For the first time in its history, Baldor Specialty Foods, a major wholesale importer and distributor of fresh produce and specialty foods in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, has made its vast inventory of food available for at-home delivery to the 18.5 million people living within a 50-mile radius of its Bronx, N.Y., headquarters. The service went live on its ecommerce site on March 18.
The goal of the new consumer service is to help ease supermarket food shortages and provide a convenient delivery service for consumers staying at home amid the coronavirus pandemic. With a minimum order of $250 (tax and delivery included), Baldor is enabling shoppers to buy food staples such as fresh produce, meat and poultry, and dairy so they can avoid going to the store and potentially exposing themselves to the virus. The service will be offered for the duration of the outbreak.
It’s an unprecedented move for the nearly 30-year-old company, which has served restaurants and foodservice establishments exclusively up until now, although it does offer a consumer brand, Urban Roots, at retail stores. To serve consumers directly, Baldor plans to leverage the combined power of its ecommerce site, truck fleet, drivers, food-processing facility, and large network of farms and specialty food vendors.
“At its heart, Baldor has always been about family and community,” said the company’s CEO, T.J. Murphy. “With a state-of-the-art food distribution chain already in place, it only makes sense to put it to good use, delivering our high-quality produce and specialty items to the consumers staying at home, doing their part to thwart the pandemic by practicing social distancing and isolation.”
The orders will be fulfilled by Baldor’s team of professional delivery associates, who will make the home deliveries while traveling to and from the local restaurants and foodservice establishments they will continue to service. Orders made before midnight will be delivered the following day.
“We have never considered doing this before,” added Murphy. “But in times of crisis, everything must be put on the table and considered. Our main priority is to provide food to the communities we serve – and we will do whatever it takes to make that happen.”