Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Laughing Giraffe Organics

By Jenny Brown, July 11, 2008  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Jenny Brown

The best part of my job as administrator of our Local Producer Loan Program isn’t giving out loans to our small producers – it’s watching loan recipients use those loans to grow their businesses. In the year and a half since we launched the program, Whole Foods Market has provided loans to 29 small producers of products ranging from grassfed beef and honey to wine sorbet and body care products. They are some of the hardest-working, most passionate people I’ve had the pleasure to meet, and it’s always so inspiring to see their plans come to fruition. One of our most exciting success stories is Laughing Giraffe Organics, a (very!) small company from Phoenix, Arizona that makes raw, vegan, organic, gluten-free granola and macaroons… that taste amazing! Justin Baumgartner started selling his product at a farmers market in 2006, where a local Whole Foods Market team member noticed him and asked about getting the product in our stores. That was the start of a great relationship. Due to its popularity and Justin’s entrepreneurial drive (would YOU call each store individually to make sure your product is in stock?), Laughing Giraffe soon expanded to more stores and then region-wide. After receiving not one, but TWO small loans, the products are now available in our Southern Pacific, Rocky Mountain, and Southwest regions. The products also recently were accepted by United Natural Foods, one of our primary distributors, a move which will allow access to Whole Foods Market stores throughout the western half of the United States. Did I mention that he managed this while he and his wife were caring for a newborn? Anyone who knows Justin knows what a hard worker he is, and we are so thrilled at his success. He was recently featured on the front page of the business section in the Arizona Republic, a wonderful recognition of his passion and dedication to great food made for people, by people. As Justin would say, be well.

Category: Food & Recipes, Local




mannequin says ...
What a very generous act and to someone so well deserved! It's quite easy to hear your enthusiasm as you tell of it. I am so happy to have discovered there is a market nearby us. Thank you for being a company that truly cares; it's an uncommon thing, you know?
07/11/2008 4:50:55 PM CDT
Kevin says ...
Has the loan program reached the Canadian stores yet?
07/11/2008 7:23:03 PM CDT
3boyzmom says ...
I'll try anything that has a giraffe!! Giraffes are the most amazing animals!
07/11/2008 9:47:22 PM CDT
Diane says ...
Oh how I love macaroons! I'll have to look for these. Great company name too!
07/12/2008 11:14:17 AM CDT
juliejulie says ...
Yum, coconut. My son loves macaroons, but has a wheat intolerance. I wonder if wheat-free macaroons are even possible? Thanks for profiling small companies, I will check out the Laughing Giraffe website!
07/13/2008 12:43:20 PM CDT
Deborah Meyer says ...
Going to Whole Foods is like standing in the middle of a lush farm...so many beautiful things to pick and choose!
07/13/2008 5:36:44 PM CDT
Miranda says ...
I love the name "Laughing Giraffe"!
07/13/2008 7:34:14 PM CDT
Bryan says ...
Outstanding example of how doing what you love can be profitable and humane.
07/13/2008 9:27:03 PM CDT
hsiaw says ...
@juliejulie You can substitute alternative flours such as sorghum, chickpea and rice flour for wheat flours in many recipes. It's a bit of an art to get the blend just right, but it's fun to experiment!
07/14/2008 9:24:05 AM CDT
hsiaw says ...
@Kevin The Local Producer Loan Program is currently only available in the US, but please check back in the next few months about Canada and the UK, as we are currently working on that! Check out the application here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/locallygrown/lplp/apply.html
07/15/2008 11:46:43 AM CDT
Natalie says ...
Great Story!!!! How can I place an order for your products?
08/04/2008 12:41:56 PM CDT
hsiaw says ...
@Natalie You can email info@thelaughinggiraffe.com or if you happen to live in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Southern California and Kansas - their products can be found in all Whole Foods locations in all those states.
08/04/2008 1:40:13 PM CDT
Natalie says ...
Thanks for the info. I would send an email........I forgot to mention that I am a Whole Foods Team member at the Wynnwood store in PA and would like to know how we could get the product in our store. THX Natalie
08/07/2008 2:29:08 PM CDT
hsiaw says ...
@Natalie Awesome! I'm sure the folks at Laughing Giraffe would be happy to hear that more people (even Team Members) want to see them in our stores.
08/07/2008 2:53:48 PM CDT
Linda Stanley says ...
Banana coconut snackaroons are awesome!
01/05/2013 9:05:10 PM CST
Licia Schubert says ...
I Love you Snack.
05/09/2013 5:17:14 PM CDT
Cynthia Barnes says ...
What a great idea for increasing availability of healthy foods. Love Whole Foods Market! I received a package of Laughing Giraffe Snakaroons (the macaroons) for Christmas from my daughter and they're wonderful. One is quite satisfying as a dessert without being heavy - 100 cal and 7 usable carbs! Thanks for helping make them available.
01/06/2014 9:32:48 PM CST