Simply Jules: A Field Trip to Baldor Specialty Foods

This week, my fellow Hospitality Management classmates and I headed to the Bronx for an exploratory trip into the world of distributing. We arrived at Baldor Specialty Foods, which handles thousands of accounts both big and small, including the CIA. We began our morning learning about food waste in the industry from their vice president of sustainability. This brought awareness to the overwhelming issue that food distributors and restaurants alike deal with on a daily basis.

We were shocked to discover that Baldor actually produces virtually no food waste, as it donates to local people dealing with food insecurity and gives all vegetable scraps to farms. Being that Baldor is a grand operation, they have the capacity to let so much go to waste—but they don’t. Thanks to their conscious efforts and strategic planning, they have prioritized their role in the community to not contribute to this already devastating issue in our society.

We continued to go on a tour given by CIA grad and Baldor Sales Executive Jared Walton, who was informative and provided knowledge on the day-to-day operations of the warehouse. Equipped with 90 loading docks and over a thousand workers, the bustling action in the warehouse was a sight to see.

After our tour and Q&A session with Baldor employees, we headed to Arthur Avenue to explore the classic Italian creations to be had within the richly historic area. Each shop we went into had no previous knowledge that a group of 30 students would be coming in; however, each one was incredibly inviting and welcomed us to stay for a brief tour and chat. We had the delight of indulging in pane di casa at Terranova Bakery, mozzarella from Casa Della Mozzarella, pasta from Borgatti’s, and pastries from Artuso’s. Each shop had its own unique history and immense passion and pride that you could sense immediately upon entering the door.

With our stomachs already filled with carbs, we continued on to the last leg of our trip at Pepe’s Pizza. To be clear, this is not the original in New Haven (you are talking to a Connecticut girl, after all!) But it was delicious.

Overall, we had a lovely day exploring just a sampling of the culinary diversity New York is so concentrated with.

By Jules Esposito

Jules Esposito