Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

An 8-Million-Dollar Milestone

Did you know that Whole Foods Market® has funded $8 million in low-interest loans for small, local producers through our Local Producer Loan Program? Since 2007, this money has helped 130 farmers, ranchers and food artisans grow their businesses and bring hundreds of unique, high-quality products into our stores for our customers to enjoy.

To celebrate this milestone, we're giving away a basket full of goodies made by some of our Local Producer Loan recipients!  Just enter a comment below by February 20 telling us which local producers or products you love and why and you’ll have a chance to win! UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that entered. Congratulations to our randomly chosen winner, Rachael W.!

Thank you to these vendors, for so generously donating their products:

Edie Johnston and her son, Geo of Dresden, Maine – Maine’s Medicinals’ AnthoImmune Organic Elderberry Syrup is a supplement for overall immune system support.

Michele Thornett of Timonium, Maryland - Michele’s Granola is handmade in small batches. Read more about Michele and her granola in this Whole Story blog post from 2011.

Daniel Sullivan of Long Island City, New York – TumericALIVE elixirs feature raw, organic turmeric root and supports healthy joints and metabolism.

David Rukin of West Palm Beach, Florida – Beekeeper David’s been raising bees since 1975 and his Buzzn Bee Farm was our first ever LPLP recipient. Check out this video of David and learn how he got his honey in to Whole Foods Market.

Danielle LiVolsi of San Diego, California – Nuttzo’s organic multi-nut and seed butters are a high source of ALA Omega-3s. Try the original, chocolate or no peanuts varieties.

The women of Magdalene in Nashville, Tennessee – Thistle Farms hand-made, natural bath products are produced and sold by women who have survived lives of prostitution and addiction. Learn more about Magdalene in this Whole Story profile from 2011.

Farmer Gene Mealhow of Shellsburg, Iowa – Tiny But Mighty popcorn – a rare, heirloom popcorn variety native to prehistoric America. Their Non-GMO Project Verified popcorn kernels are smaller and denser so they’re packed with flavor. Plus the hull disintegrates when popped making them really enjoyable to eat. Learn more about Tiny But Mighty in this Whole Story blog post.

Adam Grossman of Austin, Texas – The Seaweed Bath Company’s soothing powder baths contain responsibly harvested bladderwrack seaweed and soothes dry and irritated skin.

Julie Nirvelli of Boulder, Colorado – White Girl Salsa has been cooking up zesty salsas for her friends and family for years.

Tami and Clark Bowen of Hansville, Washington  - CB’s Nuts utilizes a custom-made barrel roaster to  micro-roast high-quality peanuts and pistachios. They also make fresh ground peanut butter!

Eileen Hassi of San Francisco, California – Ritual Coffee Roasters has been a pioneer of the San Francisco coffee scene since 2005. Focused on sourcing directly from their farmer partners, Ritual’s coffee beans are of the highest quality and can be traced directly back to the farmers who harvested them.

Local Producer Gift Box

In the comments below, tell us about a local producer or local product you love. Post your comment by February 20 and we’ll pick a winner at random to receive a unique bunch of local products.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends February 20, 2013, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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1745 comments

Comments

Janice Ribeiro says …

We LOVE Mooooooooo Milk! Just watched "Betting the Farm" - wow! Hope they can keep it going!

Jonathan says …

Local Lawton grocers always have the best watermellon!

Maria Northcott says …

I love the Maine Medicinals elderberry syrup. I use it anytime I feel like I'm getting sick. I love the product and also that its from Maine right where I live!

Ginny says …

How can I pick which producer or product that I love?! Each story is so inspiring... Michele's Granola, Buzzn Bee Farm, Thistle Farms. Makes me want to pursue my dream of making yummy muffins with non-traditional sweeteners! Whole Foods is the best!

Kayla says …

I've really enjoyed the various flavors of goat cheese made by Surfing Goat Dairy in Maui that I've found at my local Whole Foods Kahala store!

Shannon O. says …

Here in Chapel Hill, NC we're blessed to be able to get fresh milk, butter, and ice cream (!) from Maple View Dairy. Gotta love that local goodness!

Sarah Hirsch says …

I love the homemade croutons at a local market called Johnny Pomodoro's

Susan Christy says …

Granny's Homemade Honey Mustard - it is the best Kansas Product I have tried.

rachel says …

I like Thistle Farms and Ritual Coffee Roasters.

Bill Eldridge says …

As CEO of MOO Milk I cannot express what a great job the LPLP is doing. Our program involved some soul searching in Austin because Whole Foods loans funds to MOO which in turn lends it to our farmers so they can augment their milking herd and improve their earnings and cash flow. Right now, 4 farms have been the beneficiaries of this program and 2 more are set to take advantage when we do another round of purchases this spring. Go Whole Foods! who put their money where their mouth is.

Beth M says …

Oh there are way too many local producers for me to just choose one! I'm in LOVE with Made-To-Order (MTO) Kombucha located throughout VA and DC; I love DC's raw food producers Gouter and who can resist vegan bake shop, Sticky Fingers! There are so many local producers that I support and love, it would take forever for me to list them all! At least here are a few ;)

j.J. says …

I love our local goat cheese people, Firefly Farms.

Tiffany says …

I love buying local. I get local produce and products whenever I can. I have a lot of favorites, here in BC. But I love Sumas Mountain Farms (grass fed and finished beef) and Gort's Gouda Cheeses (they also have grass fed milk and in chocolate flavored too!).

Hayley Trejo says …

I love shopping at my local farmers market so that I can buy from many different farmers and producers at one time. I get farm fresh eggs to fresh ginger and Chinese greens at in one place.

