Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog
September 22, 2013
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At Whole Foods Market®, we are passionate about our food, our community, and our environment. Just recently, we added a core value to our company mission: practicing and advancing environmental stewardship. So last week when I found out that one of our local beef producers won a Regional Environmental Stewardship award I was super excited to find out more.

September 2, 2013
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With the kids going back to school it’s a great time to refresh, restock and restart good eating habits. At Whole Foods Market® we’re excited to partner with many innovative small-scale food companies that are working hard to improve the contents of the American lunch box.

June 19, 2013
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I might have the best job ever. I travel in search of new flavors. When I find the good stuff, I help get it on our shelves. I’m the Local Forager for Whole Foods Market.
June 16, 2013
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Find out how traditional food systems are being rebuilt in Hawai'i after generations of exported monoculture crops.
June 14, 2013
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Summer is the perfect season to explore local fruits and vegetables. With tasty new offerings springing up every day, it can be hard to keep track of everything you need to try, but we’re here to help.
June 9, 2013
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The new Whole Foods Market in Detroit is full of hand-selected local products.
June 7, 2013
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Learn how supporting local food systems can help communities and the environment.
May 30, 2013
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Imagine tasting your way through your local community, meeting local artisans and growers, hearing their stories and then helping bring their products to market to share with others. Now imagine this is your job. 

A forager is someone who searches widely for food or provisions. Whole Foods Market® has local foragers across the nation helping us source from more than 6,500 local vendors. From country farms to urban bakeries, these on-the-go team members seek out the best local products, so we can bring more great stuff to our customers.

May 24, 2013
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Today about 25 percent of the produce sold at our stores comes from local farms, and storewide anywhere from 10-30 percent of the products on our shelves come from local producers depending on availability, store size and the needs of the community.
April 27, 2013
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Here at the Local Producer Loan Program, we interact with mission-driven companies working to change the way the world eats. These are some of the brightest social entrepreneurs in the country with relentless passion for environmental stewardship, socially conscious business practices and community connections.

April 20, 2013
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Located on the banks of the Chehallis River in Washington state, Willapa Hills Cheese has been producing farmstead cheeses and dairy products for our Washington and Oregon stores since 2005.
March 30, 2013
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During the first week of March, I attended the largest trade show for all things related to natural, organic and healthy products. With over 60,000 attendees and more than 3,000 companies displaying the newest products and innovations, the Natural Products Expo West Conference in Anaheim, California, is a smorgasbord of tasty treats, healthy bites and cutting-edge trends on the grocery horizon.

February 9, 2013
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Love local? So do we! Our Local Producer Loan Program helps farmers, ranchers and food artisans grow their businesses and bring hundreds of local products into our stores. Enter our giveaway to try some for yourself.
January 6, 2013
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BeansWhen you think about the signature foods of the Pacific Northwest I’ll bet that neither garbanzo beans nor lentils spring to mind. Unless, perhaps you’ve lived in Spain or one of the countries in the Middle East.  Why is that?

December 16, 2012
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Festivus ChaiOnce the weather starts getting colder here in Austin — and by cold, I mean 60 degrees — nothing makes me feel as seasonally appropriate as a mug full of Chai tea.

November 3, 2012
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Skagit Apple CiderDo you have a favorite time of the year? For me I always look forward to fall for the changing colors, the crispness of the air, Sugar Hubbard squash and APPLES!

August 30, 2012
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What makes a GREAT bagel? I’ve been having that debate with friends ever since tasting my first one in the early 1970’s. Some say it’s the flour, some say the technique, and of course New Yorkers claim that it has to be the Manhattan water. Well, we can all agree on one thing.

July 1, 2012
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Honey bees are often the unsung hero of the food world. Through pollination they are responsible for a third of the food we eat. Yet bee colonies in the US are declining at rapid rates – 30% a year!

June 7, 2012
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Nestled on the coast of central California next to the famous Hearst Castle, Hearst Ranch combines pristine grassland and true cowboy heritage to raise premium quality all-natural, grass-fed beef. Look for their beef in the meat departments of some of our Southern California stores this summer (see below for details) and take a look at Stephen Hearst’s tips for grilling grass-fed beef.

April 18, 2012
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Originating in Indonesia, tempeh (say, “TEM-pay”) is traditionally made through a natural culturing and incubation process that binds soybeans together in a cake form. It’s become increasingly popular in the US over the last several years. 

