Bulk Indian grocery purchase - Jackson Heights or Edison, NJ
Here is the question from my Indian colleague's wife (a family of 2 adults and one toddler).
Looks like, she is used to stocking up their grocery once or twice a year in India. Now that she has moved to the US (and its not as easy here as in India), she plans to make her yearly purchase during Diwali season (which is I think is second or third week of November). She expects some deals in Indian grocery stores. She figured out that there are many stores in Jackson Heights, NYC and Edison, NJ (They live in Central Westchester).
The question is, which is the best place to buy i.e. where she will end up saving more money? Her list is like 60-lbs of Rice, 60 lbs of flour, a total of 100 lbs of many lentils etc. etc. Are there any Indian grocery stores that advertise deals on the web?
Thank you very much.
I made custom spice blends for 160 wedding guests using bulk purchases i made in edison (iselin, actually). Ive done some spot shopping in Jackson Heights before, but cant really comment on the full grocery options there either. Iselin (oak tree road) has 5-6 good sized indian grocers carrying a full range of basic staples, it would be easy to do a "round" through the biggest of them to see what items were available at favorable prices at each, and parking is a little hectic (the lots arent that big and are generally quite full, but finding a spot is doable). The places im talking about are all along Oak Tree Road between Wood Ave and Rt 27/Lincoln Highway, specifically subzi mandi, patel's cash and carry and a couple more whos names are eluding some quick googling.
A bigger question id ask is whether the deals/convenience of suburbandom could outweigh being 2x further away. depending on where in westchester your friends are coming from, queens could range from moderately to a lot closer, plus theyd have to pay the comparatively steep fees for crossing.
parking might be easier in Edison. Plus, they might have more choices of stores. I go to the Patel Bros in JH a lot and it is good, but getting bulk purchases like your friend wants to make from the store to their car (on a busy weekend especially) might be kind of a pain. There is no parking lot at that store.
It seems to me, if you live in Westchester, why come into the city? Take advantage of the ease of suburban shopping.
I think, they regularly go to Norwalk, CT Patel store and they seem to be happy with the assortment. I think this question of hers i.e. JH or Edison, stems from the fact that she plans to buy a tons so she may be thinking of saving.
With suburban shopping, there is only one store near where they live. I suspect that they don't like it (because as I said, they make one trip a month to Norwalk, CT).
I've never been to Edison, but she may be disappointed if she's expecting big price cuts across the board in Jackson Heights. They do have sales, but it's usually an item here and an item there. But then, if she wants to shop only once a year, I guess any bargain is better than none...
What I think missmasala was getting at is that parking will be better in suburban Edison. Parking is a huge nightmare in Jackson Heights in general and especially in the immediate vicinity of the stores. Especially for a large shopping, your friend would want someone else along as driver, to deal with the car and then pick her up in front of the store(s) with her packages.
the Patel brothers chain, which has several locations -- the largest of which is in jackson heights -- has good bulk deals most of the year, and they have Diwali sales yearly (but as someone who tops out at 10 pounds of rice/flour, i've never really checked to see if those sales offer tremendous savings. they do have an online component, though, at