by Amy Cunningham
Just a short and (and scenic!) drive south of Champaign is Beachy’s Bulk Foods where you can pick up a wide variety of bulk food items at deeply discounted rates. Don’t forget to pick up one of their famous angel food cakes, too!
I first came across Beachy’s Bulk Foods in the heart of Amish country several years ago, and have continued to find ways to stop at this little gem during day trips with my two-year-old. We stock up on some essentials and have fun checking out the many horses and buggies, too!
You will find Beachy’s in the farmland located about a mile and a half south of Arthur. Don’t worry, after you stop there, it is just a short few minutes to town, where you can park, walk around and hit several stores at once. There’s almost always a buggy or two parked in the lot, as the families that shop there are from the Amish community and the towns surrounding the area.
It’s helpful to have a list of items you would like to look for before you arrive, otherwise you could get lost for hours in the endless aisles of colored baking sugars and coolers of local cheese. If it is your first trip and you don’t necessarily know what you’re looking for, just plan plenty of time to shop around!
Beachy’s sells a combination of organic and non-organic food items, both at a deeply discounted rate. Products come in a variety of sizes, so you may be browsing the oatmeal aisle and find packages from 2 to 7 pounds lined up next to each other. I love this option since my needs change from time to time and I can choose items without buying too much in bulk. On this particular visit I picked up 7 ½ pounds of quick oats (a favorite in our house) for just over $4!
I could go on and on about the different items you can buy at Beachy’s, but here’s a short list of my favorites: several varieties of instant cappuccino, oils such as coconut and palm in a range of sizes, big bags of baking nuts, insanely affordable containers of your favorite dried herbs, any kind of flour you could wish for, jams/jellies, and sprinkles galore. You can also shop for dairy and meats from the local farmers while you’re there. Lastly, I always pick up several baking pans and lids while I’m at Beachy’s. At 69 cents each, that’s a price I just can’t come close to when shopping here in C-U and I use them for my freezer meals in the months to come.
One more note: Beachy’s has a huge selection of homeschooling materials and an entire aisle of Melissa and Doug toys. If you’re looking to get a jump on Christmas shopping, or just want to add some more workbooks to your child’s stash at home, there is plenty to choose from!
Amy Cunningham is a Chicago native turned proud C-U resident for over 10 years. She lives in Urbana with her husband and energetic 2-year-old son, whose world is about to get rocked later this year as they welcome a bouncing baby girl to the family.