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Wholesale Grocery Stores?

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Years ago, I used to go to Smart and Final when it was a real wholesale grocery store. Everything was sold by the case only. You could buy a case of almost any product.

Today, a Smart and Final is more like Costco. They sell some things by the case but mostly, it's just large sizes of items.

Can anyone suggest a place where you can go and buy cases of things like canned soup and tomato juice and peanut butter? It has to be open to the public and have a wide selection. I'm located in West L.A. but will travel in order to stock up on items.

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  1. Cash and Carry is a subsidary of Smart and Final. They are not public per se, but if you belong to certain groups, you can get in, just call or go in to check. They cater mostly to restaurants, like Smart and Final was a decade or two ago. Smart and Final changed in order to compete more with Price Club/Costco.

    1. Check out: Canton Food Company- a cash and carry very popular with mom & pop restaurants especially of the Asian persuasion, but not limited to Asian foods. No membership required, open to the general public. They sell fresh produce by the case or by the large package. Frozen meats and seafood by the case or piece. All kinds of canned goods and institutional size products by the case or piece.
      Canton Food Co
      750 S Alameda St (at 7th Street right next to Farmer Boys)
      Los Angeles, 90021
      (213) 688-7707
      (open 8am 7 days a week-Sunday till 1pm)
      www.cantonfoodco.com

      There's also "Restaurant Depot", but you have to be in the business or a non-profit organization to shop there. They'll let you look around,
      http://www.restaurantdepot.com/Home.asp

      If what you're looking for is truly wholesale prices you aren't going to find much better than the places I mentioned above or even Smart & Final. Otherwise you'd have to deal directly with a distributor to get truly wholesale prices and quantity.

      Otherwise the two places I mentioned above sell by the case or by the piece(part of a case).

      1. Do Smart and Final's prices strike anyone else as absurdly high? Since they changed their business model, they're like a Costco except with Ralph's pricing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: broncosaurus

          I believe that they have recently been bought out by another company, so we shall see what happens. They do offer things that you cannot get at Costco which I do appreciate.

        2. I have a business license, so I regularly shop at S&F's Cash & Carry, Restaurant Depot, and Jetro (occas.) because I can! I buy a few household items, dairy, some dry goods, etc. Without a doubt, these are some of the best places for stocking your pantry in the L.A. area -- do ask your employer, friends and/or family if there's a way to get in you in the door.

          I've also been to Canton a few times, and like it a lot, except for the drive from Torrance to downtown. I treat it as more of a field trip/recon...

          I stopped going to S&F years ago due to the fact that Costco regularly beats them on price, the selection is almost as good, etc. As you've alluded to, S&F has kind of lost their way. Maybe better things are in store for them...

          http://www.b2i.us/profiles/investor/R...
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