Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

An 8-Million-Dollar Milestone

Did you know that Whole Foods Market® has funded $8 million in low-interest loans for small, local producers through our Local Producer Loan Program? Since 2007, this money has helped 130 farmers, ranchers and food artisans grow their businesses and bring hundreds of unique, high-quality products into our stores for our customers to enjoy.

To celebrate this milestone, we're giving away a basket full of goodies made by some of our Local Producer Loan recipients!  Just enter a comment below by February 20 telling us which local producers or products you love and why and you’ll have a chance to win! UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that entered. Congratulations to our randomly chosen winner, Rachael W.!

Thank you to these vendors, for so generously donating their products:

Edie Johnston and her son, Geo of Dresden, Maine – Maine’s Medicinals’ AnthoImmune Organic Elderberry Syrup is a supplement for overall immune system support.

Michele Thornett of Timonium, Maryland - Michele’s Granola is handmade in small batches. Read more about Michele and her granola in this Whole Story blog post from 2011.

Daniel Sullivan of Long Island City, New York – TumericALIVE elixirs feature raw, organic turmeric root and supports healthy joints and metabolism.

David Rukin of West Palm Beach, Florida – Beekeeper David’s been raising bees since 1975 and his Buzzn Bee Farm was our first ever LPLP recipient. Check out this video of David and learn how he got his honey in to Whole Foods Market.

Danielle LiVolsi of San Diego, California – Nuttzo’s organic multi-nut and seed butters are a high source of ALA Omega-3s. Try the original, chocolate or no peanuts varieties.

The women of Magdalene in Nashville, Tennessee – Thistle Farms hand-made, natural bath products are produced and sold by women who have survived lives of prostitution and addiction. Learn more about Magdalene in this Whole Story profile from 2011.

Farmer Gene Mealhow of Shellsburg, Iowa – Tiny But Mighty popcorn – a rare, heirloom popcorn variety native to prehistoric America. Their Non-GMO Project Verified popcorn kernels are smaller and denser so they’re packed with flavor. Plus the hull disintegrates when popped making them really enjoyable to eat. Learn more about Tiny But Mighty in this Whole Story blog post.

Adam Grossman of Austin, Texas – The Seaweed Bath Company’s soothing powder baths contain responsibly harvested bladderwrack seaweed and soothes dry and irritated skin.

Julie Nirvelli of Boulder, Colorado – White Girl Salsa has been cooking up zesty salsas for her friends and family for years.

Tami and Clark Bowen of Hansville, Washington  - CB’s Nuts utilizes a custom-made barrel roaster to  micro-roast high-quality peanuts and pistachios. They also make fresh ground peanut butter!

Eileen Hassi of San Francisco, California – Ritual Coffee Roasters has been a pioneer of the San Francisco coffee scene since 2005. Focused on sourcing directly from their farmer partners, Ritual’s coffee beans are of the highest quality and can be traced directly back to the farmers who harvested them.

Local Producer Gift Box

In the comments below, tell us about a local producer or local product you love. Post your comment by February 20 and we’ll pick a winner at random to receive a unique bunch of local products.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends February 20, 2013, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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1745 comments

Comments

D Green says …

Its strawberry season in Florida and we love Goodsons strawberries. Everyone looks forward to when they open their stand. Goodsons has the best, most tasty strawberries around. Their shortcake and jams make people smile.

Leslie Goldenberg says …

I love Taza chocolate & their concept!

Diana Campbell says …

I think they should all win!! Local is best! But if I have to pick one White Girl salsa for me!

Rosemarie says …

I'll be honest, I haven't tried any of these products and unfortunately haven't heard of a few but I would love to win this goody basket and see what I have been missing. They sound very healthy and good for the body.

Carol Avery says …

Buying local...smart, healthy and planet friendly.

Tara Simpson says …

Lexington Pasta Company. Fresh pasta made right downtown and used at local restaurants.

Alison says …

I love Ambrose farms, In South Carolina. They have the best produce and a great CSA! They offer a range of goods from eggs, to milk and coffee plus fruits and veggies. Ambrose is the best!

