The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Buying Bulk Flour and Grains

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mcs's picture
mcs

Buying Bulk Flour and Grains

Hey there everybody.  I know every once in a while people post on here about looking for larger quantities of flour or grains.  I just thought I'd share an idea that some may haven't thought of but that's available to many. 


It used to be that the only places that sold ingredients in bulk bins (that you'd scoop and weigh out yourself) would be health/natural food stores.  They had flour, dried fruit, grains, and all kinds of other stuff.  Nowadays you can find bulk bins in regular supermarkets with everything from candy to quinoa.  Here it seems that the supermarkets have a larger selection and definitely lower prices than the health food stores. 


Obviously these stores are buying their ingredients in large quantities to refill their bins, and they might be able to get you some for a cheap price too.  Here the supermarkets charge a flat '10% over cost' for any bulk orders.  They have a book that's about 150 pages thick with all kinds of items and size quantiites that I can go through to decide what I want.  Brands like Giustos, Bob's Red Mill, King Arthur... are all available even if they don't stock them in the bulk bins in their store. Plus there's no shipping/freight charge because it'll piggyback onto one of their orders.  If I order on a Wednesday, it comes on Friday.  If I order on Friday, it comes on Tuesday.


The prices probably won't be a savings over a bakery warehouse type operation, but they should be significantly lower than what you'd see on supermarket shelves.  If you don't have access to the low, low prices of a wholesaler it might be worth your while to go to your favorite supermarket and talk to the person in charge of ordering to see what you can get.


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com


 

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I called a store today and obtained pricing.


$1.88/kg for unbleached bread flour


$1.70/kg for unbleached all purpose flour


They offer 10% discount if you buy a whole 40kg bag.


Much more expensive than bleached flour from Costco.  Arva flour mill also sells a 22.7kg bag of bread flour for $22.25CDN.


 

mcs's picture
mcs

Costco prices for common items like bleached flour, butter and milk are often cheaper than you'd even be able to get through a restaurant supplier like Sysco or Food Services America.  Unfortunately they don't carry the variety of organic goods and brands that other smaller stores do.  I'm not familiar with stores in Ontario, but if you can get quality flour at Arva flour mill, then that sounds like the place to go to.


-Mark

breadbaby's picture
breadbaby

Thanks for the info, Mark, because I didn't know that grocery stores might do that and would not have thought to ask them.  I am lucky because around here (north central PA) there are alot of Amish bulk stores where I can order 50lb bags of flour, or 30 lb bags of raisins, or nuts or whatever my greedy little heart desires.  But different distributors carry different things, and so it is always good to have more than one source of supply.