best way to buy mozzarella shreeded, block?

we are presently buying mozzarella shredded in 20 lb cases (4-5lb bags to case) cost is running about $2 a lb, how does this compare? Is it cheaper to buy in block and shred myself? any of you volume guys out there have a suggestion? we just recently opened volume is starting to pickup and am trying to get all my costs under control.

We buy block and dice with a VCM. Can dice 300 Lbs in 30 minutes. We pay 17 cents/Lb over the CME block chedder price. Currently paying right about $1.50+or- a couple pennies.

Please translate “VCM”. I do want to look into dicing my own blocks, but the labor and equipment knowledge are beyond my understanding now. IF I can get an inexpensive VCM thingy and dice 300 lbs while watching a baseball game inning, then I see no reason not to. Unless this VCM thingy costs more than a couple hundred bucks.

A VCM is a vertical cutter mixer. Most all require three phase power(except for a few older Robot Coupe models. They typically range from 25-40 quarts, cuting between 15 and 25lbs of cheese at a time. Most popular ones are made by Hobart, sold under Hobart, Berkel, and Stephan. Robot Coupe make a cool one that will be my next. Typical used cost between $700 and $3000. If you are looking on ebay, be sure to get one with a cutting blade, and the stirring mechanism, as many are sold without. When Little Ceasers closed many stores, the market was flooded with these machines without these attachments because they only used these to make dough.

anytime a purveyor does something for you it costs you extra, you save money on the product by buying it whole like cheese for instance. Shredding cheese isn’t all that labor intensive especially if you have the right equipment. Anytime you can do something yourself do it, save money on the product.

buy blocked cheese… takes about 30 mins to shred a bunch of boxes… plus you control the blend you want … your def gunna save money… all you need is the attachment that hooks right into your mixer… its the definate wya to go…

if you have a dough mixer that you can buy a used hopper and plates that attach to the top to shred for a couple hundred bucks instead of a VCM that costs thousands…but it requires a bit more muscle.

No hevy equipment in my shop that can be used for shredding or any other processing of cheese. I would have to buy either the VCM or the planetary mixer AND attachment. Given how many years it will take me to recover my investment, I am at the place of using pre-processed products for now.

I’m still on the look-out for a good price in my area for used mixer or VCM, but it is not in my cards this year so far. It’s gotta pay for itself in under 5 years, though, at this point. So my price moint is kinda low for now.

So Nick I assume you buy dough…in that case the investment of a mixer with attachement should be recouped very quickly

Local restaurant auctions are your friend. The downside is that you don’t get to pick and choose. Back when Little Caesars did their massive shutdown, VCMs could be had for a few hundred bucks. Ebay is NOT your friend on used restaurant equipment :(.

Check out ebay for mixer and extras, there is a company called vision equipt (they are close to you in Ga.) I bought at auction from them 6 foot prep table $350, 2 stacked lincoln 1100 conveyor ovens $ 1850, and a hobart 60qt mixer with bowl hook and paddle $1800 They do live auctions on ebay and I believe there is one coming up in a couple of days. I set up my whole shop with items bought at auction from ebay almost everything worked fine, a few items needed minor repairs but they were still a bargain at the prices I paid

I am signed up for Vison’s live auction tomorrow just in case I get a couple things i HAVE to have.

Thing is, though, even a friendly $1800 price tag for me to grind cheese will take me nearly four years to recover the investment. That’s not something I am able to do just right now.

With $50K going out in the next two to three weeks (big loan) with some buildout and moving expenses, I am really, really, really sure that this sort of thing will have to wait for me and my shop. The debt load will be too much for me to get into about a 4 year pay back on a piece of equipment.

Nick, the 1800 buys you a mixer to make your own dough, if you are buying your dough product it should save you at least 50% or more depending on what form you buy your dough, make your own dough and save alot of dough! also as far as the grating of cheese, I was able to pick up a second hand Dean dito food processor with grating disc for $200, I had not researched cheese costs and read the pizza encyclopedia link on this site that said that prices on shredded mozarella approached that of buying block and grating your own, this forum has shown me different. looks like a minimumn of 25% savings, right now our volume is not that high so the savings are minimal but once I launch promo advertising with 2 for 1 specials I will need to control cost in every dept. and it should make quite a difference in savings

Nick, if it were me AND I had all the room in the world and all the money I wanted for equipment, I’d use a VCM for cheese.

Here is why a VCM beats a “standard” mixer, and this is only my personal opinion.

  1. VCM is FAST (leave it in too long and you’ll have cheese powder). I’m talking under a minute (and probably closer to 20 seconds) for 15-20 pounds of cheese from “chunks” to diced.

  2. VCM will dice cheese (and ONLY dice cheese). Okay, it’s not really diced as much as chopped, but you get the idea.

  3. The only way to “dice” with a standard mixer (that I know of) is to use the meat grinding tool which will make the cheese come out like spaghetti and you can then manually break those up by hand pretty quickly. However, this grinder isn’t fast.

  4. Normally people shred cheese with the conventional mixer. Diced is easier to work with.

  5. You can create your own “custom” blend by putting in 8 pounds of this, 4 pounds of that, and 2 pounds of the other, turn that puppy on and it’s all diced and pre-mixed for you. Dump it into a tub and you’re golden.

The downside is a REQUIREMENT for 3-phase power and some of those puppies run at 440v.

I really do appreciate the enthusiasm. The numbers are really, really more compelling. I cannot afford the cash out of hand right now, regardless of how much it will save me in the long run. I will promise everyone that once everything smooths out with the buildout, and I have the money to buy the mixer for dough and cheese . . . . I will look into buying that as soon as I can find the additional cooler space to handle both the dough and the cheese safely and efficiently. I figure with used equipment, I can get into the dough making/cheese chopping business for around $3500 (ya forgot about added cooler space that I don’t have just lying around to proof and hold all that dough I’ll be making). I am betty well balanced out right now with space. Adding in more is needed to take the next step.

Plese, save yourself the trouble of telling me I don’t need any more than I already have. I’ve looked into it very thoroughly, and asked around. I will need additional boxes, and will make money plans for it all soon enough . . . I promise :smiley:

I like the idea, and am keeping an eye out for one that is dirt cheap and squeeky clean. It also happens that the 400 amp main service to my shop is 3-phase! I can draw down lots and lots of power where I am located. Bring it on, all it will cost after purchase is wiring and connections.