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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

Heidi V says …

I love D. Medicine Woman's ointments from the Big Island. She makes them all herself from great essential oils and nuts and avocados she grows on her land.

Danielle says …

So happy to see the raw kale chips in the basket!! That is my favorite local business product that I can buy at Whole Foods! My family and I go through at least one box a week.

Alicia Pearlman says …

My favorite local product is the farm fresh corn, especially when you get it right after its been picked. Its so sweet.

Denise Orluck says …

My favorite local product is raw honey from Bron’s Bee Company. When I'm in my backyard tending to my garden and see bee's at work, I often wonder if they also contributed to the raw honey.

Robin says …

Sticky toffee cakes....sounds yummy!!!

Andy says …

My husband searched far and wide for a delicious decaf coffee - he finally found it - at Conscious Coffee. Yay!

andrea says …

My favorite product is the local honey, which helps with our allergies. We always buy it in bulk and put it in about everything we bake or drink. YUM!

Julie Camacho says …

I love Nuttzo nut butter! Trying different local products is great!

Deb Koval says …

One of my favorite local food producers is the Collinsville Baking Company in New Hartford. Their bread, cookies and other treats are really delicious and they use wholesome natural ingredients. I buy their products whenever I can. :)

Kristi D. says …

Palisade peaches!!!!

Jennifer says …

Local fruit, veggies, and honey are items I regularly buy and enjoy.

ErikaM says …

Black Dog Gelato, because it's killer scrumptious.

Jocelyn Pinsler says …

I love coming in these stores, between the sights and aromas it's not always easy to stick to a shopping list. There's always something new to try, and samples which lure you right to that aisle. Not to mention it's the only place I've found in Chicago that carries the special yeast free bread I can eat. THANK YOU FOR THAT. Sincerely Jocelyn Pinsler

Valerie Bishop says …

I love any vegetable or fruit from the local farmers markets! They are just so fresh and great tasting!

MomOfhealth says …

Unfortunately none of the products listed are local to us but they sound great. We love local produce, especially during apple season.

Bethany D says …

Georgia grown peaches in the late spring/summer and apples and sweet potatoes in the fall. I love taking a trip out the orchards and picking the apples myself!

LaDawn M. says …

My favorite local (Texas) item is Kelly Jo Salsa's. The Cilantro one makes a seriously mean Cheese steak, with fresh mushrooms, onion & peppers! While Tommy's Roja salsa is a great topping for a chicken wrap. My favorite two local products because they are fresh, delicious and very versatile!

Kristina Scaviola says …

Shaw Farm milk- right from my hometown of Dracut, MA! Also, I love the Stoneyfield line of frozen yogurts; so creamy and delicious, you would never know that they were good for you. The Bedford, MA store just started carrying their line of Greek Frozen yogurt- bought the blueberry flavor and was blown away. I'm going to keep buying it for sure!

Alyssa Pappas says …

Pure Luck! Their cheese is beyond delicious. The thought of it is making me hungry! But I love any local produce as well... such a tough decision.

Saira Rabbani says …

My local food is not even for me... Its Nulo for my puppy! I love things that are heart shaped. Makes me smile. But can I get an Amen for Sticky Toffee Pudding Company... so good!

Tami Kasoff says …

There is so much that is grown and produced locally here in Maine. My favorites are the seafood for it's freshness, and the blueberries for their tiny tartness. Both are hard to beat.

Joanna says …

I just moved from the Bay Area in California back east. My favorite local product out there was Three Twins Ice Cream, which Whole Foods gave a Local Producer Loan too! Now that I'm here, my favorite local products are Macintosh apples & apple cider.

Stacy says …

I love the local produce selections. Great heirloom varieties I can't find anywhere outside the farmer's market.

Cori says …

I love the NuttZo non peanut blend as it contains different crunchies (what I call them) they make a perfect peanut butter alternative.

Laura says …

The vegan cinnamon rolls from Zen Bakery in Milford, MA. Oh, how do I love this low fat, high protein and fiber babies. They are amazingly delicious.

