Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

The Next Big Thing Is Starting Small

Have you ever fallen in love with a great local product? Something that’s just the right about of quirky and cool? Maybe it’s a distinctive regional flavor that catches your fancy, or maybe it’s the quality that distinguishes any truly artisan creation, from bubble bath to baked goods.

If you’ve felt this kind of love, then you’ve probably felt the attendant fears: Will they make it? It’s a big, competitive world out there. How long will this sassy little start-up be around?

At Whole Foods Market®, our dedicated foragers search high and low to discover delicious and unusual products that are grown, raised or crafted locally. But we don’t just find great local producers, we help them thrive!

Through our Local Producer Loan Program, we’ve provided more than $15 million in low-interest loans to outstanding local farmers and artisans. In addition to funds, Whole Foods Market provides mentoring for small businesses. Recipients also become part of a supportive community of like-minded entrepreneurs who share experiences and expertise.

Many of our loan recipients have become so popular and successful that they’ve been able to expand into other regions. To help you get a flavor, here are just a few of the Local Producer Loan Program products that can now be found nationwide:

Saint Benoit Organic Yogurt Strawbery French Style

The artisans of Saint Benoit Creamery produce French-style organic yogurt in Sonoma County, California.

Susty Party

Born in Brooklyn, Susty Party makes compostable party-ware from responsibly harvested materials and creates jobs for the blind.

Seaweed Bath Company Wildy Natural Body Wash

The Seaweed Bath Co. hand-harvests seaweed from the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia.

Core Meal Walnut Banana Hearty Oatmeal To Go

CORE Meal bars are made from raw ingredients in Oakland, California.

Red Jacket Fuji Apple Juice 320z

Red Jacket produces high-quality fruit and cold-pressed juice on a family farm in upstate New York.

Tiny But Mighty Popcorn Sea Salt Popcorn

Tiny But Mighty Popcorn is grown from heirloom seed that was rediscovered on an Iowa family farm.

Heidi Ho No Chevre Cashew Cheeze

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Heidi Ho produces delicious plant-based vegan cheeses from organic ingredients.

Look for the Local Producer Loan Recipient seal of approval to find unique and exciting products in our stores, or search our directory to discover exciting local products by state.

Do you have a favorite local product? Share your discovery in the comments.

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6 comments

Comments

Amie says …

I am head-over-heels for the NoOodle bagged shirataki-style noodles made in Illinois. Gluten free, no net calories, and absolutely fabulous for a variety of recipes. Love.

a says …

Looking at the Maryland page, I see two mentions of the "MA region" and am wondering if someone mistyped the state abbreviation or if the Maryland products really are only for sale in your Massachusetts stores.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@A - Our "MA" region stands for Mid-Atlantic which does not include the Massachusetts stores. I can look at the page in detail if you would like to send me a link.

Mahrukh says …

I recently tried a Le Bon Magot product, "Brinjal" Caponata chutney, produced locally, and must confess that it Is the most delicious chutney I have ever tried. I ate it with grilled chicken and in a sandwich and it heightened the taste considerably. The consistency and the taste are superb and I highly recommend that whole Foods carry this product for it is a culinary experience.

pierre auxila says …

will like to know more about your LPLP program please email me the next step much respect ,Pierre

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@PIERRE - You can find info about the program and how to apply at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values/caring-communities/local-producer-loan-program.