Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

$5 Million in Loans to Local Producers

Our local producers are total rock stars. Their creativity, ingenuity and absolutely delightful products are a constant source of inspiration for us. Judging by sales, we know they are a favorite of yours, too! Helping them do more became a goal for Whole Foods Market a few years ago and as of this month, we’ve funded more than $5 million in low-interest loans through our Local Producer Loan Program to help them grow their businesses. To celebrate the $5 million mark, we’re giving away a basket filled with culinary treasures from several of our loan recipients! This is your chance to experience some of the fabulous products made by passionate small producers that aren’t available in your neck of the woods. Just post a comment below by October 21 telling us what your favorite local product is and why, and you’ll have a chance to win! We’ll choose one lucky commenter at random to receive the basket. The basket full of goodies will include an assortment of samples from some great local producers. Here's who is contributing to the basket and what they make:

When Whole Foods Market first opened its doors as a small natural and organic retailer in 1980, local producers were the lifeblood of our business. 30 years and more than 300 stores later, that fact still rings true. We know what it feels like to be a small business with a big vision and understand that local businesses (even with the highest quality products and a strong business plan) sometimes need a hand to turn their dreams into reality. In 2007, we launched the Local Producer Loan Program with a commitment to fund up to $10 million dollars in low-interest loans to provide local producers with access to the tools and resources they need to expand their businesses. Whether it’s helping our local partners purchase more animals, invest in new equipment or convert to organic production, we want to help them ALL shine. Best of all, supporting local business means keeping money in the pockets of growers in the communities we serve. So what’s your favorite local product and why? Post your comment by October 21 and take advantage of your chance to try these local favorites while you can!

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2783 comments

Comments

Jessica says …

Definitely love that you guys sell Sweet Republic....LOVE that ice cream!!

Leslie says …

Orange Blossom Honey - like eating sunshine

Rebs says …

Anything from our Farmers Market and especially yummy pastries from figtree catering out of Rollingford, NH.

Roxanne says …

I always look for locally sourced produce and am never disappointed in the quality.

Kandapa Elliott says …

Mama Lil's Pickled Mildly Spicy Peppers with Garlic in Oil is the favorite local Seattle product in our house. I remember going to the University District Farmers' Market years ago and trying this and the mustard on bread. We were hooked! I use the peppers and oil in pasta, on pizza, salads, in veggie ceviche, topped on toast with cream cheese, and the list goes on and on. I often give a jar of these peppers as gifts, that's how good they are!

Laurie Dement says …

Love the fresh produce. It is ALWAYS the best in town!

Michele Zanta says …

I love the SMAKattack Wild Flower 100% unfiltered honey out of Coral Springs, FL. It's delicious!

Mel says …

My favorite local product is your nc grown apples here in Asheville. The sale supports our local growers and local economy. They are delicious!

martin says …

My favorite is orgnic sweet potato. Baked it and eat whole piece includig skin.

carol says …

Three Twins ice cream in San Rafael, CA. The finest organic ingredients, scrumptious flavors. Big supporters of local non-profits. Great product, great people.

Janvika says …

I absolutely love Blumetti's sauces especially the marinara...I served it several times to my guests who thought I made it as it tastes like home-made!!

martin says …

My favorite is orgnic sweet potato.

Amy says …

Mighty O Donuts- Seattle, WA

Olivia Grace says …

Local berries from the Swanson Berry Farm.

marleen davis says …

My favorite local products are the fresh vegetables whole foods gets for us. They are always just harvested and so fresh you taste the difference when you eat them. Thanks for buying from local farmers and getting the produce to us fast.

Liz B. says …

Salsas and hot sauces are our favorite local treasures. We love all things spicy and really enjoy all the different flavors you can find out there.

Barry Northrop says …

NuDe Food Bars (NuDe=Nutritionally Dense) by Crystal River Organics in Edgewater, Colorado. These are raw, organic, hold up well for hiking and biking, aren't overly sweet, and taste great.

Sarah says …

My favorite just happens to be Whale Tail Chips. I can't think of a single chip manufacturer that can make you feel as good about buying them as these guys do. Their work on animal preservation, a long list of whale charities, degradable bags, the Wyland art on their bags - oh, and they taste great. Just the right amount of homemade salsa or guacamole on your whale tail. It's a cause very dear to me, and they I hope they get more widespread for on-going support to these important charities. (Another San Diego favorite they support - Surfrider). If I can't vote for them - I give my vote to delicious local - "Bitchin' Sauce" in San Diego that sells at my neighborhood farmers market. If any market sold this, they'd be striking it rich. This stuff is so addicting. Just google them - you won't regret it. Goes perfectly with whale tails.

chelsea lyons says …

It would have to say farm fresh eggs. It's so comforting to know that the eggs i'm eating aren't filled with toxins and give my body the nutrients it should.

