Wholesale suppliers that normally deliver pallets of pasta and boxes of beef to commercial kitchens have also been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic. Their clients include closed businesses and institutions like restaurants, caterers and clubs. The Chefs’ Warehouse in Ridgefield, Conn., is the latest wholesale grocer to open its inventory to the public. (Baldor Specialty Foods did so two weeks ago.)
Chefs’ Warehouse sells pasta, sauces, canned goods, cheeses and other dairy, bottled water, some paper goods and, through Allen Brothers, fresh meat.
Delivery will be available to New York City; the greater metro area including Long Island; parts of New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut; and, by the end of the week, areas including Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Miami.
Fresh produce is not its specialty, though Chefs’ Warehouse sells some basic items like baking potatoes and lemons. And it’s important to pay attention to quantities offered. You can purchase a single wheel of French Camembert for $6.70, but if you’re looking for Grana Padano, you have to buy 20 pounds.
Orders for New York City placed by 5 p.m. will be delivered the next day; elsewhere, delivery takes two days. Delivery is free for orders over $250; less than that, and there is no minimum, the delivery charge is $35. The company plans to donate 10 percent of its profits from website sales (shop.chefswarehouse.com) to help food service employees in need.
Another food delivery service, Mercato — along with DoorDash, which makes the deliveries — has announced that it will waive delivery charges for all people 60 years of age or older. The offer will be in effect at least until May 7. When ordering from any of Mercato’s more than 900 affiliated businesses, mostly independent food stores, you have to sign up for the free trial of Mercato Green membership, add the code “OVER60” and then enter your date of birth.