Where Do You Buy Flour, Sugar, Etc In Bulk At Wholesale?

Business By Derby Updated 30 Jan 2007 , 3:03pm by shamley0701

Derby Posted 28 Jan 2007 , 9:38pm
post #1 of 24

I'm trying to do some business planning. I need to find where to get sugar, flour, vanilla and other supplies in bulk at wholesale prices. I also would like to purchase cake mixes in bulk or by the case. I bake both scratch cakes and doctored mix cakes, per customer request either way. I'm trying to write a business plan and would like a cheaper price on these items.


23 replies
BrandisBaked Posted 28 Jan 2007 , 9:42pm
post #2 of 24

I buy from Costco and my local co-op.

sweetamber Posted 28 Jan 2007 , 9:56pm
post #3 of 24

If you're going legal you'll want to hook up with a foodservice supplier. Depending on who's in your part of the country, that would be Sysco (not real big on bakery supply, but they have the basics) Best Brands, Puratos, Pennant, Caravan, Dawn, Pfeil and Holing, that's off the top of my head. You should find out who's in your area and talk to a representative...they'll give you the information you need. You will get a MUCH better price than you would from Sam's club or other co-op. Good luck!

PS- I highly recommend Puratos and Best Brands- great products and service.

Derby Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 2:08am
post #4 of 24

Thank you! How in the heck do I find these companies? Phone book?

cakefanatic Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 2:34am
post #5 of 24


Hope these help!

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 2:55am
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I talked to a rep from Dawn Foods and talk about bulk....25lbs of salt????? I have their price list and the prices are actually no different from Sams or Costco. Dawn does have a great selection but the order requirements are too high for my liking. I just don't have space to store it! I prefer to buy everything I can at Sams and then I call Walmart every week and pick up my cases (of whatever I order like mixes, shortening, powder sugar, ect) on Wednesday morning. I will say that Dawn has high ratio shortening and mixes (25lb bags) in bulk and I have been unable to find those anywhere else that is truck drop off so I don't have to pay freight charges. I use CK products for all of my supply ordering and deco pac for all of my cake drums (free shipping on +$75). You have to have a tax ID # and store front before they will give you access though. You would think it would be easier to find the food products you are looking for...sadly it is a battle! thumbsdown.gif

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 2:56am
post #7 of 24

Also, Sysco has a ridiculous order requirement...something like $500+ and you have to place an order every so many days or weeks or something. I marked them off my list after the first conversation with a rep.

Derby Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 3:15am
post #8 of 24

thank you...thank you...thank you!!!!!

I'm not ready to order in bulk, but I hope to be in the future! I want to really do my homework so that I can get an acurate and comprehensive business plan made up.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 3:20am
post #9 of 24

Myself, I would figure costs as to what I know they are right now. And then if you can get them cheaper...you're better off! I've been searching for 2 years on how to buy my food products for less and not have to order 25 lbs of salt icon_eek.gif all at once! I will say that places like ck products, deco pac, and loranne oils wholesale prices are atleast 1/2 of what retail prices are...that's a starting point on non-comsumable supplies! Good luck with your business plan! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 3:31am
post #10 of 24
Originally Posted by SweetConfectionsChef

Also, Sysco has a ridiculous order requirement...something like $500+ and you have to place an order every so many days or weeks or something. I marked them off my list after the first conversation with a rep.

If you're fortunate enough to have a Sysco in or near you (there's one just across town for me), you can do Customer Pick Up and there is no minimum order. That's how I do all of mine so I don't have to deal with the truck minimum.

Another good company to check is Clark ... located in Northern Indiana.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 3:52am
post #11 of 24

You would think I would have one in Houston..... icon_cry.gif

Cookie4 Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 4:07am
post #12 of 24

Personally, because of the order requirements for the wholesalers I wouldn't purchase from them until your orders are quite large.

As for Costco and Sams - well, if you watch the local ads each week you will find that the retailers beat the wholesale clubs by quite a bit and you could stock up at that time for a month or two and save some $'s too. The only problem is that you can't purchase in large quantities - just in individual sizes (i.e. 1 cake mix box at a time), or 1-5 lbs of flour etc.

littlecake Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 8:37am
post #13 of 24

dawn sucks....

i did business with them for a couple years....thier salesman did alot of price gouging.

i had a minute ....and i started crunching numbers and they were higher than sams club.

and sams is a retail store....on top of that with every delivery they'd bring pests in from the warehouse....

it took alot to get rid of those buggers, now i just buy from sams or walmart...at least there won't be any wild price flucuations....

food distributers are like dealing with used car salesman...everyones price is different....they see how much they can get you to pay.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 1:26pm
post #14 of 24

Littlecake, I agree with you completely! I was suprised when the Dawn rep came to visit with me...he didn't bring a price catalog or even a list! He said they don't like their "competitors" to know their pricing! He emailed me a list of the exact ingredients I told him I was interested in and maybe 3 or 4 he thought I would use. I thought that was nuts! icon_eek.gif I "use" a lot of things and I would liked to have known ALL that they offer but he said "we don't do that"! icon_confused.gif Going to Sam's and Walmart weekly can be a pain, but I would probably end up there anyway!

indydebi Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 1:39pm
post #15 of 24

When I meet with my Sysco rep, I am armed with Sam's and GFS pricing. While she is looking up to "see" if they carry it, I will tell her, "I can get it at GFS for $4.99 a can (or whatever), so meet it or beat it." Information is the best tool you can have. The sales reps have the power to special price for you. And yes, some places are better than others. Example: I was doing a breakfast for 100 college guys and needed the 10 oz bottles of orange juice. Sysco told me "You'll probably get a better price with GFS because we don't do a lot of business with schools and hospitals."