Ashley says …

love Neufeld Farms heritage chicken.

kelli heidtmann says …

i love CRUST hand pies, made and sold in port townsend washington for the past 9 months. they use local seasonal ingredients in their sweet and savory hand pies. i love that i can get a healthy lunch or dessert made by hand and with love with food from here!!

Jackie Geist says …

We've always loved Reed's Ginger Brew and Virgil's Root Beer, but today we did a tour of there factory with the very gracious owner. So happily surprised to find they are local!

Dominique Echard says …

I LOVE Kitchens of Africa Simmer Sauces - there is a Yassa and a Peanut. Not only does it make it possible for me to create authentic African dishes in my home easily, the sauces are also VERY versatile. I've made peanut noodles and stews with myriad ingredients. Another great attribute is the fact that the sauces are in a shelf stable jar, waiting for you in your pantry whenever you need them. Jainaba Jeng, the owner and creator, is a hard working woman. She goes to many stores in the Triangle area to sample her products and provides recipes as well. A native of Gambia, she is another success story written in the history of the United States and an inspiration to women and those who dream of starting their own business.

Regina Greaves says …

Supporting local organizations is one of the most important things we can do for our communities!

rebekah desloge. says …

i think it's especially important to consume local raw honey, and love everything about vintage bee near chapel hill, nc

Russell Hermans says …

I get my honey from my neighbor, my eggs from a coworker, dairy from Maple View Farms, vegetable and meat from my local CSAs. Love them all.

liz says …

I love all the local farmers in the durham/chapel hill (NC) area. In particular Cane Creek farm and Fickle Creek farm. Both take amazing care of their animals and produce awesome bacon!

Rosie says …

I love The Farmer's Cow! A group of group of Connecticut family-owned dairy farms out of Lebanon! They have wonderful fresh eggs, milk, cream, cider and ice cream!

Christina says …

In my college dining halls, we had local blueberry honey from Fruitwood Orchard Farms. It was the best honey I've tasted, and nice and dark and full of nutrients, and I have yet to find another producer I like as much in New Jersey or elsewhere!

Kim says …

The Loudon (VA) Lettuce Blend from Endless Summer Harvest is incredible.

janet says …

I love going to Monkey Business Cafe in Fullerton, CA. Its a non-profit that gets their produce from the Fullerton Arboretum. I love that it gives back to the community I live in. I often see community meetings when I eat here. Its a great place to go to.

daniela says …

I love Gordo's pickles! Sooo good.

Maryann Thornton says …

I love Suzannes specialties who make a variety of brown rice syrups .

Julie says …

Smith Brothers Farms delivers their milk to our door.

Nora says …

Had michelesgranola when foodzie was still around, a great & fresh tasting product ( love supporting small business), also had tow of c. Nut product another flavorful product.

Kristi says …

I love Round Rock Honey! We use it as a sweetener for the foods we eat because its deliciously sweet. But more importantly we take a teaspoonful to treat coughs or to mitigate allergies (which works because its from local bees using local pollen!).

Terry Herman says …

I enjoy using the Seaweed Bath Company's powders. I like soaking my feet in a large basin of warm water with the powders. Relaxing.

april vogel says …

I love local honey and plus it's good for allergies

lo ja says …

opportunity is a life changer. for the most part, hope is presented as an opportunity. this is just another reason so support wholefoods - keep up the good work.

Rebecca Elliott says …

Love Stroope Honey Farms local raw honey from Pearland Texas. It takes yummy and is so good for allergies and coughs!

steve d. says …

I like the local Back to the Roots Mushroom Kit made in Berkeley, CA

Kim says …

I love Sugar Plum's local vegan baked goods in Sacramento!

Leigh Peterson says …

I love Wild Pea Hummous from Baltimore. My favorite is the curry. I use it in wraps. Delicious!

Kathy D says …

I love to buy local produce at the Ferguson Farmer's Market. Also, there is nothing better than fresh Michigan cherries when we are there in the summer!

Christy S. says …

I LOVE Thistle Farms' products and their mission.

debbie taylor says …

Debbie says.... I just love cooking with the Anne Arundel County locally made spice. "Todd's Dirt" there is NO salt NO ,msg and best of all Gluten Free. A very unique taste to any food you cook... Love it!!!Thanks Todd!

tracy sorensen says …

I've not tried any of these products and would welcome the opportunity!

Elizabeth Finfgeld says …

I'm in the Denver area and I recently discovered Poparubies, which are a healthier version of petit fours made with pumpkin and garbanzos but you'd never know it. I've tried 4 flavors so far and they're all delicious while only containing 1 gram of sugar per 50 calorie bite.

jessica says …

i love ronnybrook milk! the reusable bottles are an extra bonus.

Amy Mc says …

I love to get my CSA box from J&P Organics. I have only had a few problems with what has come in the box and they have made up for it in just over-the-top ways to make it up to our house. They are always fresh, deliver to my doorstep, and the amount of produce and fruit I get for the price is amazing!!

Dawn Scire says …

Dakin Farms is Sarasota / Myakka City FL has the best dairy products and is nearly all organic. Yummy.

Linda Gysin says …

Thistle Farms body butter is the best, better than any other I have ever used! I love that this company offers employment to women that have endured hardships in our region. Keep up the good work fostering local products that serve people nearby!

Tami Fox says …

Michigan wines from Traverse City are wonderful. Especially love the Reisling. I love supporting local products and local produce. Our Whole Foods carries local apples, zucchini, corn and asparagus.

Terri P. says …

Rain Crow Ranch in Missouri - the cows are allowed to be cows, grazing in pastures just like nature intended. It makes me happy to know my local Whole Foods sells their products.

ErikaM says …

I forget the name, but there's a Chicago-made olive spread -- olives, garlic, walnuts, and pomegranate -- spicy and non-spicy, available in your North Avenue store. It's delicious! I hope they're still in business.

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