With meal kit and grocery store deliveries practically impossible to secure these days, and visits to the grocery store getting increasingly stressful, restaurant wholesalers have stepped in to meet the needs of thousands of hungry households in New Jersey.
The Chefs’ Warehouse
Many companies, like The Chefs’ Warehouse, have transitioned into home delivery for the first time in 35 years of business as the government started to mandate restaurant dine-in closings.
“We had to evaluate the best course of action,” says David Vogel, vice president of marketing for The Chefs’ Warehouse. “Number one, we wanted to support our communities as grocery store shelves became barren. Number two, we needed to keep as many employees working as possible.”
The Chefs’ Warehouse created a new website (shop.chefswarehouse.com) to accommodate at-home shoppers. According to the site, you can expect your order to arrive within three days. (I placed my order on April 6 and it arrived April 8.)
Heads up: Be prepared for bulk sizes. (Anyone interested in 24 cans of chick peas?) Still, not everything is in huge quantities and right now it’s not a bad thing to stock up. Another option is to consider forming your own food club with family or neighbors and splitting an order. Not only does The Chefs’ Warehouse offer tons of food choices, but…wait for it…they also have toilet paper and latex gloves!
With Chefs’ Warehouse there is no minimum order, but orders under $250 will incur a $35 delivery fee. If you’re stocking the freezer, though, you will not have a problem hitting $250 and you’ll get the added bonus of restaurant quality. Plus, The Chefs’ Warehouse is donating 10% of retail sales profits from home delivery orders to frontline furloughed employees and other impacted members of the foodservice industry, who are financially suffering while so many restaurants around the country are closed.
Baldor Specialty Foods
Beginning as Balducci’s fruit stand in Greenwich Village in 1946, Baldor Specialty Foods has a long history in the New York Area and is one of the largest importers and distributors of fresh produce and specialty foods. For foodies, having this service available for direct purchase is a real treat.
On the Baldor website, you need to be logged in to see prices, and remember that they sell in bulk, so check the quantity. Their minimum order is $250 and there is no delivery charge. According to Ben Walker, vice president of sales and marketing, “We have had 51,000 people sign up for the service. And there has been such great demand in NYC and surrounding areas that we expanded the service to Boston and Philly.”
So, what are people ordering? “Just what you’d expect,” says Walker. “Grocery staples like chicken, eggs, milk, cheese, meat, and produce that has a longer shelf-life like potatoes, carrots, onions, and apples.”
When I asked if they are running out of stock on certain items, I was told yes, but that they have been restocking quickly.
I wondered if they’d heard of order-sharing from customers and they confirmed that yes, they had and also said they had heard of families cooking for elderly family members or neighbors, and dropping off prepared foods and staple groceries. “We have responded to this new customer by working to offer more products in smaller quantities,” offered Walker.
To place your order through Baldor, go to BaldorFood.com and sign up to be a customer. You won’t see food prices until you register. From there, you can place an order, which will be delivered to your door. Sales tax and delivery are included. Expect delivery within four to five days.
More Restaurant Wholesalers Now Offering Home Delivery
HOJO Home Delivery: Poultry, meats, seafood, Joe Tea, Hoboken Farms cheese, ravioli, and sauces, and more. Two-day no-contact delivery to Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday no-contact delivery to Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Nicola’s Pasta Fresca: Fresh pasta and sauces delivered to your home. Delivering to the following counties in New Jersey: Essex, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Warren, and Union.
North East Restaurant Direct: Mercer County delivery, which includes all of Mercer County as well as surrounding communities (Bordentown, Allentown, Kingston, Plainsboro, and other neighboring towns).
Singer Equipment Company: Offers a variety of care packages including toilet paper, paper towels, gloves, and other cleaning items.
If you know of a restaurant wholesaler who is offering home delivery in New Jersey, please send details to info@JerseyBites.com. We will expand this list as more information becomes available.