Beloit Grocery Offers Brand Names Without Denting Wallets

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Crushed, smashed, broken. No matter how you describe it, these less appealing conditions are more desirable at DJ's Bent and Dent.

"We have a couple warehouses where huge grocery stores send product to that are overstocked or that's been damaged," says Bent and Dent Co-Owner Dannie Shear.

These damaged products then make their way to Bent and Dent store shelves. And are discounted as much as 50-percent.

"To me, dents don't matter as long as you check the cans and nothing is bulged and a lot of things aren't outdated, you just be careful. And even if it's a little outdated and you're going to use it right away, you're saving a lot of money, so that's why I like to shop here," says Mary Ann Walker of Janesville.

Many items you'll find are past the "best by" expiration. But never past the date when it's safe to use.

"It's what they put on there just for the best taste, it's not that it's spoiled or anything like that," says Shear.

The savings go beyond dented products and expiration dates. A simple packaging change like this Vitamin C makes these items cost less.

You'll find older labels or ones even turned upside down. But for many, especially now, aesthetics aren't a factor.

"If I'd see people get excited, it would almost make me cry, so I'd have to go out back because they'd be excited to get something they could never afford before," says Bent and Dent Co-Owner Dana Shear

And while other family-owned businesses are bent over the economy, here at DJ's, the only major dents are in the cans.

Bent and Dent does carry some refrigerated and freezer items. But they are full priced, since they come from a normal grocery manufacturer. They're there mostly for convenience.

The Shear family started DJ's Bent and Dent about a year ago. It's named after their son DJ, who has downs syndrome. They say this allowed them to be with their son during the day and help others who like to buy name-brand groceries for less.

DJ's Bent & Dent
2571 Park Ave.

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