I know, I know. I’m late to the party on this one. But I have spent most of December either locked down because of the cold or because the video game Fallout 3 is ruling my life, and I have been sitting on this post. But I’ll tell you right now, if you enjoy baking or just like having access to a huge selection of products, get your ass over to Bulk Barn now.
Many of you who are well-versed in Edmonton’s food are well aware of Bulk Barn and its opening in town. It is a Ontario-based chain that opened their first franchise in Edmonton in late November. My mom had just been singing the praises of the store on her trip through Lethbridge enroute to Montana in September and how good it was when she was in Thunder Bay. Well it is finally here.
So what makes it different than the already good bulk sections of Save On Foods and Superstore? For one, the selection. There are thousands of products here. They may not all be in rotation at the same point, as some products are seasonal, but there is a huge cross section of items. Second: everything is fresh, well stocked, and clean. Also, the items can be measured so that there is little waste when you use them, stopping products you use only a few times a year from going stale. Lastly, the prices are amazing.
Don’t think the items are limited to just flour and spices, either. There are wet products, pet products, natural foods and supplements as well as specialty cake pans for rent, and baking tools.
As a baker, I went nuts buying specialty flour and ingredients. I also picked up a friend’s favourite hard to find snack: chocolate dipped jujubes, and mailed them to her in Calgary. Ibought items for snacking on, for sharing at the office… and for eating in the car ride home.
Pet products, ranging from bird seed to dog food and hamster munchies. No crickets for MY pets though.
The wet bar features nut butters.
Nifty machine for corn syrup. This is where most of my ingredients for marshmallows came from. I was surprisingly accurate in measuring out the products, so there was little waste: something I was really happy about.
Pipette bag tips for icing and decorating.
Cake pans were a mere $1.99 a day (with deposit) and if you could think of it, they had it. (Well, mostly…)
Clean clean clean! It should also be mentioned there were a lot of bags, pencils and twist ties. No struggling with broken or missing pens. As a bonus, for those of you who do not like writing down numbers on tiny tags with tiny pencils, the staff will look up SKU codes at the checkout. You’ll save time if you do it yourself, though.
Of course, a huge selection of candy, including over 40 Christmas products for the season. These jawbreakers were the size of ping-pong balls.
Many MANY spices here.
Rainbow of sprinkles, and other baking decorations.
The best was that they had take-home directions for many products, such as buttermilk power and soya milk powder.
Nuts on sale. Ranging from regular dry roasted to specially flavoured and smoked.
More cooler wet bar products. Kind of industrial looking, but clean.
The offerings of just one aisle. I love that “health food” is down the same aisle as candy and chocolate.
Many gluten-free and restricted diet products here. A god send for those of you who find it hard to get these products, or if you find them pricey.
So, Bulk Barn is basically amazing. I can only describe it as turning up the volume on bulk foods. Take your average product, such as yogurt covered raisins and multiply it: suddenly there are yogurt covered cherries, blueberries and cranberries. You buy how much you need, they offer discounts to students and seniors, and you get coupons when you check out for use on future visits. I highly recommend the honey mustard pretzels by the way.
Other Edmonton food bloggers have long ago written about this place, including Chris over at Eating is the Hard Part.
2077 98 Street
(In South Edmonton Common, near Superstore and Bed Bath & Beyond)
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