I have been staring at spreadsheets now for a couple of weeks trying to determine how much each different pickle and preserve I make actually costs. I have my sugar broken down by how much is costs per cup, salt by the tbsp, tomatoes, carrots, oranges, etc by the pound. With many thanks to my Excel Wizard of a friend Andrew Green who helped me develop a dream of a spreadsheet I am well on my way. Now I know where I need to cut costs and one of the places is JARS.
I love Bernardin jars. Perhaps it is nostalgia but every time I look at them I think about the raspberry jam my mom used to make or the pickled onions my family would make. So my first step when trying to make my preserves cost a little less was to reach out to Bernardin to see if they offered bulk pricing. The rep that got back to me was extremely efficient and pleasant when he broke the news, that yes, in fact they do offer bulk pricing. But you have to order somewhere in the number of 150,000 jars. Now I hope to sell some preserves this summer, but I doubt it will be anywhere close to that ball park. He suggested I give the manager at my local Canadian Tire a call and see if they could give me a break on the price that they sell Bernardin jars.
So I did. I called the Canadian Tire closest to my house and spoke with the manager there. Again, I was amazed at how friendly people were when they took my call or responded to my emails. Once again, very polite when he told me that there was no way he could give me a deal as they are only making about 15 cents on every 12 pack of jars they sell. He even laughed when he told me.
ok...so now what? I love using Bernardin jars but if I want to keep my costs down, sadly I have to find an alternative. A couple of weeks ago I went to check out an indoor farmer's market that I am considering becoming a part of and I ran into Hratch of Toorshi Pickles. I had heard him speak on CBC Radio about starting up a food business. He was kind enough to tell me that he gets his jars from Richards Packaging. One quick email later and I am sitting here looking at 7 different jar samples that they have sent through to me.
The cost is almost 50% less on the smaller jar that I use and 35% less on the larger jar. Now when you are talking .55 cents for a jar, it might not seem like a lot to shave off .20 cents. But it all adds up and the part that makes this such a no brainer is that they deliver. I can get a palette shipped to my house for around $20.00. I love that. No more trips to Canadian Tire loading jars into my trunk. No more wasted gas or time. Now I just need to find out where I can store 1000 jars. :)