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A Wholesale Grocery Will Deliver Directly to the Public
With coronavirus anxiety rising, your major concern is probably not whether you can get fresh figs or an exotic pink pineapple from Costa Rica, but having eggs, fresh lettuce, pork chops and the like delivered to your door might be.
Baldor Specialty Foods, a wholesale grocer based in the Bronx, will open for retail sales starting today. The company, which distributes products to stores, restaurants and institutions throughout the Northeast, will provide home delivery of more than 6,000 various items within a 50-mile radius of its Bronx warehouse.
There is a $250 minimum for orders; there is no extra delivery charge. (But many of the items on the Baldor website show bulk quantities, like 15 dozen eggs and 11 pounds of asparagus so before ordering it might pay to coordinate with neighbors to share some products.)
With restaurants having shut their doors except for takeout, and many food service institutions like schools also closed, Baldor’s warehouse is stocked with products it can no longer distribute to existing customers. It also has a fleet of delivery trucks now largely standing idle.
“Baldor finds itself with plenty of inventory and excess delivery capabilities with the absence of the food service community,” said Ben Walker, the vice-president for sales and marketing in an email.
By using this service consumers can keep their distance from others and avoid having to go to supermarkets. “We have never considered doing this before, but in times of crisis, everything must be put on the table and considered,” said TJ Murphy, the chief executive of the company, which was founded 28 years ago and has its roots in the original Balducci’s store in Greenwich Village.
A similar though far more limited effort is being made this afternoon by GrowFood Carolina, a Charleston, S.C., company that distributes food from local farms. Until 4 p.m., it is assembling boxes in three sizes of milk, eggs and strawberries, $20 to $60, for retail customers to pick up at its warehouse, 990 Morrison Drive in Charleston. Orders can be placed at email@example.com.
Baldor’s service will be available until the emergency is over. Consumers can go to baldorfood.com to set up an account by clicking the “sign-up” button; orders placed by 10 p.m. will be delivered the next day between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.