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This Expanding Costco Rival Doesn't Require a Membership

Some shoppers say this is their new go-to warehouse.

Costco members love the warehouse chain for its low prices but may look for alternatives if the long-rumored membership fee increase is put into place later this year. It is predicted to go up 8.6%, which may upset some customers already discouraged by other inflation-affected price increases.

For a recently expanding rival, though, that may be a good thing. US Foods CHEF'STORE is a one-stop-shop featuring a wide selection of grocery items at wholesale prices – with no membership required and the company just opened two new locations in Visalia, Calif., and Lynchburg, Va. The location in the "Mother of States" was the first and opened in early May.

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US Foods CHEF'STORE has 83 warehouses in 13 states, mostly on the west and east coasts. The stores feature a selection of fresh meat, produce, seafood, dairy, deli, baking, restaurant essentials, and janitorial supplies. The company largely caters to restaurant industry professionals, however, at-home chefs have found its bulk ingredients and food prices to match most other big warehouse brands, making it a favorite alternative to Costco and BJ's.

One shopper on Reddit described their experience shopping at US Foods CHEF'STORE as a great way to save money shopping wholesale without investing in a membership.

"I not only found [spices] for a huge discount but lots of staple items too," said the poster on Reddit. "As someone who can't justify a Costco membership because I'll only go once or twice a year this is a game-changer for me."

In April of 2020, US Foods acquired Smart Foodservice Warehouse stores and rebranded the warehouse before focusing on expanding locations across the U.S. Prior to that, Smart Foodservice Warehouse operated under the name United Grocers Cash& Carry, which was founded in 1955 in Oregon City, Ore.

Never going to give up on Costco? Check out the 6 Most Popular Summer Snacks At Costco Right Now.

Amber Lake
Amber Lake is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! and has a degree in journalism from UNF in Jacksonville, Florida. Read more