How To Become a Gourmet Food Buyer

Love food, wine and exotic, delicious ingredients?  Always wondered who got to pick out the savory delicacies you find in high end food stores?  Perhaps you already know what goes on behind the scenes and want to use your passion for food and wine to become a gourmet food buyer.  Whatever the case may be, outlined below are some ideas to help you on your way to becoming a gourmet food buyer.

First step, you will want to obtain an entry level position within the food industry so you can gain as much knowledge as possible about gourmet food.  Serving food in a small trendy bistro, working at a food store like Whole Foods or maybe a smaller boutique type store with gourmet food and wine.

  • Network within the gourmet food industry.  Attend trade shows and food conventions  where you can meet the players in the gourmet food buying industry.  You will meet lots of representatives from companies, managers of restaurants and stores and also chefs and other restaurant industry workers.  Going to the trade shows will also keep you knowledgeable of gourmet food trends which is extremely important when you are buying for a gourmet food store.
  • Read as many food and wine magazines as you can get your hands on.  This way you will be building up your knowledge base and knowledge is power in the gourmet food industry.
  • Consider going to school for business management to assist you with the other responsibilities that come along with being a gourmet food buyer.  Although the position sounds like it is all fun and games and researching new and exciting gourmet food and ingredients, you will also have to adhere to a budget and possibly supervise employees as well as being responsible for gourmet food stock and other reports.
  • Attend food and wine tastings.  This is another great place to network with people that enjoy gourmet food as well as other gourmet food buyers.
  • Travel around to all the stores that carry gourmet food in your area and introduce yourself.  Perhaps ask to speak to the current food buyer and let them know of your deep interest in the realm of gourmet food buying and ask them if they have any tips to help you find a position or if they are hiring themselves.
  • Take classes on food and wine appreciation.   Not only will you be arming yourself with information on how to enjoy gourmet food and what gourmet food people enjoy, but it is a great place to meet people that would be shopping at a gourmet food store where you want to be a buyer.  By knowing the customer you can better serve their needs as a food buyer.


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