Smart & Final: Coffee Supply Mecca

I had been searching high and low for white chocolate syrup or powder to use in my cold-brewed iced coffee at home. Peet’s (the best), Coffee Bean, Starbucks, Ralphs, Vons, and even Trader Joes – no dice. Someone mentioned on the Interwebs that they found Ghirardelli powder at Smart & Final. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a warehouse-style supermarket, like Costco or Sam’s Club without the membership fees or the riding mowers. Bulk items sold cheap. I figured there was little chance that the one near me would have it, but I gave it a shot.

Holy crap. They have everything. Four shelves hold almost every Torani syrup they make – and the pumps! Plus Ghirardelli syrups and powders in several forms. And a bunch of other brands. Literally half an aisle is devoted to “coffee supplies” – basically, everything you’d need to start your own coffee shop. And the prices are in line with Amazon, with no tax or shipping!

My mind reeled with the possibilities of recreating my favorite coffee drinks: the Cocomo (chocolate coconut) and Black Forrest Mocha (chocolate raspberry) from (the now defunct) Equator Coffee; the Mayan mocha from Diedrich’s/Kean; the white mocha from Bean Town. I was in heaven. And soon after that, a diabetic coma.

I ended up with a 3 lb. can of Ghirardelli Sweet Ground White Chocolate. I wanted the syrup, but I learned that Torani’s goes bad after 6 weeks, and Ghirardelli’s spoils after only 3.1 Did I mention these are 64 oz. bottles intended for restaurants? There’s no way I can crank through that so quickly, as I don’t drink it daily. As it is, I will probably be serving white chocolate from that 3 lb. can to my grandchildren.((Update: actually, it only lasted 4 months.)) I just wish I had the balls to bring it with me into Starbucks.

  1. This is specifically the “sauces” found in plastic bottles. The Torani syrups in glass bottles last much longer. []

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