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As food service businesses close down or limit operations, distributors are faced with large surpluses of bulk goods normally reserved for restaurants. That’s where Paul Stoddard, owner and founder of Nickey’s Wholesale Food Warehouse, and his business shines.
Stoddard’s warehouse is filling quickly with goods, specifically produce, that are going unused because of the pandemic. In a public Facebook post, he asked the public to help him out by offering goods — even those in high demand — at seriously low prices.
Nickey’s Warehouse, located at 2655 S. 1030 West in South Salt Lake City, is brimming with bulk produce: meat, milk, eggs and more that the public can purchase. He’s offering two gallons of milk for about $4 and industrial rolls of toilet paper at two for $1 with a limit of two rolls per person.
Stoddard said he even has surplus bleach and will be getting hard-to-find staples like flour, rice and other dried goods. He offers products at low prices because he purchases those that distributors can’t sell to restaurants because they are close to sell-by date or because the packaging has been damaged.
“I’ve been open for almost four years now,” he said. “I purchase surplus at a reduced cost and resell it at reasonable prices.”
He’s currently sitting on nine pallets of fresh produce, so he’s asking the public to come down and negotiate pricing on it. He also donates food to needy families in his community.
“I donate all the time, but it’s mostly to people rather than entities,” Stoddard said.
Most of his donations have gone under the radar even though he’s fed thousands of people in Pioneer Park and offers food to families in need. He says he’s given to the local missions but that he’s more interested in serving the local community.
“There’s families who often struggle to make ends meet, so I’ll let them come in and eat for free,” he said. He added that he hasn’t had anyone try to abuse the system.
Nickey’s Warehouse is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Wednesdays and features a wide variety of items. Stoddard is hoping to get rid of what he has right now because he has several more pallets coming in the next few days, including pallets of flour.
He hopes his warehouse can help fill in the gaps for grocery stores struggling to keep up with the high demand on goods.