Local food distributors switch to home delivery as restaurants close

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Overnight, restaurants closed, caterers canceled events, school cafeterias went dark. So, around the region, food distributors who supply food to those restaurants and venues were left with a lot of food but no business. They got creative.

Chad Inver is the third generation of his family to run Larry Inver Wholesale Distributors in Northern Liberties. He uses the company's Facebook page to market eggs and cheese and chicken and meat, selling to the public now for pick-up or delivery.

Inver told Action News, "I came up with the idea, and the first day I had something like 30 something orders and I was like, 'Wow, this could maybe save my business a little bit and soften the blow because there was nothing there, nothing on my plate.' Next thing you know, my Facebook page started blowing up, and it went from 30 likes, 40 likes to 600 likes and my posts had over 200 shares."

He is now hiring to meet the demand and renting more trucks to distribute food to homes around the region.

"It's crazy how in a pandemic, business can explode, if you have one good idea, and you put that to good use," Inver said. "I am working 18 hours a day here. I am definitely helping people."

Other food distributors like Samuels and Son Seafood are using their website to market fresh seafood. They have a store called Giuseppe's Market in South Philadelphia, and they're now offering home delivery. Also, they're posting videos with chefs making the dishes restaurants were once serving.

Ambrogi Foods in Thorofare, New Jersey is offering curbside pickup of fresh dairy and produce. BK Specialty Foods and its parent company, The Chefs Warehouse, is also offering all kinds of food for home delivery.

These are the distributors who sold to the city's finest restaurants and now you can get the same products in your home and keep them in business.


BK Specialty Foods/ The Chef's Warehouse

Samuels Seafood

Ambrogi Foods

Larry Inver Wholesale Foods
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