There is a fresh herb vendor at the saturday farmer's market in Hasting's Ranch (they're also the mushroom vendor). There are a few other options as far as stores go in Pasadena too:
- Granny's (on Arroyo)
- Health Food City (near Sierra Madre on Foothill)
(I would much rather support these smaller businesses than WF, personally.)
- Baja Ranch on Orange Grove sold me fresh pico de gallo in my own container once, so they might be willing to extend that fudging of regulations to other counter products. They also have bulk pan dulce and rolls.
- There's a store in the Stat's building that has a cheese counter, and I think they're also the primary location of Beyond the Olive products now too, so you can refill olive oils and vinegar there I believe. I don't remember the name, but it's next to the shaving store.
- Stone Brewery has a location at the Del Mar train station if you're looking for growler fills.
- I'd bet you that the "buy and fry" fish joint on Orange Grove (btwn Marengo and Fair Oaks) would gladly sell you fish to package up in your own container, though I haven't tried. I just know that mom and pop stores are much more likely to go out of their way for customers and probably roll their eyes as much as we do when it comes to some of the more ridiculous food regs.
Unfortunately, I'm moving out of the Pasadena area and headed for Glendora for a couple years... I have NO idea what to expect as far as bulk finds go, and wouldn't be surprised if it's a black hole of packaging. Not looking forward to having to drive everywhere either. Sigh.
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I too am looking for bulk items in the Pasadena area! I did call Health Food City and was told that they cannot subtract the weight of my reusable bags when purchasing items in bulk. I was a little disappointed but I may visit their store anyway and do a price comparison between Whole Foods and Health Food City. I also recently visited Granny's Pantry on the West side and they did not have very many bulk times available. I asked the cashier when they might have their next shipment but he said it depended on his supplier and couldn't give a definite answer so I would suggest calling before to check what is available.
Just wanted to jump in:
Few stores will tare bags [or even subtract their wt] for your bulk items -and even fewer can tare jars, so what I have done for years is use some bags I bought on Etsy. They're the same size as most of the bags you would use within a store, and since they're nylon (or silk) they don't even have a measurable weight on store scales. I've talked about them elsewhere, so won't plug the maker unless you specifically want me to…
makes a world of difference!
If the store has a problem with an opaque bag brought from home, just reuse a store bag.
Kinda weird that one store doesn't have scheduled deliveries; makes you wonder how old some of the bulk items are!