Hello, all! My bakery is almost five years old (yay!) and we are now ready for a contract with a wholesale food distributor. We are looking for someone to provide our staples (flour, sugar, butter, etc.). We would also like to find someone with a decent selection of sprinkles. gel pastes, and all of those decorating extras that we use every day. AND, we're hoping they also carry packaging materials, like cake boxes, boards, etc. Dawn Foods and Sysco keep popping up as top sellers. Thoughts on these two? Any others out there with fair pricing and good service? Any input from other business owners is much appreciated!
It' standard to have two suppliers - a primary for your weekly order and a back-up to fill in when your primary is out of stock on something. Is Bakemark in your area? The last I knew, Sysco was geared more for restaurants so their bakery ingredients are packaged differently than ingredients from a bakery supplier. For instance, Dawn would sell a 30# box of bulk nuts, while Sysco would sell a 30# box of nuts that contained thirty 1# packages. Or bakery suppliers have 50# and 100# bags of flour, but Sysco only carried 25# bags. The restaurant sized packaging made Sysco products far more expensive. And I'm not sure what you mean by "contract." Would you get a better price-structure if you sign a contract?
We wouldn't necessarily have a contract. We just don't use one now and are looking for one to begin using on a regular basis. No, we don't have Bakemark, but we do have Dawn Foods, Sysco, and Ben E. Keith. I didn't realize that some businesses use more than one supplier. I guess for us, that means one of the above, and then a run to Sam's or Costco for backup. Thanks for the feedback!
You can always research any wholesalers that service your area and speak to their reps, get pricing catalogues and compare pricing. Make sure you factor in things like gas and delivery charges and expedited shipping if you need something in a hurry. Meet reps in person when you can and ask for samples if you like particular products like color gels.