The Benefits to Buying from a Local Independent  Distributor

by | Jan 11, 2022

Schenck Foods delivery driver

As a restaurant owner, you probably take it for granted that you’ll buy your food from a wholesale food distributor like Sysco or US Foods. If you’re a small business, daycare, or caterer, you may also consider bulk shopping at a grocery club like Costco or Sam’s Club.

Options like these come with their own benefits and downsides. Schenck Foods strikes the balance to deliver a superior solution by carrying many products that grocery clubs like Costco do not have in stock, while also providing friendly and local customer support that larger wholesalers do not offer.

Why Choose Schenck Foods over Grocery Clubs Like Costco or Sam’s Club?

1. Order Delivery

Schenck Foods delivers Monday through Friday with rapid turnaround times. You can place an order as late as 5pm for next-day delivery for most areas within 100 miles from Winchester. All Schenck Foods drivers are in-house drivers who follow the same routes every day. If you are a Schenck Foods customer, you can get used to seeing the same familiar face on every delivery.

Delivery charges for Schenck Foods are a flat $5 fee. No matter how much you order, you never need to pay more.

2. More Variety

Costco and Sam’s Club are famous for their low pricing, but not as much for their variety. With any dedicated food distributor, you can expect to find more niche and specialty foods available. For unique selections, as well as local foods that may not be available in chain grocery clubs, try a local distributor.

In contrast, as a full-service broad-line foodservice distributor, Schenck Foods carries more than 5,000 items in stock.  All of our items can be searched in our online catalog. Choosing to work with Schenck Foods means that you can serve dishes with a wider range of ingredients and flavors.  The diversity of our offerings allows us to supply restaurants and catering businesses with broad menus and that serve specialty or ethnic food.

If you need an exotic ingredient or a hard-to-find foodservice supply that is not included in our online catalog, we can special order items or help you find a suitable substitute.

Why Choose Schenck Foods Over Sysco, US Foods, and Other Food Wholesalers?

1. Lower Order Minimums

One of the downsides to ordering from a larger distributor is the required minimum order size. Distributors like Sysco have a $500 order minimum, which means that you may have to forego the convenience of delivery if you don’t need to purchase that much.

Schenck Foods requires half this amount with a $250 order minimum, meant to fit the demand and budgets of independent cafes, small restaurants, caterers, and daycares.

Also, unlike other distributors, there are no hidden or add-on fees for opening an account. Schenck Foods doesn’t charge a fee to open an account: the only payable fees are the invoice total and our flat $5 delivery fee.

2. Walk-In Warehouse Hours (including Saturdays)

When you have a truly last-minute need, it’s already too late to submit an order to a large wholesaler, no matter how fast their delivery times. In situations like these, you can walk into Schenck Foods’ local warehouse in Winchester exactly the same way you would go to a grocery club. Order at the customer service counter — no minimum purchase necessary — and check out. To save time, you can call in advance and have your order ready and waiting for collection when you arrive.

Schenck Foods is open 8am-5pm Monday-Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturday for walk-in orders.

3. Community Support

One thing that sets Schenck Foods apart from national wholesalers is our local community support.  We have been dedicated to serving businesses throughout the region for over 90 years both by our foodservice products and also our sponsorship and participation in community events.

Schenck Foods also supports qualifying local nonprofits with donations. In just 2021, we gave away both cash and food donations worth more than $21,900.

4. Local Offerings

National wholesalers source their foods from across the United States or even from other countries, wherever they are freshest or most affordable. Many of Schenck Foods’ product lines come from the same places, in order to keep prices low.

However, Schenck Foods also sources from local producers, both to support the community and offer unique and special foods that are unattainable from national distribution chains. For example, our catalog includes local Winchester and Virginia producers such as Texas Trey’s Chips (Boyce), Glaize Apples (Shenandoah Valley), and Empty Bowl Queso (Leesburg).

The Benefits of Choosing a Local Food Distributor

Schenck Foods occupies the sweet spot between a limited-service grocery club and a full-service food distributor, providing many of the services that restaurants and small businesses need without the high thresholds required by a national distributor. To open an account with us and begin setting up delivery orders, apply online here.