Jody says …

I LOVE Haystack Farms Goat Cheeses. All varieties, in all recipes! Even my 8 year old has to be told when enough is enough!

Maria Orsini says …

Sunsweet cherry tomatos are my favorite, they are always very fresh and sweet. These are so good alone just popping one by one. They make a great addition w/ a cucumber salad as well. I buy 3 packages at a time!

Ran Tao says …

Local yogurt is my favorite. It just tastes better than something that made months ago.

G. Almeter says …

I love Kate's Magik aura mists, made in Arizona. I use them at home all the time to create a mood or to put our home in the "right spirits". My daughter's bedroom gets sprayed with Heart & Spirit and Stream of Success. I spray our master's room with Pure Passion and Purification and Protection. My husband's office gets sprayed with Rain of Prosperity and Stream of Success. And when we travel, our hotel room always gets the "Ghostbuster". I love these products so much that I gifted my friends and relatives with them for Christmas last year, and will do so this year again.

Nancy Bernet says …

I love local produce, granola and honey! Local is always fresher tasting and local honey is better for allergies.

jackie says …

i love the honey available at the chicago farmer's market- so many to try and use in different ways!

paula fishman says …

I try to patronize small local farmers and producers for the ecological advantages, When it is available, I appreciate knowing that the produce is organic. My favorite local products in the summer are NJ tomatoes and corn.

Janet says …

Local veggies are the best!

Olivia Grace says …

Fresh local berries from the Swanton Berry Farm.

BookishCook says …

I love locally grown Louisiana Satsumas and Bergeron pecans. Delicious! Cousins salad dressing is also to die for

Carrie says …

Carfagna's pasta sauces (Columbus, OH). It makes dinner so easy but still tastes like authentic Italian!

Dawn Norris says …

My favorite local product is milk from Snowville Creamery in Pomeroy, Ohio. It tastes great, especially the Chocolate milk, and is a fresh and healthy drink.

Susan Krupkowski says …

There are some fabulous small businesses making excellent gluten-free foods. One of my favorites is Marion’s Smart Delights. The baking mixes are "certified gluten-free, allergen-free and certified Kosher. Mixes like the Cookie and Muffin Baking Mix are also excellent sources of GF Whole Grains...Marion’s Smart Delights are low sodium and reduced sugar." (Many GF baked goods are full of empty calories.) Please note, I am in no way associated with Marion’s Smart Delights -- I just think they are awesome mixes!

Ran Tao says …

local yogurt is my favorite since most mass-produced yogurt are made weeks and months in advance.

Janna says …

strawberries and peaches when in season- they are so sweet when you are able to buy them locally.

Olga says …

Love the raw honey!!!!

Heather @ Queen Bee Coupons says …

Being from Washington state, my favorite local product is FRESH, local apples. Can't beat them.

Carrie B says …

McClure’s Pickles, bread from Avalon Bakery, local honey from urban hives, and we are very lucky, in the Detroit area to have lots of wonderful fresh produce.

Karen Proctor says …

Blue and Gold Sausage, local cage free eggs and fresh home grown tomatoes!

Don Wagner says …

White Girl Salsa. Who would have thought a white girl could make such good salsa.

jessi oury says …

My favorite local product is found at the local farmers market...it comes in different shapes, sizes, colors, textures and smells. My favorite local product is EVERYTHING & ANYTHING that I purchase at the farmers markets that Colorado is blessed to have. There are so many fruits, veggies, salsas, breads, sweet treats, dips and sauces. All are yummy and worth the buy! We are soooo blessed to have as many local farmers markets as we do here in Colorado - a few each day of the week!

Beth says …

Satsumas!!!! This lovely time of year, without a doubt, satsumas!!! Thank you! XOXOXO, B

gary says …

My favorite is avocados. They are good for you and guacamole is the best!!

Linda F says …

My favorite local product is YumNuts because I love cashews and these are flavor roasted, come in a wide variety of flavors, healthy and taste delicious.

Susan Peake says …

My fave local product is the sticky toffee pudding cake line. I lived in Austin the past 26 years, back when there was only ONE Whole Foods:)

rachel leinweber says …

the local fish and veggies! the cheeses from Vermont and N. England! it's really hard to pick just ONE fave! You have so many. thanks...

Joe says …

A day without coffee is like a day without sunshine.

Jennifer Sproha says …

Local Grown Organic Heirloom Tomatoes on sale right now! I just made AMAZING Tomatoe Bisque SOUP - DELISH!

Lala says …

Locally honey! Perfect for my Winnie The Pooh loving kids! :)

Marcy Donelson says …

My favorite local product is Clancy's Fancy (Hot Sauce), Ann Arbor, MI. What's not to like?!

Barbara Daly says …

Wow very hard to choose. It was a toss up between the Kale Chips or the raw honey. The honey won because I can use it to make a lot of differnt items such as sauces,dressings and marinades. It is such a wonderful ingredient to add to other things to make them better...

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