March 17, 2012
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Kristy and Coulter Lewis developed a “Pure Pop” bag made from recycled and compostable paper for their mom and pop popcorn business. Learn about other upgrades to their microwave snack.
March 4, 2012
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Have you heard? Thompson Farms has achieved a 5+ rating through the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating System!
March 3, 2012
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Our local forager in the Pacific Northwest, Denise Breyley, shares the story behind Firefly Kitchens’ naturally fermented foods and how their Local Producer Loan helps grow their business.
February 18, 2012
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Two moms from Asheville, NC shared a common interest in brewing kombucha. They combined their talents and Buchi was born. Learn more about this Local Producer Loan recipient.
February 6, 2012
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While brothers Meteo and Andy Kehler were milking their own Ayershire cows to make cheese for Jasper Hill, they realized they might be able to help local farmers do the same thing.
January 23, 2012
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Learn how Local Producer Loan Recipient Good On Ya uses their “Every Ingredient Matters” motto to guide them in creating deliciously nutritious protein-fiber-energy-snack bars.
January 8, 2012
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Our local forager in the Pacific Northwest, Denise Breyley, shares the story behind Willie Greens Organic Farm and how they are using our Local Producer Loan to grow their business.
December 23, 2011
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Working on the Local Producer Loan Program gives me tons of opportunities to hear about local food systems across the country.

November 2, 2011
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In the infamous words of Julia Child, “With enough butter, anything is good!” And that couldn’t be more true when it comes to our most recent Local Producer Loan recipient, Epicurean Butter.

October 20, 2011
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Every product has a story, and Brad’s Raw Chips is a classic tale of success! Over four years ago, founder and creator, Brad Gruno discovered the health benefits of eating raw.

October 6, 2011
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To celebrate the $5 million mark, we’re giving away a basket filled with culinary treasures from several of our loan recipients! Comment about your favorite local product for a chance to win.
September 22, 2011
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Meet Local Producer Loan recipient Tiny But Mighty — a Midwest company taking popcorn to another level with their heirloom corn passed down the family for generations. Seriously!
September 8, 2011
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The goal of the Local Producer Loan Program is to find and support unique, local products. We’ve definitely hit the mark on “unique” with Soy-Sen-Zay Edamame Dips.

August 26, 2011
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Our latest Local Producer Loan supports Thistle Farms, a women’s residential recovery program where they make natural bath and body care products as a social enterprise.
August 20, 2011
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Mushrooms grow in recycled coffee grounds in just 10 days! Learn how you can help Back to the Roots donate mushroom growing kits and sustainability curriculum to an elementary classroom of your choice.
August 11, 2011
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As a child I always loved chocolate milk and ice cream bars. Who didn’t? Now that I’m “more mature” the kid in me is always on the lookout for the perfect sweet treat that’s tinged with childhood nostalgia while still appealing to my adult taste buds.

August 3, 2011
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Harvindar Singh, Whole Foods Market’s Local Forager for the Northern California area, hands me a fresh cup of locally roasted coffee just as I greet him at the center of the Friday morning Oakland, CA farmers market. It’s a good, bold roast and takes the chill out of the air. Before I’ve even taken a sip, we are on the move.

July 28, 2011
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You don’t have to be a raw foodist to enjoy amazing macaroons, tarts and grawnola from our latest loan recipient. Learn how we’re helping them expand.
July 8, 2011
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With a low interest loan from our Local Producer Loan Program, the father and son team at Thompson Farms are working to increase their Animal Welfare Rating to the highest level possible.
May 31, 2011
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Joseph and Anna Maria Severino learned the art of pasta making in Italy 35 years ago and have developed quite a local following for their authentic pastas.
May 8, 2011
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Watch how these artisanal preserves are thoughtfully crafted in the French tradition, with only the freshest seasonal fruit and their own naturally extracted pectin.
March 13, 2011
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We’ve just passed the $4 million mark in providing low-interest loans to small, local producers! Help us celebrate by sharing why you love local products and you just might win a basket of local goodies.
January 11, 2011
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What’s a more iconic health food than granola? Meet three of our Local Producer Loan Program recipients who started small businesses devoted to making this yummy treat.
December 18, 2010
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Spread a little local love by supporting local farmers, producers and artisans — including these who specialize in sweet and savory goodies.
December 11, 2010
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Spread a little local love during the holiday season by supporting local farmers, producers and artisans. Learn about a few of our local growers of seasonal favorites.
December 1, 2010
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For every jar of Justin’s Nut Butter sold in December, Justin’s will donate $1 to the Conscious Alliance — a non-profit dedicated to feeding those in need in the U.S., with a focus on impoverished American Indian communities.
October 31, 2010
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With the biggest turkey cooking event of the year right around the corner, it's the perfect time to introduce you to some of the local farmers who raise the turkeys we provide for your Thanksgiving dinner.
October 22, 2010
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Chesterfield, MI Achatz’ 100 employees know how to make a pie. All-natural and created by hand, their pies are as close to homemade as you can get. They’re proud that roughly 95% of their pies’ ingredients – the peaches, strawberries, rhubarb, pastry flour and beet sugar – are local to Michigan. Achatz Pies are perfect for Whole Foods Market shoppers, who know that what they’re buying is free of hydrogenated oils, chemicals and preservatives. You can also pronounce all the ingredients. Learn more about Achatz Pies by watching this short video.