Jeff says …

I love love love local coffee!! It makes me feel better when I know that my cup of joe is coming from the small farmers! My dad is a rice farmer in Texas, so I always support the local producers!

Pauline Lim says …

I love local apples! Especially the Empire ones.

Laura M. says …

Local fruit-I have to agree with seasonal fruit being the best

Mary Pentecost says …

Stinger Honey is fantastic, and we love our local microbreweries. Schlafly has a farmer's market every week to help out local growers. Being ethical omnivores, it's very important to us that our meat (whenever we eat it) be local.

Lauren says …

Angelo & Franco Fresh Mozzarella has the best flavor of any fresh mozzarella I've tried in Southern California. It is the closest to Italy's real thing!

Linda says …

I love the raw kale chips. They make a great snack, and are loaded with nutrition!

Coral Bielecki says …

I buy local products whenever possible not only as a part of my commitment to care for the environment, but also to support family businesses and to contribute towards perpetuating Hawaiian culture. It's a joy to buy local, whatever the product. Local, organically grown fresh produce gets top billing. Particularly the fruits and vegetables that play a big part in Hawaiian culture. I also love Indigenous Soap Company products. I appreciate that their products are made by hand, minutes from my home, and I value their company's commitment to providing high-quality product that values the health of my body and Mother Nature. Their website says "We believe that everyone is indigenous and are inspired by natural healing"-- which is a wonderful perspective... It values not only my local culture/land and personal background, but yours, too.

Robyn says …

so awesome -- local raw honey! yum!

Lisa says …

All Spice Cafe sauces. they are locally produced near me and they have heat, but also good flavor. Pretty much all their products because they have a spicy caramel corn that is addictive http://allspicecafe.com/

Lynn Rumery says …

Although it is no longer considered local to me now, as I have moved to Arkansas, Noosa yoghurt is the best hands down. I moved to Arkansas from Colorado last December and that is one of the things I miss the most. It is perfection in a tub. Really the best yoghurt I have ever had. But any fresh local produce is great too!

Mike says …

Naturally raw, naturally unfiltered local honey from North Dallas Honey Co.

Annabel says …

I was wondering how old do you have to be to enter? I like the OOgave sodas they aren't too sweet and its vegan. I also like local honey its better for the enviornment and the bees.

Maryley says …

My favorite local company is Fabe's All Natural Bakery from the San Fernando, CA. Family owned since 1989. They make some of the best fruit juice sweetened desserts and I especially love their carrot cake.

Cristian says …

Best vegan mini cookies - Fabe's from SFV, CA.

staci wells mefford says …

Being from the san joaquin valley, we have and supply a large mass of fruits,veggies and more locally and around the u s . I like the sweet scarlet grapes, dairy products and meats from our local fresno state university market,the corn too. Also locally Raw honey and pomegranites ...all super yummy

Jennifer says …

My favorite local products are anything from my local farmers market that I can use to make fresh pico de gallo or guacamole and use tortilla chips from El Milagro in Chicago. I also like any of the salsas from Frontera Grill.

Julie says …

Coffee from The Roasterie Kansas City Air Roasted Coffee!!! It's the best in Kansas City AND in the world!!!!!

Kevin says …

Local Produce all the way. There is nothing better than going to a local farm and picking your own produce. I will miss you summer:-(

FatTomato says …

Local organic milk! because it never fails to comfort :)

D says …

The organic produce from local farms! I especially enjoyed the multicolored carrots and golden zucchini this summer and now the several varieties of local apples! Keep the local fruits and vegetables coming... Thank you!!

Concetta says …

Apples, where I can see the trees they were picked from. Nothing better.

Cat says …

Yellow tomatoes. I just discovered them this summer.

Aaron H says …

Goose Island Beer - excellent craft beer made less than a mile from my house - need I say more?

sherry pincus says …

love local tomatoes to make tomato salad. Love this!

Amy G says …

I absolutely love the So Delicious Brand Coconut Milk and Ice cream products. They are absolutely delicious, and Turtle Mountain is located in Eugene, OR so I can feel good about supporting an Oregon based company while enjoying these fantastic items.

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