I have dealt with Sysco, Bakemark, Dawn, and FSA.
I have shopped at Cash & Carry, etc. but they are also open to the public and aren't what I would really call "wholesalers" although they do allow you to purchase some items tax-free with the proper business documentation. Cash & Carry, et al. are no different in my opinion than Costco and not what I (and I believe some others) were referring to. Most bigger businesses buy in bulk from larger suppliers and don't run to the local Cash & Carry when they need ingredients.
Also, suppliers DO give you price breaks and offer different prices to different customers based on the contracts that are signed. I have entered into contracts where I was guaranteed certain pricing if I ordered minimum quantities.
A smaller scale business such as you used to operate probably weren't offered the same deals and didn't have the need to buy in higher quantities since your needs were small. I could see why shopping at your local Cash & Carry would have made sense for you.