Tasha says …

Becky's Blissful Bakery Chai Caramels. Yum!

Jessica Kusar says …

My favorite local producer right now is Tessemae's All Natural Dressings. Her zesty ranch and hot sauce are the best entirely natural products, really the best tasting dressings I've ever had, even when ranked against highly processed sugary dressings.

Matthew M says …

I always try to buy local even when it costs me more in the wallet. It somehow feels right to purchase produce that is not trucked over several states.

Mary Ann says …

I love Salsa Lisa & Angie's Kettle Corn

Karen MacKay says …

I always try to buy local...it's just better for everybody! My husband has Better Made BBQ chips in his lunch every day. If you haven't tried Heidi's Toffee...it is to die for. You must also try Matt's Mix seasoning salt. It makes everything taste better! These are two of my FAVORITE vendors at the Rochester Farmers Market. Thank you. Karen

Jessica says …

LA sweet potatoes and strawberries - because I prefer their flavorful, fresh taste to others

Alison says …

Garcia Farms in Gibbon, Nebraska provides us with eggs, whole chickens and lots of flavors of brats. They are even willing to drop off orders at your work if you miss when they come to town.

Michele says …

Larriland Farm is a nearby place where you can pick your own fruits and veggies. They also have honey and carry locally produced cheeses. The downside is that it is seasonal as everything is grown there(closed late fall until the first spring harvest)

Kathy Elkhal says …

Interesting thing to see on a day for love.

Ms. Dimple says …

Irving Farm Roasters coffee, most recent favorite is Guadalupe El Salvador.

Sesilie Oehler says …

I LOVE Two Moms in the Raw Gluten Free Granola! On a gluten free diet, it's tough to find certain items in a gluten free version, and sometimes when you do, it lacks flavor or has an odd texture. Two Moms in the Raw granola is packed with flavor & nutrition and gives me the energy I need to take on the day!

Melissa says …

I dont remember the name of the grower, but they are located in Boynton Beach FL and have the best heirloom tomatoes ever

Yas N. says …

Great Harvest Bread Co. They get their grains from local sources, mill the local grains into flour, and then use the freshly produced flour to make home-made bread.

Pamela says …

Little Lads Popcorn!

Lauren says …

We consume mass quantities of local honey. Great for keeping allergies at bay and it's just one of our favorite ingredients in just about anything. I also love getting local goat cheese.

P Wilson says …

LOVE ALL OUR LOCAL PRODUCTS!! We especially enjoy Snowville Milk, local honey, Scenic Acres Eggs, Mitchells Ice Cream and Morningstar Bee Products!

Lauren Schmidt says …

I love Seaweed Bath Company's products. After putting a full day of what we call "life" it is so relaxing to soak in a tub with their products.

Delsha says …

Local honey that is organic is great to support. These bees polinate our local crops, and we need healthy bees that won't fall victim to colony collapse disorder.

TraciB says …

Anything made with Michigan cherries is at the top of my list!

Karen says …

Absolutely love Long Family Farm's Soap.....Judith does a wonderful job of making soap, lotions, lip balm, etc. I love all the products I have purchased and have used her products for a number of years!

carole g says …

All these locals are fabulous choices..I'd have to lean toward picking spa treatments, great coffee, with a side of Nuttzo's...Thanks, CG

Cheryl says …

Nessala Kombucha in Madison WI. Very tasty!

K. Hilt. says …

There is a gentleman that sells his local honey at Brazos Bend Park. It's the best honey you have ever tasted. It's very sweet and thick. There are different sizes depending on what you are wanting.

Sarah says …

Go Go Maine Medicinals!!

K. Hilt. says …

Brazos Bend Park sells a man's local honey and it is the best honey yoy ever tasted. It is very thick and sweet.

