By Annie Rigby
Carolina Food Service (CFS) of Loris is a local and privately owned wholesale business that successfully serves customers in North and South Carolina. Though they are a wholesale distribution company supplying products and brands to the food service industry (restaurants, cafes and bars) they opened their doors to the public on Monday, March 23.
Juan Serrato, president and partner of CFS, said, “Our distribution area runs from Charleston S.C. to Jacksonville, N.C. and up into the Raleigh, N.C. area.” The business set up is intended to supply restaurants; however, he met with Loris Mayor Todd Harrelson on Monday afternoon. In the meeting Serrato said, “Unfortunately many of the restaurants we service are closed. At the same time we are seeing insufficient supplies at the grocery stores.” He continued, “We are sitting on a lot of inventory, and this is why for now we are adjusting and opening up to the general public.” He feels this helps both sides meeting the needs of each other.
They are still delivering to restaurants that are open, however, they are opening the doors to the public taking walkins. Beginning on Tuesday, March 24, CFS began implementing a delivery route to supply residents within a 35 mile radius from the warehouse; there will be no delivery fee for residents who purchase a minimum of $75. The delivery route map is on their social media accounts of website, Facebook and Instagram. He said, “We will travel two routes daily, pretty much every zone can be serviced twice a week.”
CFS is breaking down the food products to be more affordable to the public and considering the difference between individual quantities versus that of a restaurant. They have 1,200 items in a variety of dry, frozen and refrigerated products with an extensive selection of Latino and American products. Their high quality meats and seafood products include chicken, pork, ground beef, steak, ribs and more they are breaking down into 10 pound quantities. Produce includes vegetables and fruits. Dairy includes whole milk, cheese, sour cream, butter and margarine, ice cream and ice cream toppings are all available to the public to purchase. A list of items with prices can be found on their website, www.carolinafoodservice.com.
Serrato said, “An example of the breakdown is we receive an 80 pound case of ground beef broken down into 10 pound tubes available for the public to purchase.” He said he has a heavy supply of boneless, skinless chicken breasts available for purchase in 10 pound quantities. The chicken is available in leg quarters, drumsticks, chicken wogs (whole chickens) and wings. They have long grain rice and jasmine rice, corn and flour tortillas, dried beans, black beans, pintos and more, spices, condiments, plastic utensils, plates, glasses and cups. They also have soda in 12 and 16 ounce bottles. Other items for purchase are cleaning chemicals, detergents, paper goods, disposables, packages of six rolls of toilet paper and paper towels sold by the roll.
Chicken has been in high demand, not a piece is found on the grocery store shelves. Could it possibly be that our parents and grandparents made homemade chicken noodle soup to help cure a cold? Chicken is high in protein and other micronutrients including selenium which acts as an antioxidant that helps with the symptoms of the common cold and flu.
CFS’s largest common market is the Mexican restaurants supplying them with Latino products. One product available for purchase is the refreshing and sweet Mexican rice milk drink called Horchata; it is a cold drink made of rice or rice flour, water, almonds, cinnamon and sugar. This mix is said to be helpful for stomachaches and when feeling sick.
Serrato said, “As long as the crisis goes on we will remain open to the public.” He stated in his meeting with the mayor that they discussed the zoning exceptions made during this crisis. Generally under common circumstances they would not be open as a retail storefront, however, the mayor and city are supporting and giving the company this opportunity to give to the community facilitating CFS to extend the service to the public. Serrato said he appreciated the support of Mayor Harrelson and a member of the CFS staff, Cameron Dozier, for presenting this platform to him. Serrato humbly thanks everyone who comes to the warehouse to make a purchase.
To view the items for purchase and to make a list check their website, their Facebook page and Instagram or email your order to Carolina Food Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are located at 3671 Ralph Ellis Boulevard in the Loris Commerce Center. Residents of Loris can visit them or call 843-756-7403 to place an order.