Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

$5 Million in Loans to Local Producers

Our local producers are total rock stars. Their creativity, ingenuity and absolutely delightful products are a constant source of inspiration for us. Judging by sales, we know they are a favorite of yours, too! Helping them do more became a goal for Whole Foods Market a few years ago and as of this month, we’ve funded more than $5 million in low-interest loans through our Local Producer Loan Program to help them grow their businesses. To celebrate the $5 million mark, we’re giving away a basket filled with culinary treasures from several of our loan recipients! This is your chance to experience some of the fabulous products made by passionate small producers that aren’t available in your neck of the woods. Just post a comment below by October 21 telling us what your favorite local product is and why, and you’ll have a chance to win! We’ll choose one lucky commenter at random to receive the basket. The basket full of goodies will include an assortment of samples from some great local producers. Here's who is contributing to the basket and what they make:

When Whole Foods Market first opened its doors as a small natural and organic retailer in 1980, local producers were the lifeblood of our business. 30 years and more than 300 stores later, that fact still rings true. We know what it feels like to be a small business with a big vision and understand that local businesses (even with the highest quality products and a strong business plan) sometimes need a hand to turn their dreams into reality. In 2007, we launched the Local Producer Loan Program with a commitment to fund up to $10 million dollars in low-interest loans to provide local producers with access to the tools and resources they need to expand their businesses. Whether it’s helping our local partners purchase more animals, invest in new equipment or convert to organic production, we want to help them ALL shine. Best of all, supporting local business means keeping money in the pockets of growers in the communities we serve. So what’s your favorite local product and why? Post your comment by October 21 and take advantage of your chance to try these local favorites while you can!

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2783 comments

Comments

Sherrie says …

My favorite product is the local raw honey, it helps to keep my allergies in check.

Ellen says …

My favorite local product is Natural By Nature milk. I love the taste of their milk and love the fact that I could visit the cows by taking a short drive

Randi Snader says …

Local pasta, it is an art in making a product that has been around for many years/

Brenda says …

I also love local tomatoes and corn nothing better!

Joan Rene says …

Oh how wonderful to bite into a crisp, HEIRLOOM Michigan apple from TREE-MENDUS FARMS! It means fall has truly arrived-it's my favorite time of the year!

jackie says …

Hail Merry have delicious torte type almond butter chocolate pies! THE best! Dream Bakery based out of Long Island make my favorite Low fat Muffins and cookies!

Khaitie says …

AltaDena dairy

Alicia says …

Local honey, because I really do feel a difference using it when my seasonal allergies flare up!

Valerie says …

Cherry tomatoes from the farmers' markets

HL WONG says …

My favorite local product are BOLA granola and Stonyfield Yogurt, it's taste good and it's health for you.

Jeffrey Gilliland says …

Prickly pear cactus jelly!

fran says …

Landry Strawberries & Ramatza's tomatoes

Sheryle Q says …

I would love to try these samples to expand the great stuff I love to buy from Whole Foods

Laura says …

I love the bread at La Farm. It's hand made, and I can ride my bike to their bakery.

Amanda Fobert says …

I love picking apples. Right off the tree or just pick fresh at the grocery store, it's perfect

Jenna says …

I love this idea to help our local producers! This is were quality comes from. I do my part to buy local everyday and you are helping me keep my promise. Rock on!

LIz Kelley says …

Oh, i could never choose! Thank you Whole Foods for continuing to bring new local products into your stores. I am so grateful for your commitment to Local!

Catherine says …

Local honey! Honey from different areas always have unique tastes, and local varieties have enormous health benefits.

Kay Z says …

Since I am in Austin I have to say I love the Sticky Toffee Pudding Company (Austin, TX)!! Love the local pecans but this year the crop will probably be small because of the extreme drought which is sad. Holiday baking will be more expensive for sure.

Liz says …

favorite is KALE by far - kale chips are better than potato ones!

Melissa says …

My favorite local product is raw honey! Not only does it help keep my allergies under control, but it's also tasty in teas, on toast and in oatmeal. I love it, and cannot live without local honey!

Rebecca Riley says …

By far, hand's down, favorite local product is Pt. Reyes Toma Cheese!!! Flavorful, but not too, firm, but not too. Truly the perfect cheese.

Becky says …

Local raw clover honey from Central PA, Save the bees!!

