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how we work


about this catalogue

All of the items in this website's catalogue are from European food-making suppliers I brought into the US for my Fairway Markets over two decades here in New York. They are all proven winners, super-successful for me in terms of my sales, retail margins,  and repeat orders - most of them exclusively imported by me. All of them re-orders, re-orders, re-orders. So many of them, dozens in fact, were featured in The New York Times and numerous other periodicals, along with photographs of the food items, some of them in color, as well as dedicated foodwriter copy and exclusive attribution to Fairway, week-after-week. A few times The Old Gray Lady's Wednesday food section featured three different items of my stuff in three different places within the edition. No market ever got that kind of attention. All of it exclusively attributed to Fairway and all of it free. We did not advertise. We didn't have to. We evolved as a 'destination' market largely because of the treasures before you here.

Merchant ship carrying coffee, chocolate and spices, 1845

Merchant ship carrying coffee, chocolate and spices, 1845


how it works 

1. We set up a meeting (online or better, in person) and I walk you through the catalogue. We make choices. An hour to three hours if we're having fun.

2. SJI contacts chosen suppliers. We request pro forma(e) for full or mixed pallets. (Most are mixed pallets minimum orders.) While we don't require you order full pallets, shipping costs may be higher with smaller orders. Some suppliers demand first order pre-payment (an industry norm). The pro forma(e) are ready in two - three days.

3. We transmit pro forma(e) to you for price check (the price you see is a direct import price - SJI takes no profit from a supplier, ever) and quantity adjustment for your initialed confirmation, after which you transmit initialed document back to us. I will bill you for my commission. The timing up to now transpires according to you, take as long as you like but let's say this is done in one day. 

4. We send confirmed pro forma(e) to supplier. You, if necessary, transfer payment to supplier's bank. The bank notifies the supplier of receipt of payment, supplier notifies us, we notify freight forwarder for pallet(s) pick-up for delivery to nearest port. One to two days.

5. Freight forwarder loads full or less-than container-load pallet(s) onto designated container ship at port (Le Havre, Barcelona, Genoa - wherever .) Two to three days.

6. Ship sails. Ten days to U.S. port, two weeks if storms at sea.

7. Ship docks at designated port - you and I will receive the manifest several days prior to arrival informing us of all data; estimated time of arrival at U.S. port, container number, weight and number of pallet(s), supplier and type of cargo, etc. 

8. Freight forwarder/Customs broker (one and the same) clears customs and assesses the duty charges, arranges for truck (for delivery to you). You will be billed separately for freight charge, customs clearance charges, duty charges. I will teach you to closely and infallibly check these charges as well as incorporate them into your cost of goods in order to arrive at each supplier's invoice upcharge so that you know to the penny what each item's cost is.  No surprises.  In most cases, customs clearance requires a day or two, but oftentimes the bureaucracy inertia kicks in and there are delays for whatever reason is the 'saveur du jour', as my French freight forwarders often say.   Time lapse between ship docking and goods released for pick-up varies between one to two days to a week or more. 

9. Delivery to your dock of choice. Completely arranged by SJI freight forwarder from Europe to U.S.  Most efficient and cost effective trucker every single time, reefer or non. 

So.  Total time elapsed from my visit and catalogue walk-through to your dock delivery estimated at a conservative three weeks to a full month.  Occasional delays occur due to a bureaucratic intransigence, though they are rare as SJI is blessed with a longtime 'connected' customs broker. 

Re-order frequency should be determined by your sell-through-time passage, i.e. your sales. Out of stocks are the enemy.  We will do our best to prevent out of stocks by urging you to commit to re-orders as early as two weeks after the arrival of an order.  In my many years of importing and retailing I managed to rarely be out of stock as well as rarely suffer an over-stock - and we're talking about importing food products directly and exclusively from dozens of European suppliers throughout the calendar year, and that includes monster-sales holidays.