Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Passing the Plate

This past fall, I bought hundreds of reusable plates, forks, knives, spoons, and napkins. The reason why is the subject for another post; in this post, I just want to make a plug for a new (to me) kind of store. This is a store I actually do not mind being in!!!

But first, here's what I tried that didn't work. Local department or box stores just don't have quantities of plates (except for disposable plates, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid). I went to several different local stores, including two national chains whose names end in "mart", with nothing to show except a case of the heebie-jeebies for having walked through the building.

[By the way, I think it's funny that my gut reaction to being in or near a Walmart is, "What if someone sees me?", and that my next reaction is "Well, that means that THEY are in this den of iniquity, too!" You'd think I was going into a porn shop, or something.]

My next stop was the internet, but of course. I found vast quantities of washable plates there, and did in fact buy 200 plates from them (pictured below).

The first round of plates.  They crack too easily.
These plates were *almost* what I wanted, but not quite.  On the plus side, they're lightweight, good-looking, and theoretically washable.  On the negative side, they aren't sturdy.  We've only used them twice, and already had about a dozen plates crack or break.  They're not going to hold up for much longer.

So, while I was helping serve breakfast at our local shelter, I realized that the kinds of plates they used were exactly what I wanted!   Yay!  Even though I take home leftover bagels from the shelter so they don't wind up in the trash, I didn't take their plates -- but I did ask where they got all these plates, and they said:  a Restaurant Supply Store.

I hadn't heard of these things, and I'm glad now that I know of these places.  It turns out, there's one not too far from my home, with the fancy and surprising name of "The Restaurant Supply Store".

Actually, what I loved about this place when I wandered around its aisles was that it was neither fancy nor gimmicky: it was full of really practical stuff, logically and pragmatically displayed.  None of this "30% off, this week only!" shenanigans; no bizarre items like Frank-Sinatra-singing-doorbells  or scented-curtain-rods.

There were plates (I got sets of melamine plates) and metal forks and knives.  (There were vast quantities of disposable plates and flatware, too, of course, but I didn't bother with those).  They had bulk quantities of spices and condiments.  There was also an intriguing set of aisles with cooking stuff, both electronic and otherwise.  I'm tempted to go back again just to browse.

At any rate, given how very much I hate going shopping at regular stores,  especially in the crowds and commercial mania of December, this is where I'd go spend my time and money if I were still looking for holiday gifts for people.

1 comment:

  1. It's so great to find a perfect source for just what you want! Congrats, and enjoy future shopping trips.