i can has online restaurant supply stores?
June 26, 2009 7:32 AM   Subscribe

Are there any decent online restaurant supply stores?

I'm looking to buy a bunch of kitchen supplies for my kitchen, including glasses, plates, silverware, etc. and have heard restaurant supply stores are great places to get good quality, yet cheap, items. However, there don't seem to be many places local to me, according to Google Maps, at least.

Are there any online restaurant supply stores worth checking out?
posted by Tu13es to Shopping (16 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I'm in the southern NH / northern MA area, so if anyone knows of any good stores in the area, feel free to share!
posted by Tu13es at 7:33 AM on June 26, 2009

Actually most of them are expensive unless you buy in quantity. Ikea, OTOH is reasonable with good quality. I prefer estate sales or consignment stores.
posted by JJ86 at 7:38 AM on June 26, 2009

Echoing what JJ86 said about quantity: If you're looking for a case of 36 plates or glasses, you might be able to grab a deal at a restaurant supply store. They really don't seem to be set up for consumer quantities. I once picked up a plastic handled bread knife for a good price at a local restaurant supply, but it really isn't that much less than can be had at a discount store.

As an alternative, why don't you check out the Crate & Barrel outlet? We picked up a really nice (sturdy) set of dishes and box 'o glasses at the one in Kittery Maine for a really great price.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:57 AM on June 26, 2009

I agree that ordering plates and glasses from an online restaurant supply probably will not save you money, as most places sell cases of items. Do you need a box of 36 glasses?

But if you are looking for cooking and baking tools/pans/etc., I overhauled my kitchen last year and did pretty well shopping at Surfas and Amazon.
posted by thaumatrope at 8:01 AM on June 26, 2009

Acemart is good, as is Instawares. Surfas (above) is lovely, and has lower minimum quantities required, but a little more expensive.
posted by bink at 8:09 AM on June 26, 2009

How far are you from the JK Adams store?
posted by jeb at 8:12 AM on June 26, 2009

My local(ish) favorite is the Corelle / Corningware outlet up in Saratoga Springs, NY - not *quite* local for you, but there may be something similar nearby. I say "ish" because it's only local when I am visiting my girlfriend's parents, but each time I do, I make it a point to stop by there.
posted by GJSchaller at 8:29 AM on June 26, 2009

Actually, it may be close to you - my geography is horrible.
posted by GJSchaller at 8:33 AM on June 26, 2009

I have done business with Restaurant Equipment World in the past and been happy with the prices, products, and service provided. I have never purchased table / service / front items from them, though, so I can't say they'll be ideal for what you're looking for.
posted by majick at 8:40 AM on June 26, 2009

A vote for JB Prince, but if you have the time and inclination you can save even more if you pick up your stuff at a restaurant auction.
posted by Atom12 at 8:43 AM on June 26, 2009

Don't know if they're still around, but there used to be a place in Sanford, ME called Surplus Business Assets that was a huge warehouse with half office/half restaurant equipment (all used stuff). The current website looks like a domain squatter, but here's the kind of stuff they used to have. Sanford's only about 30-45 minutes from NH (either south or west). Here's their contact info, though it might be outdated. Couldn't hurt to call.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:10 AM on June 26, 2009

Do NOT buy from Instawares....they seem to have issues with stuff being in stock and then God help you if you need to return something or require a refund.
posted by SoulOnIce at 10:03 AM on June 26, 2009

Let me qualify that statement with the disclaimer that the online restaurant supply business is a small world....one I spent 6 years in. Your best bet is to go online and check out review sites to see which supplier to go with.
posted by SoulOnIce at 10:05 AM on June 26, 2009

You might like this Mark Bittman article on the $300 kitchen. If I only had $300.....
posted by sully75 at 1:13 PM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you can make a trip into Boston to do your shopping, I've had good luck at both Eastern Bakers Supply (in the North End) and China Fair (in Cambridge). It appears that China Fair has a website and takes online orders, but I cannot vouch for anything other than the in-store shopping experience.
posted by clockwork at 4:57 AM on June 27, 2009

seconding china fair in Boston - it'll be worth your time. They have the stuff that restaurant supply companies carry that you actually use in your kitchen.
posted by bensherman at 6:31 AM on June 27, 2009

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