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Best place in GTA to buy Vanilla Beans?

auberginegal Oct 3, 2006 05:35 PM

Does anyone know of good places in and around Toronto to buy vanilla beans? If there is a selection of different types that would be ideal. What is a price that one can expect to pay? I'm looking for quality but also a good deal. thanks!

  1. p
    pâté chinois Oct 3, 2006 05:59 PM

    I don't have much experience with buying vanilla beans but I found some nice, fresh and plump ones at the Big Carrot for 99¢ each. So far the best price I found. (if you go to the Big Carrot, you'll find the vanilla beans in the bulk spices section)

    1 Reply
    1. re: pâté chinois
      wontonfm Aug 8, 2008 06:21 AM

      Does the Big Carrot still have vanilla beans for 99cents each?

    2. xtal Oct 3, 2006 06:00 PM

      If you search the Home Cooking board for vanilla beans and ebay, you can hear about some good experiences from people who have purchased online at a substantial discount.

      1. m
        mgs Oct 3, 2006 08:01 PM

        any bulk barn should have them too

        1 Reply
        1. re: mgs
          qtxniki Oct 5, 2006 04:25 PM

          dont go there...bulk barns usually have very dried out ones...ask to check em out and open the bottle if you must go there.

        2. l
          LJS Oct 3, 2006 08:15 PM

          I am going straight to the Big Carrot when I finish work-I have never heard of vanilla beans as low a price as that! I just paid $5.99 for two wizened up little shreds at Loblaws this past weekend!

          1. xtal Oct 3, 2006 09:14 PM

            House of Spice (Kensington Market) has a pair of beans for about $4.

            1. h
              h2o Oct 4, 2006 01:04 AM

              There is a vendor at the Dufferin Grove Market on Thursday who sells a variety of vanilla beans. Reasonable price $2-$3, cheaper if you by 5 or 10. Very fresh and fragrant.

              1. m
                Mila Oct 4, 2006 04:22 PM

                I buy them from Domino's downstairs at St. Lawrence market. I think they are $3.99 for two fat fresh ones.

                But wow, 99 cents at the Big Carrot, I'm checking that out.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Mila
                  sweetie Oct 5, 2006 01:55 AM

                  I just bought vanilla beans last weekend from Domino's and it was $5.99 for two. I think we will all be at the Big Carrot

                  1. re: sweetie
                    Mila Oct 5, 2006 03:20 PM

                    Yikes, I was off. Thanks Sweetie and see you at Big Carrot.

                    1. re: Mila
                      qtxniki Oct 5, 2006 04:25 PM

                      big carrot...here we all come!

                2. l
                  LJS Oct 17, 2006 07:54 PM

                  Just back from Carrot Common with half a dozen, fresh plump vanilla beans in my little twist-tie plastic baggie...the gal at the check-out seemed puzzled by the coding so I explained that they were 99 cents each and I had 6: she said that seemed like an awful lot to pay for such a small bag so only charged me for 5. I just paid for 6 what I usually pay for 1!!! I think I will buy ALL my groceries there!

                  1. dlw88 Jan 8, 2008 12:51 PM

                    Check out www.thevanillashop.ca for a Canadian resource.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: dlw88
                      mlukan Sep 10, 2008 02:33 PM

                      Does anyone know a site with free shipping?

                      1. re: mlukan
                        BamiaWruz Sep 10, 2008 03:10 PM

                        Does the big carrot STILL sell the vanilla beans for 99 cents? I noticed the posts were dated 2006 so if anyone who shops there regularly could let me know if that's still the case, I'd appreciate it :) Thanks

                        1. re: BamiaWruz
                          jayt90 Sep 10, 2008 03:49 PM

                          Here is a more recent thread. The 99 cent price at Big Carrot was good at least until the end of last year. Don't know what variety or country of origin they might have. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/469731

                          For good prices and selection there are lots of vanilla bean sellers on eBay ("Buy it Now"), 1 lb for about $20. A purchase I made came by regular $U.S. mail, no border fees http://cgi.ebay.ca/1-lb-Certified-Org...

                        2. re: mlukan
                          youdonut Sep 10, 2008 11:02 PM

                          i purchase mine from a us company called vanilla saffron imports, i can get a pound for $20 us which gets me in excess of 100 beans, they also sell high quality saffron at good prices as well.

                      2. The Chowhound Team Sep 12, 2008 07:13 AM

                        We've moved the discussion about the wholesale prices of vanilla beans to the General Chowhounding Topics board. You can find the thread here:


                        1. l
                          lightbulb Jun 21, 2009 02:17 PM

                          I've had occasion to source vanilla beans for photo shoots recently and would suggest the following: St. Lawrence Market, which has several vendors, including Domino's and Schefflers, both of whom have several varieties. But even better was Provincial Fine Foods Cheese on Church (beside Cumbrae's), they had an excellent selection from an importer (whose name I don't remember) all of which were much plumper and perfect compared to than anything else available anywhere. Be forewarned, they were MUCH more than .99 each. I spent more than $100 in the various stores to have a good selection.

                          1. l
                            lilaki Jul 8, 2009 07:33 PM

                            hey chowhounders,

                            has anyone in toronto/canada ordered from www.vanillafoodcompany.ca ? the prices seem fairly reasonable (compared to other cdn. online retailers) ... ebay would still be (marginally) cheaper but this company seems to be more 'direct'...

                            any thoughts?


                            2 Replies
                            1. re: lilaki
                              jayt90 Jul 8, 2009 07:35 PM

                              Put a www. in front of your url, and a lot more will respond.

                              1. re: jayt90
                                lilaki Jul 9, 2009 05:28 AM

                                done! tks!!

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