Vivian Best says …

Waialua Chocolate! =)

Lisa J. says …

I'm lucky enough to live in Florida right now, where local produce is plentiful all year. Avocados in the summer - they are GIGANTIC and their taste is just as big. Oranges in the winter. Nothing tastes as good as fresh-squeezed orange juice from a nearby local grower (or from your own backyard).

Lokesh says …

I love the kale chips...thats the only form in which I would have Kale, dont like it otherwise, but the chips are delicious.

Julia says …

(From Philly) The best tofu is made only an hour away in Allentown, PA! Their products are ORGANIC and VEGAN!--Exactly what my diet is! I wish our store had more of their products, but the baked tofu is absolutely to die for!

Cathy says …

I love my local eggs, veggies and cane syrup. In season I go to the farm market on Sunday mornings and have a leisurely morning looking at what's in season and dreaming of how I'll use it. Cane syrup sweetens my iced tea and as a major egg lover, I appreciate that the eggs are from truly free-range chickens who are loved.

Nadine Cerqua says …

What do I like about Nuttzo? Well the name for starters; it kind of says it all. Who can deny how crazy delicious a jar of judiciously blended nuts can be.

Ciera says …

I love local olive oils and artisan breads from Queen Creek (Arizona); but my favourite local products are the fresh oranges, lemons, and other citrus to be found anywhere in the East Valley of the Phoenix Metro area (Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Apache Junction, Tempe, south Scottsdale) is better than those from California and Florida (my apologies to my hometown of Los Angeles) - juicier, more variety in taste and color, longer harvesting seasons ... can't beat it!

Jill Esteras says …

my favorite local product is Magnificent Mangoes from Fine Dried Food!

Donna says …

My favorite local product is Redwood Hill Farm goat cheese...yum!

susan moroney says …

since i have to travel some 50+ miles to get to whole foods, i appreciate the fact that local small businesses are represented at the store. it's a special day to get to go to whole foods to secure locally grown/produced healthy foods. i applaud whole food's efforts in making these products available to it's consumers. thank you.

Wendy Ricci says …

My favorite local product is Polseno Farm's Pasta Sauce. I use it not only on pasta, but also as a pizza sauce on my Top This wheat pizza crust. The sauce is simple yet delicious without any unnecessary ingredients added in.The flavor of ripe tomatoes is present in every bite.

Janet says …

Any kind of local veggies for sure! Besides knowing they are fresh, it's nice to know I'm helping the farmers make a living doing what they do.

Anne M says …

Sticky Toffee Pudding desserts are to die for. You have done the world an amazing service by nurturing their existence.

barbara ryberg says …

Prettiest produce anywhere/always frest and reasonable

karen hepp says …

I love crisp Colorado apples...and everything you can make with them, especially my grandmothers Apple crisp recipe!

Lisa Meyer says …

my favorite local product besides fruit from my 13 trees is Cowgirl Creamery Cheese . . So local and I think they treat their cows respectfully.

Rachel Goldschein says …

Since meeting the owner of the Brasstown grass fed beef (think that's the name) at a demo, he converted me forever. Delicious fresh ground beef, NOTHING like it! Love whole food and grass fed beef!

Cathi Luytjes says …

Bron's Bee Company! I love local honey and I love these small producers who care so much about their bees and bee tending. I'm a firm believer in sticking with locally produced honey, especially when considering allergies and my kids. They also have a much better flavor than the mass chains do!

m hunt says …

Yummy goodies + Hail Merry= the best!

Holly Connor says …

My favorite local product is beef jerkey from Baraboo, Wisconsin. So fresh, so salty, so lean, so perfect!

Evelyn Bremner says …

Brons Honey-because it's good and good for you. Have you ever heard anybody say they don't like honey? and Oogave Cream Soda, what a surprise to get that flavour I loved as a kid, without feeling quilty or bad about the ingredients.

Lea Rutter says …

Local tomatoes are always the best!

Jonathan says …

Apples, because there are so many varieties.

amy norris wenzel says …

My favorite local product is everything my CSA grows--organic and supportive of life in all its symbiotic ways.

Marianna says …

I live for local Texas peaches, blackberries and blueberries. So fun to take the kids and pick our own berries and let them see where food comes from. I prefer Hams orchard of all the Texas peach farms.

miller says …

EVOL Burritos are the best because of the high quality chicken and ingredients used. Boulder Colorado

Lynn VanHoof says …

White girl Salsa - it is our favorite - always a favorite when I bring it to a gathering

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