Sourcing Ingredients

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Here’s a list of some of the most common food distributors that small food businesses can use when they get into a commercial location. Note that availability may vary by location, and it’s always a good idea to check with local suppliers as well.

Popular Food Distributors:

Website: Sysco
Description: A global leader in selling, marketing, and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare, and educational facilities. Offers fresh and prepared foods, equipment, and supplies.

US Foods
Website: US Foods
Description: One of America’s great food companies and leading distributors. Offers a wide variety of products, from fresh meats to produce to kitchenware.

Gordon Food Service
Website: Gordon Food Service
Description: Serving food service operators within the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest regions of the United States. They offer a vast array of products.

Performance Food Group
Website: Performance Food Group
Description: Delivers over 150,000 food and related products to customers across the United States.

UNFI (United Natural Foods)
Website: UNFI
Description: North America’s premier food wholesaler, specializing in organic and natural products.

Shamrock Foods
Website: Shamrock Foods
Description: Offers a wide variety of culinary ingredients including specialty items, local and organic produce.

Baldor Specialty Foods
Website: Baldor Specialty Foods
Description: A premier fresh produce distributor offering conventional and organic produce, fine foods, and dairy products.

Cheney Brothers
Website: Cheney Brothers
Description: Delivers a wide range of products, including poultry, seafood, produce, and non-food items like paper goods.

These distributors generally have programs and services tailored to support smaller businesses, from flexible purchasing options to delivery services and more. It’s advisable to contact them directly to discuss specific needs and to ensure they service the area and type of business you are involved with.

Gourmet & Specialty Food Distributors

These specialty food distributors that specialize in more gourmet and exclusive items. These suppliers often focus on quality, unique, or artisanal products, making them suitable for businesses looking to offer something a bit more exceptional.

Chefs’ Warehouse
Website: Chefs’ Warehouse
Description: Distributor of specialty food products that focuses on serving the specific needs of chefs who own and/or operate some of the nation’s leading menu-driven independent restaurants, fine dining establishments, and more.

Website: D’Artagnan
Description: Offers gourmet meats and organic poultry products, including delicacies like foie gras and wild mushrooms.

European Imports
Website: European Imports
Description: Specializes in importing and distributing cheese, charcuterie, specialty food products, and authentic European specialties.

Di Bruno Bros.
Website: Di Bruno Bros.
Description: A purveyor of gourmet foods, offering cheese, meats, antipasti, truffle products, and more.

Fortune Gourmet
Website: Fortune Gourmet
Description: Specializes in gourmet Asian food distribution, offering high-quality, specialty Asian products.

Manicaretti Italian Food Importers
Website: Manicaretti
Description: Distributor of artisan Italian foods, including specialty pasta, olive oil, and vinegar.

Specialty Foods Boston
Website: Specialty Foods Boston
Description: A distributor of high-quality gourmet foods, including seafood, meats, and specialty products, serving the Northeast region.

Truffles USA
Website: Truffles USA
Description: A distributor specializing in Italian truffles, truffle products, and specialty Italian gourmet items.

Marx Foods
Website: Marx Foods
Description: Offering a range of gourmet foods, including exotic meats, premium seafood, and wild mushrooms.

These specialty distributors cater to those seeking rare or gourmet products that can set their offerings apart. Working with these suppliers can help create unique dishes, attract food enthusiasts, and elevate the overall dining experience.

The terms “wholesalers” and “distributors” are often used interchangeably, but there are key differences between them, especially as they would pertain to a small charcuterie business. Understanding these differences can help you make more informed choices about which types of companies to work with.


Function: Wholesalers typically buy large quantities of products directly from manufacturers and sell them in bulk to retailers or other businesses at a lower price.

Products: May have a broader range of products, but not necessarily specialized or gourmet items.

Pricing: Typically offer lower pricing due to buying in bulk.

Minimum Order Quantity: Often require larger minimum order quantities, which might not be suitable for a small charcuterie business.

Relationship: Wholesalers might not offer as much support in terms of product knowledge, marketing, or branding.


Function: Distributors often act as an intermediary between the manufacturer and the retailer or business. They might exclusively represent certain brands or specialized products.

Products: Distributors, especially specialty distributors, often focus on unique, artisanal, or gourmet products, which could align well with a charcuterie business’s needs.

Pricing: May offer competitive pricing but not as low as wholesalers, as they often provide additional services.

Minimum Order Quantity: More likely to accommodate smaller order sizes, making them more approachable for small businesses.

Relationship: Distributors may offer more personalized services, such

In this market what would be the major differences between wholesalers and distributors? As it would effect a small charcuterie business

Super helpful online directories