Food Distributors Now Sell Restaurant-Quality Meat and Produce Directly to Consumers

As their restaurant clientele are mainly idle during the coronavirus pandemic, distributors that sell products such as produce, meat, and seafood are shifting their focus to retail customers.

A half-dozen companies are keeping their trucks rolling through the region. But instead of stopping at a restaurant to unload a thousand dollars’ worth of fresh meats and vegetables at a time, they pull up to a home and apartment with much smaller orders — some as low as $70 with no delivery fee.

The distributors have turned themselves, in effect, into a club store like Costco that offers home delivery. “This changes the middleman, for sure,” said Steve DeLorean, a chef and sales representative at Ashley Foods, in North Philadelphia.

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