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

Jaime says …

Peaches! Georgia peaches are always the sweetest!

Zamyla says …

My favourite? the variety of local and seasonal produce! and for sure, the nut butters! Yum! I'm also a superfan of kale chips <3

Patricia Glade says …

Heartland Beef, half Piedmontese beef that tastes great and is a healthier choice.

Andria says …

I love the Biggs and Featherbelle bar soap. It doesn't irritate my skin and I like the minimal packaging. I also love local tomatoes. Tomatoes from the store just don't come close! I'm so sad the season is ending.

Sarah says …

Just tried the Hail Merry lemon tart, delicious!

misty says …

My favorite local (Washington) product are anything from Maury Island Farms. Their Blackberry and Raspberry Jam is especially awesome!

Kaitlin says …

It's impossible to pick just one! Local fruits and veggies just taste better. I also love farm-fresh eggs, honey, and maple syrup. There are also various great local products I've picked up here and there, like goat milk soap, beer, wine, pickles, mustards, salsas, yogurt, cheese, etc, etc, etc....

Brilana says …

My favorite local food is pa'i'ai from Mana Ai. Daniel gets the best taro around to make the most versatile staple that the Hawaiian people have eaten and respected since arrival from Polynesia. Onolicious!

Amy says …

Canistracci breads are so yummy! I found them at the Wakefield Farmer's market and cannot get enough of their whole wheat bread.

Carole Collum says …

The best selection of FRESH, ORGANIC foods available - my family loves the selection! Thanks

Elizabeth says …

I love the Wicked Natural products especially the mustard dill sauce & dip, it's great with pretzels.

Kat says …

Local cheese from any kind of market...hmmmmmm I love cheese especially with organic crackers and chutney!

Elizabeth says …

Anything at the farmer's market.....probably my fave right now is zucchini!

Tom Johnson says …

My absolute favorite local food offered by Whole Foods is Grillo's Pickles . . . Especially the "Hot" variety! They are the best pickles I've ever had!

Blaire says …

Beautiful! What a great way to try some local product for a newcomer to the area.

Jen K. says …

Picking just one is pretty impossible. We have such great local stuff made around here! Cold Fusion gelato is an addiction that I easily feed at several local WFM. They sell pints AND by the scoop! But I love local produce like Kimball Farm raspberries, local beer like Mayflower, local cookies like Dancing Deer. Pick a category and I probably have a local favorite. I could go on and on...

Mona says …

my favorite local product is fresh fruit. any kind of seasonal fruit is the best, because they taste the best!

Alison says …

Local milk that didn't have to travel far is my favorite.

Julie says …

All local mushrooms are delicious and my favorite! The choices we have for all the local CSAs around is wonderful as well, with all the variety and different season fruits and vegetables to cook with.

David says …

McClure's Pickles. quality, local ingredients

Phil Robertson says …

Wright's Salsa (Green Medium), I did not particulary care for avacado based salsas, however this has become a household staple to have around, the vendors are great at the demos that are done in the store, the salsa is a hit with everyone we have shared it with, in state and out, we have used it in so many other ways that it is and will be a staple at every occassion at our home.

crystal h. says …

I love local produce, especially north carolina apples!

christa herr says …

I always get local HONEY - not only is it great to support local bee keepers, I also gain the benefits of local honey's allergy fighting properties!!! :)

traicy brent says …

one of my favorite producst is local hummus. I can get some really good hummus, with different flavors to choose from, everytime I visit whole foods :)

cheryl says …

We love our locally grown organic veggies from Sylvia Alvarez at Bikkurim Farms!

Lisa says …

My favorite local product is strawberries! It's amazing how long the season is here.

Ummil-Khair says …

Whole Foods Market is wonderful. I walk in knowing that whatever I purchase there is going to be good for me in some way, even the desserts. :) Having a child with allergies, I have to say that Delands millet or oatmeal based bread is my favorite. It's the closest in taste to wheat bread. With Whole Foods Market my whole family is healthy and happy.

Annabel says …

I was wondering how old you have to be to enter? I like the OOgave soda its not too sweet and its vegan. I also like local honey its better for the enviornment and the bees.

Brianne Weiss says …

My favorite local produce is apples! I love going to the apple orchards by me and picking apples in the fall with my family. Then we take our apples and make the most delicious apple pie ever! fall is definitely the best season!! :)

Meg says …

Maple cream from the farmer's market. So sweet and delicious on apples!

says …

@Annabel We'd hate to make it possible for you to post a comment but be ineligible to win the "posting prize." Haha. Our posting guideline says you must be 13 to post and so, Annabel, if you're 13 or older, you're eligible. Good luck!

Annabel says …

@Jane Johnson Thank you. I am glad I am older than 13.

Amy says …

Petunia's Pie + Pastries gluten-free, vegan desserts! (That's why I love to travel... seeing the new products that differ from store to store.)

Kitty McCall-Smith says …

Love the Raw Chips. Great idea too.

Paula says …

I love Hail Merry's nuts because their flavor is amazing!!!

h m seferovich says …

Yum, these sound tasty!

Hope Benedict says …

I REALLY want to win the basket prize--but I'm going to talk about a local (as in 100% American owned, operated, and located, privately held, small, disabled veteran/woman owned) business whose product(s) I WISH were carried by Whole Foods. Bio-Tech Pharmacal, Inc. is a FDA licensed (and regulated) pharmaceutical manufacturing company (located out of Fayetteville AR for over 25 years) providing nutraceuticals (pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements) of unique proprietary blends. The husband/wife owners are wholly committed to the quality of their product and serving their customer.

Brittaney D. says …

I love the Vino Parmagiano Pasta sauce; it's so rich and flavorful!

Maryann says …

Small World granola

Allison Hahn says …

Honey Pacifica from Long Beach, CA. I love their honey and was able to see one of their sources last year. :)

Zak Bauman says …

There is a local salsa made by a high school teacher that I love. The fact that her students encouraged her to sell it, just makes me want to support her and it sends a great message to the kids.

Beth says …

Hazelnuts - Washington State grows the best best best hazelnuts.....

Denise says …

My favorite local product is fresh fruits and vegetables from our local farm.

Annie says …

Sticky Toffee Pudding- Delicious!!

Chris says …

I love fresh tortilla chips, and I applaud Whale Tails' ecological mission.

Mary Baribeau says …

Brad's Raw Kale Chips are the best! They're the ultimate in being nutritious & delicious. They make it possible to get more dark leafy greens into my diet while also satisfying that savory/ salty craving.

Lynn Coram-Allen says …

I am an employee at Emory Healthcare. Every Tuesday Emory University invites locate producers to come on campus to sell their products. I've bought some very good breads, honeys, cheeses & salsas. I hope the university continues to invite local producers to the campus.

pam says …

I love the local produce -- but now that summer is behind us I'm happy I live close enough to a Whole Foods so I can get my fresh produce there!

Chris Lee says …

Sweet Waimanalo Honey hits the spot and from the basket of goodies listed in this blog I am eager to try the Ginger Hemp granola from •Michele’s Granola (Baltimore, MD) And the Vino Parmigiano pasta sauce from •Blumetti’s Gourmet Foods (Rockwall, TX) ––. Hawai'i is home to an awesome array of local treats/eats - - - ahi-ahi, Morth Shore Romaine, Big Island Kona Coffee, Backyard Mango and Avocados, the list is incredible.

Tina Watson says …

Sticky Toffee Pudding would have to be a fav of mine. I've made a lot of sticky Toffee puddings in my time and it is great to always try another person's version. I especially like it with a dollop of king island double cream from Australia.

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