October 16, 2010
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Part candy bar company and part creamery, Zingerman's is 100% dedicated to handmade quality. Learn more about them and their fresh goodies in this short video.
October 9, 2010
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To Intelligentsia Coffee doing the right thing is a mantra that's carried over into every aspect of their business, from sourcing coffee to paying growers. Watch their story.
October 8, 2010
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On Sept, 21, our newest store in Northern California, Coddingtown in Santa Rosa, officially opened its doors!

October 2, 2010
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Rushing Waters Trout Farm Palmyra, WI Farming isn’t just a Monday through Friday job – it’s an every day, every hour job – in particular when your goal is the highest-quality, freshest trout available. Over the years, their philosophy has changed: quality over quantity. In fact, the farm has been chemical free since 1999. The lack of harmful chemicals improved not only the quality of their fish, but also of the water and the land. Rushing Waters hatches their rainbow trout from egg and raises them up to one pound for onsite harvesting.

September 25, 2010
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Two Brothers Brewery Jason and Jim Ebel Warrenville, IL Beer lovers by nature, the Ebel brothers’ passion for creating beer were bolstered by a “beer adventure” in Europe. The trip helped the two brothers hone in their love for how beer is created – and celebrated. They wanted to bring those same qualities to America, where beer is still considered “that yellow, fizzy stuff.” The Ebel brothers prefer to focus not only on the quality of the beer, but on helping people realize that they’re getting a family owned company that is very concerned about the community.

September 18, 2010
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Ineeka Tea Chicago, IL Ineeka Tea takes pride in being the only North American tea company that is vertically integrated. With upwards of 25,000 people living and working on their 12 farms, spanning 15,000 acres, they also consider themselves the largest biodynamic community in the world. Every person living and working on their farms receives free housing, medical care, electricity, utilities and mandatory education for children. This focus has created a model never really seen before in the agricultural community.

September 10, 2010
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Star Valley Flowers John Zehrer and Phil Mueller Star Valley, WI One source of pride for Star Valley Flowers is that they harvest and cut fresh flowers all year– even during the cold, snowy months – without the use of a greenhouse. Star Valley reduces its carbon footprint by foregoing the use of greenhouses. Not only is their environmental impact important, so is a customer’s reaction to their flowers. They hope customers consider their flowers to be interesting, long lasting, traceable, and cared for along the way by somebody who loves flowers.

August 25, 2010
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Join fourth-generation cattleman Will Harris and "Fan Favorite" Chef Kevin Gillespie on Will's ranch, White Oak Pastures, as they discuss what makes grass-fed beef so unique.

August 14, 2010
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Enjoy Life Foods Schiller Park, IL In the seven years Enjoy Life has been in business, they’ve seen the need for devoted gluten-free products increase dramatically. Their products not only meet the needs of those with gluten intolerance, they go even further and are free of the eight most common allergens: wheat, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish. While safety is their first priority, taste is an extremely close second. Food, no matter what types of allergies you suffer from, should still be delicious and enjoyable.

May 21, 2010
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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!

February 20, 2010
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The local producers we work with sometimes get national recognition! We wanted to share with you the press that a few of our Local Producer Loan recipients have received lately.

February 4, 2010
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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.

November 13, 2009
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townshends-tea-logo We are excited to announce the latest recipient of a loan through our Local Producer Loan Program: Townshend's Tea Company !

September 27, 2009
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Mark and Brian Nicholson are third-generation operators of Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, New York, which grows apples and summer fruits. Red Jacket is a recipient of Whole Foods Market's Local Producer Loan Program, which provides low-interest loans to local producers.

