Exploring Wholesale Market Options
By Shermain Hardesty
Cook's Company was established as a wholesaler to Bay Area restaurants in 1985 by chefs Ric Tombari and Elaine Jones Tombari, the generous funders of this tour. Cooks buys from about 300 farms, and delivers to Bay Area restaurants all seven days of the week. Cooks takes same day orders and has no minimum purchase requirements.
Ric greeted our group warmly and then led us through the warehouse while enthusiastically sharing a wide variety of tips that can enhance the viability of small-scale farms selling to restaurants, including:
- wait until your farm has something really good to offer before approaching a potential buyer;
- have a good story about your farm when talking to prospective customers
- seek out new customers in places where there are lots of restaurants;