The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How could we obtain flour (whole sale) as a group?

bread basket's picture
bread basket

How could we obtain flour (whole sale) as a group?

We are a small group of bakers which struggle to find flour (whole sale, as a group) at a decent price. we are selling at a farmers market in Brevard NC.

I realize, as a very small business one is really disadvantaged because of not being able to buy large amounts of ingredients. Buying wholesale from a online dealer always has high shipping costs which sets off the savings. Sharing does not seem possible because of tax issues or at least not recommended (according to my accountant). Are there any ideas of people who are in the same position as we are? As always thank you for your input.


golgi70's picture

Are you near a Costco?   I know Costco does carry some nice flours and even if it didn't provide all of your flour it may save you some money.  Better yet.  If you took the time to drive to a major city and pick up your flour you could save quite a bit and have a full line of product to choose from.  Just do your research online of what company will give you a good price if you were to pick  up your flour   Finally.  Are there any nice bakeries in the area?  If so go talk to them and see if you could order through them?  It's quite possible they would be glad to help you out.  

Hope one of those works




bread basket's picture
bread basket

thanks Josh. Unfortunately Costco is too far away, nearly 3 hours but I have spoken with our baker in town and he would be willing to help us out. Up till now I was lucky to get my flour through Sysco but they have stopped all drop shipments  country wide:(.

thanks again  Barbara

NCGrimbo's picture

There's a lady that runs NC Wheat Montana Co-op that gets deliveries to the Raleigh area.  She used to also get shipments to western NC, but wasn't able to get the 5000lb minimum commitment from people in that area to keep it going.  You may be able to talk to her to see if she can get you all in touch with Wheat Montana and get similar pricing.  Google the Co-op name for her web site.



bread basket's picture
bread basket

thanks you for your answer. I have spoken to Beth a couple years ago: Western NC has not enough interest. Too bad! thanks again   Barbara

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Your not that far from     very nice people with a nice product.  They give you better prices for larger amounts.  You should give them a call.  I just placed an order with them today.  Tell them I sent you (just want to let them know I'm sending people their way)   It looks like a small operation (family run) so I like to support the little guy and keep them in business.  Then we don't have to go to Costco or Wall mart for baking supplies.


Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

I would press back a little on your accountant. I find it hard to believe that sharing a source of raw materials creates a tax issue. You may have to maintain a small amount of paperwork to account for the distribution of the flour to the bakers, but that should be very low overhead, which you'd do anyway just to aggregate the orders. 

If your accountant is resistant, have one of the other bakers in your group get  a second opinion. This should be very solvable.

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Wow, that's interesting. Will educate myself on that. Thanks    Barbara

koimum's picture

I am not sure if NC is a Food Cottage Law state or not but even if not, as bakers, you should be able to obtain a membership at Restaurant Depot. They do not sell to the public but they do sell to any person who owns a business. Membership is free but you must go in and apply for their free card. Here is one store... Charlotte, NC 2030 John Crosland Jr Dr Charlotte,  NC  28208-5555. They sell 40 - 50 pound bags of different flours. Some stores even sell the famous 00 type flour similar to Caputo.  You can also buy fresh meats, frozen foods, dairy, cold foods, canned goods, and spices there. They sell just about everything. Joann

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Thank you for this info. Will check it out! Barbara

Msmching's picture

+1 on asking the local Bakeries around. MAYBE, you will find someone like me that doesn't mind selling a bag or two of my flours. 

(I had a girl who came in looking for yeast and I sold it to her at the same price I got. CHEAPER than what she gets out there) 

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Thanks you. Yes I have spoken to our baker in town and he is willing to help us out. thats very nice of you guys!


Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

There is the North Carolina Organic Bread Project which is situated near you in Asheville

Carolina Ground, a mill associated with the NCOBFP

Not so near you but if you're willing to make the drive:

In addition to restaurant depot, there is Sysco Foods, which has 2 locations near Charlotte and one near Columbia SC

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Thank you for your answer. I myself buy already from Carolina Ground  my wheat and rye grain which I love and mill it myself. The bread flour is unfortunately too expensive for us. Sysco stopped all drop shipments so no 50lb KA flour for me anymore :(.  I have in the meantime spoken with our baker in town and he is willing to help us out. He gets his flour from Lindley mill. we don't know yet about the price.

thanks again. Barbara