August 18, 2009
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Nick Moless has been a team member for our global produce procurement office since 2001. He has purchased several commodities for Whole Foods Market including berries, hard fruit and row crop vegetables.

July 31, 2009
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Strawberries with Balsamic Okay, so we all know that local products are cool - but they can cool you off, too!

May 21, 2009
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I am so proud to announce that Whole Foods Market has recently hit a total of $2.5 million in loans through our Local Producer Loan Program! That’s over a million dollars a year for the past two years in financing to help local farmers and food artisans expand their businesses. That’s a lot of change! When we launched the program in 2007, the state of the economy was very different.

March 31, 2009
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StrawberryRipe in the field - Santa Maria, California One of the great annual events of spring is the beginning of the domestic berry season. The true starting point has blurred because of global production, early producing varieties and weather protection technology (like hoop houses).

March 26, 2009
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One of my favorite aspects of running Whole Foods Market's Local Producer Loan Program is getting to learn about interesting new products. Gluten-free, organic, vegan granola? Check. Wine sorbet? Check. Dairy-free coconut milk ice cream? Check!

March 21, 2009
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Since you meet them in the aisles of our stores, you probably know that our Whole Foods Market Team Members are passionate about food. What you may not know is that our local vendors are some of the most zealous food people you'll ever find! These folks have devoted their lives - often at great financial risk and always with great personal dedication - to making high-quality, natural food. Pretty incredible!

March 17, 2009
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The coming of March marks an awakening of sorts here on the Central California Coast. With daylight savings time bringing longer afternoons, more folks are outside - assessing their yards and plotting what early projects can be squeezed in to take advantage of March's generally abundant rainfall. I'm among them, doubly so as this year is the first full spring in our new neighborhood (and my new backyard).

February 18, 2009
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Tulips Pink Tulips - California Every year right around the start of February I start yearning for more color in my life.

January 16, 2009
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We just wanted to send out a big congratulations to two of our Local Producer Loan Program recipients who are now making an impact beyond our shelves!

December 5, 2008
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Boulder Ice Cream has been selling ice cream to Whole Foods Market for about ten years! This long-time partner has used its Local Producer Loan Program funds to finance the expansion of an organic line. Glennise Humphrey spoke with us about Boulder’s history and future plans.
December 4, 2008
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Allow me to introduce you to our bakery department.  This beautifully arranged and often deliciously fragrant part of the store is filled with cakes, pastries and breads - perfect for your holiday entertaining needs, as well as your everyday needs. 

October 14, 2008
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One of our vendors was featured on Oprah today for their innovative calf raising practices

September 8, 2008
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It’s not news to anyone (except The New York Times, apparently) that local food has hit grocery stores in a big way, due to ever-increasing consumer demand. Whole Foods Market is no exception.

July 11, 2008
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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.

July 3, 2008
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About the only things sprouting up on lawns this summer in central Texas are "Alarm Stage Drought" signs.

July 2, 2008
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popsicklesSummer is officially here and, to me, 4th of July celebrations seem like the perfect place to indulge in a bit of frozen fun.

June 27, 2008
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This comment came in to John Mackey's CEO blog this week and I thought it was worth sharing here -- cool story about Mr. Moore's coffee company and what they are doing (story starts in the 3rd paragraph).

June 24, 2008
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I just visited Ron Cottle, one of the better conventional and "emerging organic" growers (and long-time vendor/partner with Whole Foods Market) in Eastern North Carolina and took a bunch of pictures to share. He is just about wrapped-up with organic and conventional blueberries and is just now starting his blackberry harvest (they're awesome!), and in about 8 to 10 days will be full-speed ahead with his organic grape tomatoes.

June 20, 2008
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For about a year, we've been giving small, local producers low-interest loans to help them grow their businesses. You can learn more about Whole Foods Market's Local Producer Loan Program. Just this week, we finalized our first loan in our hometown, Austin, Texas! Tracy Claros, originally from England, makes and sells incredible English puddings, or cakes, under the name The Sticky Toffee Pudding Company.

August 28, 2007
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Check out our South region's local grower and vendor profiles. Thanks for watching our slide show and please let us know what you think!
July 18, 2007
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Hear from our local foragers on how to find locally grown and produced foods. We'll also share some recipe ideas for those delicious local peaches available this time of year.

August 7, 2006
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Learn about the benefits of locally grown foods, find out what’s fresh in our stores and get some quick and simple recipe ideas.

July 16, 2006
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Learn about the benefits of locally grown foods, find out what’s fresh in our stores and get some quick and simple recipe ideas.