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Dried fruit & nuts in bulk?

Hey - where does everyone like to get dried fruit and nuts in bulk in SF? Rainbow and the farmers market at the Ferry Building immediately come to mind, but I was hoping for a less expensive alternative. Any ideas? Thanks so much.

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  1. Less expensive than the Alemany farmer's market? Or were you thinking of the Ferry Plaza market? Maybe Costco would have some cheap offerings...

    1. There is quite a variety at several stalls in the Alemany farmers market on Saturday. Many dried fruit are in the $5-7 range. I don't go to the Ferry Bldg often, but I can only assume the prices at Alemany are cheaper.

      1. The one-pound packages at Trader Joe's are often the best prices in town.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I was afraid that might be the case about Trader Joe's - which is great but not as local as I was hoping. I think I'll check out Alemany - thanks so much for the suggestions.

          1. re: rockawayguy

            That's a long way from SF. East of Gilroy.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Online sales reduce the need to visit in person

          2. Once you've tried the nuts at the Berkeley Bowl, all else pales by comparison.
            TJ's seems stale.
            I'm especially addicted to the roasted almonds without salt.

            1. I go to Parkside at 16th and Taraval. While not in bulk, they sell large bags of nuts and dried fruit for reasonable prices, with steady turnover, meaning always fresh and good.

              1. Alameny Farmer's Market - especially the second stand on your right as you enter the market. I especially recommend their suntan walnuts and their prunes.

                1. Rainbow market is always where I get my nuts and tea, but it's always really expensive. They do have super inexpensive candied ginger though.

                  Melanie Wong is right. If it's a non exotic nut or dried fruit, Go to Trader Joe's. There's one just a 5 minute walk from Rainbow.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ZaneTheButcher

                    If you like dried apricots, TJ's has what they call "slab" apricots that are squishy and sweet and very flavorful. Lately they run out before the next season though.

                  2. Rainbow has 20% off coupons in the the phone book. They're valid Wed/Thurs. I try to stock up on bulk items every couple months using them...20% off Rainbow's prices might not be AS cheap Trader Joes (?) but probably fresher/more local.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: boxcar_sf

                      I've had a ton of troubles trying to get any source information from TJs about their fruits and nuts. When I ask, they tell me the products are "made" or "packaged" in the US. They are very careful to use those two words. When I try to clarify where they are "grown", the store manager tells me he has no further information and the customer service email address stops replying.

                      I get the feeling they're trying to hide something. Maybe not, but indications are not good.

                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                        Nobody may know. That's the deal with private labeling... things can change quite quickly and often.

                        Oddly, I was actively investing some of my IRA in nuts (JBSS and others) for a while, and was reading all the company filings, conference calls, etc. Those guys talked about getting contracts, private label, frost, etc. The raw suppliers for a lot of products change rapidly and regionally, and there's a lot less profit in private label.

                        Question: When you say 'bulk' do you mean you want a large quantity of one or two types of products? Or do you want to get a small amount of a lot of types from bins?

                    2. Have you tried Monterrey Market in Berkeley? Their bulk prices seem cheaper than elsewhere.

                      1. thanks so much for all the suggestions. i went to the alemany farmers market last week and got the most amazing dates for very, very reasonable prices from a guy who was primarily selling dates - all different varieties that i didn't even know existed. i picked up a wider variety of other dried fruits from a stand that was not quite as cheap, but still reasonable. i got a bunch of walnuts in the shell from alemany as well, and roasted them up, mixed them with the dates and other fruits and had myself a fantastic trail mix.

                        thanks for the tips on the two places in berkeley, i'll have to check them out the next time i'm over there.

                        as for TJ's nuts, i too am wary as to how local they are. i like the concept of TJ's, but it seems like there has to be a little something shady going on there for them to maintain their prices.

                        thanks also for the tip on rainbow coupons - very nice to know.