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

Rachel says …

I love Lotus Wei! Katie Hess's Lotus Wei products have transformed my life. We all experience hurts, bumps, and bruises in life, and Lotus Wei transforms these dark experiences and emotions quickly and effortlessly, replacing them with love, gentleness, warmth, beauty, and hope. I am calmer, gentler, softer, and patient; more nourishing, more accepting, more aware, and more loving--with myself and with others. I have used Bach Remedies in the past, and while they are wonderful, I have found Lotus Wei to be the best healer for me, personally, on a deep and profound level. I enjoy going for my morning walks; I find myself smiling when I get an eyeful of the flowers Lotus Wei uses in their products right there in nature! In a society hyper-focused on results and producitivity, I had lost touch with my the ability to "stop and smell the flowers." I am more in touch with my femininity now and with my truth. So much gratitude to Katie and Lotus Wei!

sarah says …

I love Grebar Farms in Ramona CA! They are an amazing produce stand!

Karen Root says …

“Organic Mike” wants everyone in my area to have amazing, local, organic food. I was filling my minivan at the gas station this past June when a truck that said “Mike’s Organic Delivery” drove past. They had me at “Delivery!” I called as soon as I got home. Every week Mike comes to my door with two full crates of absolutely fresh and amazing fruits and vegetables, pastured organic eggs, and organic and pastured meats from local, organic, farms. Sometimes he also brings local honey or cheese. And each time Mike delivers our food he sends me an email with recipes for all of the delicious ingredients he’s brought us! I don’t have to worry about shopping anymore; I just pick up bread, milk and all of my staples at Whole Foods. No lists. No menus. Amazing! My kids love it when “Organic Mike” comes by. They help unload all the food treasures onto our kitchen island and listen to him describe everything and how to store it. They eat Asian Pears. They eat Escarole. Need I say more? If I tell them that something came from Organic Mike then it’s OK with them! mikesorganicdelivery.com

Andrea says …

Thistle Farms.

Jen C. says …

I love the pies at Gizdich Ranch.

mary-david sheiner says …

These days, where the news is full of scary food health details, it is all about trust. I trust "local" products for safety, quality and variety--one less thing to worry about.

Bonnie says …

I love Farmer Gene Mealhow Non-GMO popcorn! I use a hot air popcorn popper & almost all kernels pop. I think it's because they are so dense. They sure are tiny but mighty.

Theresa says …

We love our local farmers and try to buy local fruits and vegetables at Whole Food whenever possible!

Alice S. says …

I like our local CSA, Eli's Farms in Temecula, CA. They are inexpensive, the produce is high quality, and they do not force you into a long-term commitment.

christine says …

The Mozarella Cheese Company in Dallas has yummy products-not just mozarella!

Florence Swanson says …

As I love blackberries, I really love Block Island Blackberry Soda . . . also the blackberry/lime combo. Eyes closed -- 2 sips ... I'm right back in the blackberry patch!

LisaMoo says …

Sallet's meat is great!

Mars says …

Straus Family Creamery from Petaluma CA !!! Such wonderful cream and dairy products, they take excellent care of their cows and land.

Marguerita says …

I am a big fan of Capitol Kambucha. Their flavors are great and unique to other Kombucha brands I have tasted.

Renee says …

Philly cow share has delish meat and delivers!

Julia says …

Carmela ice cream. Best ice-cream, ever, and that's not even counting the fact that it's made local from local ingredients!

Monica says …

There is a store in burbank that sells art/beauty/clothes from local artist, it's pretty cool!

Arlene says …

I am a college student in WV and move back home in the summer to Michigan and I love going to the local farmer's markets. It makes me feel good to support local farmers because they really do put their heart and soul into their products. Everything is much more colorful, abundant, and taken care of with love.

Maribel Figueroa says …

I bought honey at the farmer's market since it is better for your health if it's local. It's delicious and I eat it every day either alone or on wheat toast, banana or oatmeal. Yummy! Have to get more soon.

Myra Sarikaya says …

I like Alaffia products. Good products, good ingredients, not tested on animals and Fair Trade.

Jennifer Bast says …

I love Jo the Jam Lady's jam which I purchase at our local farmers' market. She has some all fruit varieties and some sweetened with Stevia.

Nancy says …

Tiny But Mighty popcorn is wonderful. Not only is it very tasty and has no hulls, but it is an earth friendly product. Not only do I buy non-GMO products, but, whenever possible, I buy products to support small family farms, which are disappearing too fast. Hats off to the Mealhow family for caring enough to 1) preserve and produce an heirloom popcorn and 2) to bring it to the rest of us to enjoy!