Evelyn Stahling says …

I LOVE Bertie County peanuts, which I became familiar with through my work with N.C. Cooperative Extension Service at N.C. State University. The peanuts are the best in the world and are locally harvested, roasted and prepared in Bertie Co. They come in such tantalizing flavors such as Sea Salt and Black Pepper, Blister Fried (my favorite), Bachelor Bay Seasoned, Chocolate covered and many more. They have on on-line store where you can order them.

Libby says …

I'm allergic to so many things that it's hard for me to find a store-bought granola that I can safely eat. Enter Michele's Granola... I LOVE it (especially the cranberry & chocolate flavor). And when I found out it was made within driving distance of my home? Even better!

Joyce Whipps says …

I love Juan O'Sullivan's Enchilada sauce and Salsa Verde. It's low in sodium and high in flavor. I've made dips with it and taken them into work. Fellow employees raved about them, but couldn't duplicate the recipe with other salsas.

amy mayer says …

I love Poplar Ridge farm for my locally grown organic produce--the farmers are SO knowledgable and personable-- and the flavor is the freshest I have ever had! They are the only 100% certified organic CSA in 100 miles of Charlotte, NC--so proud to have them in my "neighborhood"!!!

Sarah Watt says …

Equal Exchange - West Bridgewater, MA I am a chocoholic, and I thrive on their hot cocoa :-).

Irene says …

I buy my produce from local farmers whenever available, such as Fuller organic sprouts grown and packed in Miami and delicious organic strawberries from Strawberry Passion Farms.

jodi allison says …

I so appreciate the delicious honey and pollination from my husband's bees! He also makes a lovely hand lotion and beautiful candles from their wax:)

Kiah says …

I just discovered locally made goat cheese truffles at the Farmer's Market. YUM!

Malinda says …

Never really paid much attention to green chili till my husband and I moved to New Mexico. Shorty after we moved here, I went to Santa Fe to a cooking class to learn more about the local cuisine. Green chili is a very big part of the culture and is no enjoyed in a good portion of my cooking. Ron and I both love the flavor it adds to the dishes I create. We look for ward to local chili harvests and festivals later on in the year. I've learned many new recipes and continually pick up new ideas from local people, restaurants, and local papers, also by experimentation.

Holly S. says …

Made On Acorn Hill in Jackson, TN makes lovely all-natural soaps and balms. Thanks!

Lois Pruitt says …

CONGRATS! - Love all Local Products, But Michele's Granola is the BEST, in my opinion. She is my inspiration, the article in the Baltimore Sun was great! Hope to become a local producer soon.

Ron says …

Todd's Dirt seasoning is an all around seasoning that I use oftern.

Michelle says …

I am actually quite partial to a product that made the list, TumericALIVE. When I first decided to change to a healthier lifestyle, I was floored at the health benefits of tumeric and always looked for new ways to incorporate the spice into my diet. I first learned of TumericALIVE at the NYC Veggie Fest during a live demo and have been a loyal drinker since then despite the fact that it was so hard to find. Imagine my delight when a few months pass and I learn that Whole Foods now carries the product. No more searching the health stores of Manhattan in order to find this detoxifying and vibe inducing elixer. The only thing I miss from my TumericALIVE procurment excursions are the long walks. Thank you Whole Foods for making this product growth possible.

Lisa Sterling says …

Chapel Hill Creamery Cheeses are a delight. They are small and affordable and made from cows you can see if you go out to the farm

Pamela Hargest says …

Michele's Granola is my favorite local producer. They are an environmentally conscious company, who really care about their employees and customers. And, their granola is absolutely amazing!

Dee S says …

Ted Peters smoked mullet in St Pete Florida!

April says …

I love the connection that Whole Foods Mtn Brook has will local farmers - the Freshfully movement. The Dirt Shirts have evolved & are a great local product - but my <3 is with the gals in Nashville at the Magdalene program (Nashville was my previous home) producers of Thistle Farms products. I am a huge sucker for a great body butter & scrub - but the true love comes with the Magdalene program & what this does, what this represents & how this changes the lives of the local women <3

C. Kraft says …

I would love to try all the products contained in the basket.

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