If you are a Francophile foodie like Lauren and I, you should know about Epicure Imports in North Hollywood. They are a wholesale distributor of high-end specialty food items to restaurants, hotels, retail stores, caterers and chefs in Southern California. But 6 times a year they have an open warehouse sale that is open to the public.
In addition to French gourmet food they also carry items from Italy, Asia and other parts of the world. They are the place to go for fine French cheeses and pates and hard to find olive oils, vinegars and condiments. The sale hours are from 11:30 – 5:00 and throughout the years, Lauren and I have tried different strategies to avoid the crowds.
This last weekend we lined up outside waiting for them to open and we shared a basket so that one of us could stand in the long checkout line while the other perused the warehouse shelves and collected the yummy samples. While we were standing in line this time, we remarked how improved their checkout system has become.
When we first started going to this sale, none of the items had prices marked on them so you didn’t know if you were selecting a $3 item or a $40 item which resulted in some sticker shock once you got to the cashier and they started adding up your basket. Now they have everything priced and they have many more cashiers and computers to tally up your order.
Not everything at Epicure is a great discount. But I would say the cheeses, pates, sausages, sparkling French juices, Valrhona chocolates, olive oils, flavored vinegars, specialty sea salts and wonderful Panetonne from Italy are particularly a good buy compared to getting these items at high end grocery stores.
If you’re a cook, a baker, or anyone who loves to eat fabulous food, this is the sale for you!