Saturday, November 28, 2009

bulk barn - edmonton, ab

bulk barn
2077 98 Street

Where do I even begin. With the store finally opening it's doors in South Edmonton Common, I made my way over with Sarah to check things out. The store was fairly busy when we arrived, and is structured in sections. Candy occupying a major portion of the middle, with baking needs (flours, nuts, chocolate) to the left and savory items (soup mixes, spices, pasta) to the right.

Of course, and maybe unfortunately, Bulk Barn isn't the size of a barn. So it's fairly easy to navigate your way through. Just try and stay focused, I dare you. Seriously, every time I saw something interesting or intriguing, BAM! something else comes at you. I think there ended up being a lot of banter between Sarah and I (Come see this/Whoa, did you know they sold this) during our entire visit. Besides that, I can think of a few containers I would like to drown myself in.

I ended up taking a lot of pictures, so I've scaled the quality down and will now proceed with a sampling of whats available. And lets start with the candy...
Chocolate covered sunflower seeds and blueberries! Who knew
Does your boss have a mint dish..this is mint mania!
Jawbreakers you probably can't fit in your mouth..or at least comfortably.
They also sell a lot of pinatas, from Sponge Bob to NHL. There is of course plenty other bins of candy (broken chocolate bars, m&m's, sour candies, ju jubes, bark, suckers etc)but I'm not a sweets guy. More important in my mind is the baking section.
Flour of every kind, from all purpose to coconut to buckwheat and two types of whole wheat.
But wait everyone. There is more. How about fixing yourself up with some gluten free goodies. Soy flour, arrowroot..Check.
With an amazing selection of flours. Does it come as any surprise they also offer a cornucopia of sugars. I was in mini baking heaven.
You are also going to find yourself a collection of grains.
Heck, even if you aren't into scratch baking there is something for you. From pie crust to cookie dough mixes. Pancakes to cornbread. Even two types of bran muffin mix
One of the best surprises, was this.
A corn syrup machine (next to the honey). Who knew!
And speaking of honey, it goes swimmingly with nut butters! Smooth, crunchy, you name it.
Plenty of dried fruit. In fact, probably every kind of dried fruit. An assortment of raisins from around the globe. Dates, Figs, Pineapples, Peaches, Pears, Apples and candied fruit/peel.
What about nuts? You better believe they have a huge selection. Salted, roasted, slivered, diced..There is a good selection of beans as well.
And party snacks. I didn't even know you could (or would) buy bulks chips.
There are bins with regular, whole wheat and gluten free pasta.
Coffee and tea anyone!
They also carry a huge supply of spices, rubs, and seasonings. But really, the best part might just be the huge array of sprinkles!
And by now your arms are probably full, but don't forget about your pets. Dog, cat, heck even bird treats!
So what do you think. Did you enjoy the show? Have you been? Do you shop bulk? Are these good savings? So many questions I know, but do let me know when you go.


H.Peter said...

Edmonton now has two stores I am very very envious about. Bulk Barn is a great concept and sadly missing in Calgary.

Yes, there are savings galore. Same as with COSTCO, stay away from things you don't need.

I am running a delivery to Ben's Meats right after my trip and plan to check out Bulk Barn.

The other store is Anthropologie.

Chris said...

H.Peter, as a baker, I'm really excited about Bulk Barn. I can easily see, like Costco, how you could leave with things you don't need. I picked up some powered milk and mixed peel for my Panettone and Stollen holiday baking. Another trip up to Ben's? Things are good with that then?

I actually just discovered Anthropologie a few weeks back. Some great finds for sure. I loved the old school 'china' like measuring spoons.

Sarah said...

Great overview of Bulk Barn Chris! One could truly lose hours in there!

H.Peter said...

Ben's is amazing. The owner Dave is very passionate about his shop and he is a Celiac himself.
So that sure helps understanding the difference inquality of GF baked goods.

Anonymous said...

I love this place, and I am thrilled it's finally in Edmonton. I'm from Nova Scotia, where there are plenty of Bulk Barns.

I went last week to get all my Christmas baking needs... and then some.

Kevin Kossowan said...

I'm so all over this. Thanks for covering it.

KimHo said...


I do not buy in bulk myself because, well, I live by myself and it does not really make sense for me. I still haven't opened a 5Kg bag of rice I purchase about 6 months ago when I thought a jar (where I store the rice) would run out in no time!

I guess that is the same reason I don't have a Costco membership card. I mean, there is only that much toilet paper I can store/use... :)

Chris said...

Thanks Sarah.

H.Peter - I'm going to have to make it up to Ben's one of these days and have a look around.

No Prob Kev.

Kim - That is the joy of bulk barn. With bins and scoops, it's up to you to decide. No mandatory Costco sized quantities. So if you want one chocolate toonie, you the same price.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That place makes me speechless.

I don't suppose you saw whole wheat pastry flour there, did you? Or is that what the "soft" one is?

Sarah said...

Is it okay if I link this to my facebook? I went there the same day you posted... and I feel no need to write up an article when you did such an amazing job!

Laura said...

Just a wild guess, but since I was discussing this with a friend, perhaps it has extra gluten in it to make it softer?

Chris said...

Brulee, I didn't see WW Pastry flour at bulk barn, but being back a few times now, I've noticed they have added some additional products. So it may come. The soft refers to a classification. The different varieties can be described by wheat breeders and farmers in terms of growing season, such as winter wheat vs. spring wheat, by gluten content, such as hard wheat (high protein content) vs. soft wheat (high starch content), or by grain color (red, white or amber).

Thanks Sarah. You are more than welcome to link to the site.

misterrios said...

My word! I wish I had a store like this anywhere near me. I can buy flour in bulk, but to get yoghurt covered raisins would be a total dream.

Chris said...

Yogurt covered raisins, craisins, blueberries. You name it misterrios, it's there!

Lucie said...

I've shopped in Bulk Barns in Ontario and am so glad to see one open up here. I can get lost in there. Make sure you have a list and try to follow it!! Got all my stuff for holiday baking, and then some--great prices.

Donna said...

I work in a Bulk Barn in Summerside, PEI and I am one of many fans here. It is a great place to shop for all the necessities of life...chocolate, coffee, nuts etc. More people should check it out!

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