At Whole Foods Market, our local producers – and their products – are truly one-of-a kind. And recipients of our Local Producer Loan Program are no different! From kombucha and raw chocolate to vegan ice cream and sticky toffee pudding, their products reflect the variety that makes our stores such wonderful places to shop. Here are a few of the most unique! Alaska’s Bakery Owner: Noreen Naidus Location: Las Vegas, Nevada Product: Organic dog treats No, Whole Foods Market hasn’t opened a store in Anchorage or Fairbanks! Alaska’s Bakery is named after owner Noreen Naidus’s dog, Alaska. Noreen started Las Vegas-based Alaska’s Bakery in 2007, after having discovered that the organic treats she baked for her dog were popular with others. She has been selling to our stores for about two years. Noreen is using her loan for marketing, ingredients and packaging, which will help her expand her business. Gourmè Mist Owners: Sherene Costanzo and Simona Bunin Location: Coral Springs, Florida Product: Oil misters I know from personal experience that a heavy hand on the oil bottle can totally ruin a meal. So I think that Gourmè Mist is a great idea: eco-friendly misters for oils and vinegars. Some are even organic! And even better: Sherene and Simona are using their loan funds to extend the line into packets of oil and vinegar for food service. BTTR Ventures Owners: Alex Velez and Nikhil Arora Location: Emeryville, California Product: Mushrooms and mushroom kits So, two recent college grads growing mushrooms in a warehouse using leftover coffee grounds (some from our Allegro cafés!) is cool. Using the waste product from those ’shrooms for compost is very cool. But grow-your-own-mushroom kits using those same recycled coffee grounds? That’s just awesome! And that’s what BTTR (pronounced "better") Ventures does. BTTR stands for "Back To The Roots", and these two Berkeley grads certainly embody that spirit. Their loan will help them purchase equipment and expand into a larger space, so that more of our customers can grow their own. ImagiPLAY Owner: Barbera Aimes Location: Boulder, Colorado Product: Earth-friendly toys Ever needed an eco-yo-yo, a wooden fruit cutting set, or a hedgehog rattle? ImagiPLAY has you covered! Not only are Barbera’s wooden toys environmentally responsible, but they will also stimulate your child’s mind while they are having fun. ImagiPLAY’s loan has helped them expand their inventory to serve even more of our stores. Which is a good thing, because, really, what kid doesn’t want Counting Penguins or a Puff the Alphabet Dragon?