4:51pm
post #3 of 18

Funny thing. That is the supply store I joined, Restaurant Depot. They dont have any "cake flour" they have something called "pastry flour" by Wingold. I looked up pastry flour to see what kind of wheat is used etc... but Im still a bit perplexed! LOL So, hoping for some input here. Thanks for your help.

jason_kraft Posted 20 Nov 2011 , 5:08pm
post #4 of 18

Cake flour typically has the lowest protein (gluten) content, bread flour has the highest protein content, and all-purpose flour is in the middle. Pastry flour also has low protein content, somewhere between cake flour and AP flour.

http://bakingbites.com/2008/10/what-is-pastry-flour/

leah_s Posted 20 Nov 2011 , 5:51pm
post #5 of 18

My Restaurant Depot does carry cake flour. I've found the employees don't always understand baking products, so ask again. Also, I buy cake flour in 50# bags at Dawn Foods. 50# of cake flour will cost less than $15.

brenda549 Posted 20 Nov 2011 , 7:53pm
post #6 of 18

I just purchased a 50lb bag of cake flour from Restaurant Depot. It is Purasnow - Gold Medal made by General Mills. Paid $16 for it. I used it in a triple batch for a wedding cake just last weekend. Baked up just like the Swans Down I usually purchase at megamarts for $3-4 per box/2lbs.

MimiFix Posted 21 Nov 2011 , 1:10am
post #7 of 18

Most ingredient suppliers have a knowledgeable sales force and excellent tech help. The next time you're shopping at the restaurant supply store, find the products you're interested in using and look on the bags. Jot down the website and/or 800 phone numbers and contact them for help.

karateka Posted 21 Nov 2011 , 10:01pm
post #8 of 18

I get 50 lb bags of cake flour from GFS for $20

Bridgette1129 Posted 22 Nov 2011 , 4:32am
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

We buy 50# bags of cake flour (Conagra Mills) and rice flour (General Mills) from a restaurant supply store, Restaurant Depot. It's worth getting to know how the bulk brands of flour work in your recipes, since the small flour bags in grocery stores can be 3-4 times more expensive than the 50# bags.




The site says you have to have a business license and show proof that you are authorized to purchase for said business or organization.

So I just need to have a business license?

jason_kraft Posted 22 Nov 2011 , 4:43am
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridgette1129

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

We buy 50# bags of cake flour (Conagra Mills) and rice flour (General Mills) from a restaurant supply store, Restaurant Depot. It's worth getting to know how the bulk brands of flour work in your recipes, since the small flour bags in grocery stores can be 3-4 times more expensive than the 50# bags.



The site says you have to have a business license and show proof that you are authorized to purchase for said business or organization.

So I just need to have a business license?



Correct, they just need to see your business license to set up your account, which you would typically get from your municipal government. And since you are the owner of your business it is assumed that you would be authorized to purchase for it. icon_smile.gif

Bridgette1129 Posted 27 Nov 2011 , 12:22am
post #11 of 18

Just checked out Costco today and they have 25# bags for $7 icon_smile.gif Woohoo!

pounds6 Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 3:34pm
post #12 of 18

OMG, I just love this site because everyone is so helpful. FYI, at Restaurant Depot they also let me become a member with just a tax id number so that I could order equipment for my bakery. Here in Florida you dont actually get a license until your bakery is complete and inspected so as long as you have a tax id # you can join free.

I definately agree that the cost of the flour in bulk is amazing compared to even Wal-Marts pricing! LOL I think I will stop by R-Depot and ask them why they dont carry cake flour, who knows maybe they will order some. If not, I did look at Conagra's website and there is a number to contact a local sales rep. Thanks for all the wonderful input.

CAKE DECORATORS UNITE! lol
Have a wonderful day and thanks again
Valerie

Big_Mike Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 10:28pm
post #13 of 18

@ pounds6 and jason_kraft
AP flour to my understanding from school is 50-50 pastry flour/bread flour. so if you dont have one or the other and in a pinch you can use AP flour to sub if emergency.

FromScratchSF Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 11:16pm
post #14 of 18

No, you can't sub APF for cake flour and expect anywhere near the same results in a scratch cake. Maybe if I was making a cake for my sister or something but no way would I ever do that for a product I intend to sell.

I could just bet you missed it at Restaurant Depot. I find it very hard to believe they don't carry any cake flour there!

Big_Mike Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 3:39pm
post #15 of 18

Sorry meant as emergency sub for pastry not cake

hieperdepiep Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 4:10pm
post #16 of 18

In an emergency you can use ap and substitute about 15 % cornstarch for apflour.

scp1127 Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 8:18am
post #17 of 18

Rather than sub, why not just stock the right thing? Yes you can sub some cornstarch and the cake will bake and rise, but the wheat is completely different and there is no way the exact same cake can be achieved. With stores open all night, I don't get the sub issue, especially when selling.

OP I'm in your position. None of the supply places have Gold Medal or Pillsbury AP. I haven't taken the time to try the off brands, but in my experience, even the name brands sub a slightly inferior product in those bulk bags. Case in point: Domino Sugar. Off brand flours are usually irregular in grain and are not consistent in the amount of gluten.

If you are picky about your ingredients, you will just have to buy it, test it, and see.

My issue is LOL butter. Not one wholesaler sells it. All buters that are cheaper are far inferior.

I think larger cities have access to better wholesale products, but in smaller areas, it is a big problem.

hieperdepiep Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 12:59pm
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Rather than sub, why not just stock the right thing? Yes you can sub some cornstarch and the cake will bake and rise, but the wheat is completely different and there is no way the exact same cake can be achieved. With stores open all night, I don't get the sub issue, especially when selling.




You make me feel sad SCP1127.. icon_cry.gif I visited every store in the area normal consumers can go to ( I don't have excess to a wholesaler) and there is just no normal cakeflour here.. I did found pastryflour, but still not the same..
But then.. I live in buttercountry.. I can choose from 10 brands of excellent butter.
You do the cake, I'll do the IMBC, o.k? icon_wink.gif

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