I go thru the same thing with my Sysco rep. I remind her that I get lots of ideas from walking thru GFS so for her to limit me to what SHE thinks I need is not good business. I show her the monthly flyers I get from GFS and told her it would be great to get these from Sysco. She said, "I didn't know you wanted them."

Having been in sales and marketing for years, and having had sales people report to me, I told her it was her job, as my sales rep, to let me know what was available. If Sysco didn't want to "take care of me", then obviously GFS did.

You just have to remind them that you are informed and there are other options. That's why it's not a good idea to limit yourself to just one supplier.

Funny story: During Katrina, Sysco was out of 50 lb bags of sugar. I usually picked up at least 2-4 bags a month from them. When she told me they couldn't get sugar, I said, "Well, you should back your truck up to Sam's Club because they have plenty!" icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

sweetamber Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 2:03pm
post #16 of 24

BRAVO indydebi!!!I completely agree with your post! First of all, NO supplier is going to just give you a list of all their prices- they fluctuate too often and the prices change depending on how much/often you order. The sales rep is going to give you their highest price, you have to bargain down from there. And like indydebi said, knowledge is your best tool...I can't even tell you the number of times I've said to a rep "so-and-so can get me ___ at this price" - you'd be surprised at how quickly the price goes down!

I am not a fan of Sysco- we used to refer to them as the Mafia of the foodservice industry- but they are everywhere and do have the cash and carry option. For the purposes of writing a business plan, any of these companies would be willing to help you out- just tell them your situation. I will say again that if you have Best Brands and Puratos in your area I highly recommend starting with them, I have always had superior service with them!

puzzlegut Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 4:49pm
post #17 of 24

Over a year ago, we tried finding out pricing information from Dawn in case we decided to start a baking business. Their website didn't list any prices and there wasn't a phone number to call; we had to fill out a form and they would get back to you. A rep did get back to us and was supposedly suppose to come up here and meet with us to go over prices, but he never showed. If we do ever have a baking business, I guess we'll forget about using Dawn.

I do agree that someones the grocery stores will have things cheaper then Sam's Club. You just need to keep an eye on the sales that grocery stores have and stock up when they have a good deal. I've also noticed to at Sam's that sometimes the smaller package of something is cheaper per ounce then a larger package of the same item. So it would be a good thing to check out how much an item costs per weight and compare for the best deal.

Firstlady Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 4:53pm
post #18 of 24

I use Jetro's or BJ's. When I'm near a Super Wal-mart I pick up some things because they are usually cheaper than the local store

tyty Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 5:12pm
post #19 of 24

I use Super Wal-mart, Super Target (my son works there so I get a little discount) and GFS (Gordon Food Service).

littlecake Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 5:47pm
post #20 of 24

that business of them not showing up happens alot!

i was sick and tired of dawn foods for a LONG time...i called 3 other distributers...none showed or called me back.

i guess my account was too small to mess with....but i did spend 10-15 K a year with dawn.

thier customer service was pissy too.

plus the bugs they brought with every delivery was awful to deal with....so i had to contract a monthly exterminator to deal with that.


so now, super wal mart....no more bugs, cheating food reps....mean account reps...i couldn't be happier...

plus my home made icing is da bomb.....i think the stuff i make now is far superior to the junk from dawn....it's more labor intensive...but you can really tell the difference.

sweetamber Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 6:59pm
post #21 of 24

Sorry you had such a crappy experience with Dawn...I have never used them- but you're right about their icing- yuck! Isn't it what a lot of grocery store bakeries use? I agree about making your own icings and even fillings, they're usually so much fresher tasting! If I remember correctly, our delivery minimum with Best Brands was $200, and I think it was $250 with Puratos. They never gave us a hard time about being a small operation- that just sucks.

I have had bugs in flour from the store before, I'm really careful now because they're SO hard to get rid of.

sweetamber Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 7:08pm
post #22 of 24

I just have to say one more thing...I know you're all probably tired of me at this point. Regarding service: I had a big order to fill and when the Best Brands delivery showed up, there was one very important item not on the truck (I can't even remember what it was- it's been years) I was panicking, and I called customer service all frantic "What am I going to do?". Well, the woman got in her car and drove my missing ingredients all the way out to me- it was a couple of hours away! That's good service!

doescakestoo Posted 29 Jan 2007 , 7:20pm
post #23 of 24

I am a stay at home decorator, but still buy in bulk. I go to Sam's here. No red tape and heartburn over minimum costs to ship.

shamley0701 Posted 30 Jan 2007 , 3:03pm
post #24 of 24


They have a lot of bulk items, such a cake mixes and basically everything else you'd probably need to buy. I haven't ordered from them yet but my shopping cart if full!

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