Christy says …

I love farm ferments from Charlottesville. They produce great Kim Chi and sauerkraut that are delicious and full of good bacteria!

Blessing Eulukwu says …

I am a big fan of sweet potatoes and bok choy. The only local farmer I know that sells them is Sam Elliot and Family located in Grapeland, Texas. They sell their produce to local markets and I always make sure to support them. Their sweet potatoes are so yummy!

Sarah K. says …

Local Honey!!! Great for you and so delicious;-)

Roxy says …

I love Nuttzo! So good!

Esther says …

I love to go to strawberry and blueberry picking. It is such a treat to enjoy goodies.

Stephen says …

Local honey is the best, especially the honey at the Ballard Market from Whidbey Island!

Rachel says …

There is a stand at the local farmers market that sells fresh peanut butter with different flavors (roasted, honey, etc)-- so good!

Dorian says …

McCrea’s Slow Cooked, Handcrafted Caramels are all natural and pure. Made in Hyde Park, Massachusetts.

RITA GAMACHE says …

I love "Tiny but mighty" popcorn because, besides the taste, which is awesome, but because it is made from GMO free corn, which makes me feel better about eating all I want! Bath products made by Thistle Farms is another amazing and inspiring product that you carry. Using something that is good on it's own is made even better by the inspiration behind the products. You go girls! Thanks

Carrie says …

I LOVE bai which is local to Princeton. It is delicious, packed with antioxidants of the coffee fruit and has that little bit of caffeine which is naturally found in the coffee fruit. It is so refreshing and gives me an extra boost anytime of the day. And they have 5 calories- I can't ask for more. :) Or I do ask for more, often. ;)

Rose Likeness says …

I always buy my beef from whole foods. I have a high sensitivity to certain antibiotics, so I love the fact that the beef at whole foods is local and grass fed and that care is taken to assure there are no hormones or antibiotics used. It is also the freshest and best tasting beef I have ever had, and I believe it is because it is from local farms.

jenna says …

Local organic raw walnuts from the Hollywood Farmers Market...they are so mcuh better than any I buy in a store.

Amy Lauren Scott says …

We have a local product here called GRAWnola and it's really good. It's produced in North Charleston and also sold in all the local healthy food stores.

Gail says …

I love Ste Martaen Smoked Gouda Style Cheese. They're a local company with great vegan products!

Rose Likeness says …

I always buy my beef from whole foods. I have a high sensitivity to certain antibiotics, so I love the fact that the beef at whole foods is local and grass fed and that care is taken to assure there are no hormones or antibiotics used. It is also the freshest and best tasting beef I have ever had, and I believe it is because it is from local farms.

ghalim says …

We buy our beef from our local Brasstown Beef, NC - all natural beef, raised without antibiotics or added hormones .. what a better way to eat beef!!

bobbie says …

I buy from local producers and believe my whole family benifit health wise by doing so.

Helen says …

Morgan Valley Lamb. Unfortunately they had to close.

rebecca sangiacomo says …

living in utica ny. loving my local coffee shop....Utica Coffee Roasting Co. Owners heather Delia & Frank Elias!!!!! they love their customers! Great people. we do not have a Starbucks except for the one inside the Barnes & Noble. Dunkins are everywhere & gross. I try to buy local products as much as possible & totally support UCR! I would LOVE to win the basket of local treats! Im driving 3 hours to the closet Whole Foods....Hadley MA over the weekend. Cant wait until you open in Albany NY! Cant wait to see some of our very own local products in your Albany store. maybe even my hometown coffee.

Danielle Jones says …

I love CB's nuts. They are the best tasting peanuts I have ever had!

Susan says …

These products all sound interesting, but I must admit I've never tried any of them. All the more reason for me to want to win the gift basket! Thanks!

Judy Kelly says …

Love the elderberry from Maine’s Medicinals, especiaaly this time of year...so important for keeping healthy. hard choice though, so many of the products are great!

Ellene says …

I've had the pleasure of eating Nuttzo and using the Seaweed Batth products which are awesome - all the others listed are definitely products/companies I will check out! I also really love the Cultured Pickle Shop fermented fabulous goodies in Berkeley, and South River Miso products in New Hampshire!

Christina Marie says …

I LOVE my local Chagrin Valley Soap products near Cleveland, Ohio! Their products are heavenly!

Stefano says …

Sunizona Family Farms: Tomatoes on the Vine.

john chowanec says …

cb's nuts are the best, they are so tasty!

Jennifer M. says …

Love our local fresh honey in NJ...

Sharon Wong says …

Dave's Fresh Pasta is a grocery store and a restaurant with products from local producers in the New England area. Best part of it all is the fresh pasta cut to order...mmmmm.

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