Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Globally Inspired, Locally Produced

STPC-STP One of the things that our customers love about Whole Foods Market is that they can find products from all over the world. They also love the extensive selection of local products that each of our stores offers. Sometimes that global mindset even finds its way into local products, especially when the producers themselves are originally from other countries. Here are a few examples of Local Producer Loan recipients who are bringing unique products from their homelands to our customers in the U.S.

Benoît de Korsak

Saint Benoît Yogurt Davis, California Native of: France stbenoit-008 Benoît de Korsak founded Saint Benoît Yogurt with his brother David in 2004. They are dedicated to the concept of "terroir," a French word describing food "of a place," which reflects the character of the land from which it came. Saint Benoît Yogurt is an interesting mixture of the local and the exotic. They use local ingredients, including Jersey milk, fruit, and honey, yet their yogurt is created from a culture that was brought with them from France, where it has been used for decades to produce sweet, mild, and smooth yogurts. The yogurt is packaged in a reusable, returnable ceramic container, something traditional that now seems very exotic to most of us! The product itself is named after Saint Benoît (French for Saint Benedict), a monk who founded several monastic communities across Europe. Saint Benoît Yogurt used their Local Producer Loan to build a new production room, which allowed them to increase their distribution. They've been selling to Whole Foods Market since 2006, and their yogurt is currently available throughout Northern California.

Tracy Claros

The Sticky Toffee Pudding Company Austin, Texas Native of: England STPC-Tracy-Claros Tracy Claros, a native of the Lake District in England, has been in Austin baking English-style puddings since 2003. Her first product - and the namesake for the company - was the traditional sticky toffee pudding. Never had a British hot pudding? It's like cake, but really, really moist! Sticky toffee pudding has a toffee sauce that melts when the product is heated, which makes for a fabulously gooey dessert. Tracy bakes each pudding in mini-tins to give them an authentic English pudding shape. With the success of the original product, Tracy has since been able to branch out into other artisanal hot puddings: English Lemon, Molten Chocolate (filled with chocolate sauce), and Sticky Ginger. The English Lemon was even the winner of the 2007 Fancy Food Show competition for Outstanding Baked Good! Tracy planned to use the loan to purchase a tray sealing machine, which will allow her to reduce her labor costs and increase her volume. Her products are currently available in seven regions, so check them out if you have the chance.

Yahia Kamal

Yummy's Choice Kansas City, Missouri Native of: Palestinian West Bank FETAart Chef Yahia Kamal grew up in the Palestinian West Bank. He came to the U.S. to study and eventually settled in Kansas City where he ran a Mediterranean café and a market. Demand was so great for his hummus and other prepared food items that he decided to concentrate on selling in other retail outlets. He got his products into our Overland Park, Kansas, store in 2006, and the rest is history. Yummy's Choice (named after his old market, Yummy's Market) sells a number of Chef Kamal's recipes for Mediterranean foods, such as lebaneh, olive mazza, shatta, and pita chips. In addition to the products' taste and high quality, much of Yummy's Choice's success rests with Chef Kamal's dynamic demonstrations, during which he and his daughter spend three full days at each store introducing their foods to shoppers. Because of the Local Producer Loan, which helped the company significantly increase its production and distribution capacity, Yummy's Choice is now available throughout the entire Rocky Mountain region!

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Fair Trade says …

Go Tracy Claros... I love it - teaching Americans how to make Apple Pie! :) PS The move from living in one of the wettest parts of the world to one of the driest sounds like an interesting story.

Raine says …

I am very disappointed at Whole Foods "Health Starts Here" campaign which includes a low-fat, plant based agenda. I've commented on this topic before as I've noticed a growing trend towards this philosophy, with little to no mention of sustainably produced meats in the equation for health and wellness. I have spent a good part of my life pursuing the low-fat and meatless diets, and was sicker then than I have ever been in my whole life. Since converting to a traditional way of eating, including real meat from humanely-raised, organic, and local sources, I've experienced a return to health I never dreamed possible. We cannot possibly promote a locally-produced and globally-inspired message if we don't promote sustainable foods that come from plants and animals. Meat is not the culprit - factory farming and unsafe farming practices are the problem. There are just as many toxic sources of vegetarian foods as there are meat ones, and maybe more so due to the use of toxic feeds to animals on factory farms like soy, grains, and corn. Cattle and other ruminants are meant to eat grass, not grains/soy/corn. When they consume these substances, they become sick and farmers administer antibiotics and other drugs. Animals and poultry on pasture live longer and are virtually free of contaminants and diseases commonly associated with meat produced on the mass, mainstream market. As a former customer, I urge Whole Foods to reconsider their position on this matter.

Sean C says …

I think it's awesome that Whole Foods has such a "Local" food attitude. I think it's great that a family from somewhere like France can come to the states and use both local products and French tradition to create a product.

Rugmini says …

parmesan Cheese contest Recipe name: Gluten Free crepes with Parmesano Reggiano stuffing for crepes: 1 cup gluten free flour 1 cup coconut milk 2tsp yeast 2tbsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup warm water Puff the yeast by adding it to the warm water with sugar and salt ( 10 minutes) combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl,whisk to make a pancake like batter, if needed add extra water. Spread the batter, as thin as possible, on a heated non stick grill. Flip once when it is half cooked. Stuffing: 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 cup crab meat 2 tbsp veg oil 1 1/2 cup grated parmesan reggiano cheese Saute Onion in oil, add the crab meat, stir for 3 minutes, add 1/2 cup cheese. Stuff each crepe with one tbsp crab cheese mixture. arrange stuffed crepe in a baking dish. top with 1 cup grated parmesano reggiano cheese. Cover loosely with Aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degree oven until top is brown and bottom of pan begins to bubble. Serve with a salad or garlic Bread.

Jenna Lundemo says …

I really like when a recipe has local roots but is made with custom traditions. It brings a new taste and experience when endulging in it. Thanks for sharing.

tina says …

I've tried it, delicious!

Victor Sasson says …

The yogurt makers are in California and use "Jersey" milk? I guess you are referring to a breed of cattle, not the state. And the fruit and honey they use is not "Jersey"?

Jake says …

Do you carry MONK FRUIT SWEETNERS at your stores?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JAKE - Our products vary between store locations so I would encourage you to reach out to your local store to see what options they have carry.