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

S James says …

Apples, Apples, Apples and Squash. LOTS of apple orchards around here with lots of choices of apples. Squash and Corn are also popular.

Monica says …

Sapling Maple Liqueur from Vermont is artisan made and so delicious. Available in VT and MA, but also in CA an NV because of a fortuitous trucking arrangement.

Michelle says …

My favorite local products come from Glaser Farms in Homestead. They have wonderful organic products that are just down the road from Whole Foods in my neck of the woods.

Heidi B says …

It has to be the HONEY! We love all the local varities and it's flavor and freshness can't be beat!

Fern Russell says …

My absolute fave is locally grown beefsteak tomatoes. Yum. We look forward to summer just for those babies...raw, grilled, broiled just give us some tomatoes :-p

Megan L says …

The Z-Best Bakery goodies are great!

Jess says …

Thousand Hills cattle company consistently provides top quality grass fed beef and bison. Fortunate to have a wealth of great local produce here in Minnesota

Jill says …

I love fruit - almost every kind! Sadly I live in hot Florida where many fruits don't grow well but we have great oranges! We also go around our neighborhood and pick the oranges and grapefruits that people are are leaving on the trees to bring downtown to the homeless. Everyone deserves fresh fruit and vegetables! Yea Whole Foods for once again doing something great to support local producers!

crabpaws says …

Healthy treats for everyone.

Rosie says …

Love the locally grown plants and veggies, especially the squash at WF.

anthony says …

I need free food I'm a poor student

Leilani Hardman says …

My favorite local foods are cabbage, squash, greens, and fruits! I absolutely love fruits! You can absolutely taste the difference from foods like that you can buy in a store, verses supporting your local farmers or growers. They are more crisp, more fresh, and yummy!

Caroline says …

I love ALL local products, but I'm going to have to vote for Morning Fresh milk from Colorado!! I love it!!!

Susan Uhlman says …

Snowville milk;locally produced is delicious and healthy. Snowville now sells chocolate milk; which my son loves.

joy says …

Our local South Carolina peaches are my favorite!

Colleen says …

Local organic oranges! Yummy! Can't beat them! Really all local organic citrus is awesome! Cool giveaway! Nice that you are doing so much for local organic farms.

Donna says …

Hmmm...so many wonderful local products! I'm going to go with Justin's Nut Butters. They're creamy, delicious, great for dipping, spreading, or just eating off the spoon. Chocolate Almond and Chocolate Hazelnut are decadent. :)

Liz says …

Love white girl mild tomatillo salsa as I make my own tortillas and nothing beats good salsa on them.

Sarah says …

My favorite local food is White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt. It's sooo good for you, contains NO artificial hormones, cheaper than the other brands, and you can get it at HEB!

Ashlee Henry says …

I love the sticky toffee pudding cakes. It is so hard to find a product as good as this one, where it doesn't have to go through the bad-for-you processing plants.enry

Imee says …

"Mr. Pickle Guy" Classic Olive Muffalata" is a household favorite. My husband and I put this on everything such as pasta, rice, meat, fish, chicken, and sandwiches.

Sara Coralde says …

I love Whale Tails tortilla chips. Besides being made local, I love that the tail part of the chip is easy to dip and holds lots of dip on the tail part of the chip. I also love that the chips are not overly salty and seasoned with hawaiian sea salt. Besides tasting great, I love that two surfers loving the ocean came up with the company.

Dayna says …

I have relied on the Shawnee Mills Mexican Cornbread Mix, the Yellow Cornbread Mix and the White Cornbread Mix for many years. They are easy to use and taste great. They make many other products that I enjoy too. I try to buy as many Made In Oklahoma (MIO) products that I can to help support our local and State companies

Susan says …

I am partial to fresh ears of corn with lots of ghee & a sprinkling of salt!! Yummmm!!!

melanie says …

Love me some Santa Barbara pistachios! They're organically produced and have yummy flavors - garlic being my fave.

Lauren G. says …

Hmm...so many. I guess Olde Monmouth peanut brittle!

RH says …

I'm in Seattle and Ballard Honey is my favorite local product.

Wende Miller says …

Best Salad Dressing ever! Boswell's Beanery in Hinckley Ohio - Creamy Vidalia Onion. The perfect topping for Ohio's Crisp Summer Greens

Brittany McGowan says …

Local salsa, you can really taste the freshness and the hard work and passion the makers put into it! Plus meeting the people and seeing the pride makes you feel you can really trust the product to enjoy it fully!

Josh says …

Living in California, I love all the local produce you can find. I especially like how Whole Foods supports locals and providing more organic offerings. One my favorites is avocado! Local ones always seem to taste the best and there's so places to get them here. Also nothing beats fresh guacamole!

Lorena A. says …

There's nothing like eating local frehs fruit & veggies! Mmmmmm!

Clara says …

I love all local products, but my favorite is the local bread. Yum!

barbara fiore says …

Local honey is the best!

Susan says …

I really like the local honey that you sell because of its great flavor and it's supposed to help with allergies.

Lisa Incatasciato says …

Taza Chocolate, based out of Somerville Mass., is my favorite local producer. Chocolate is a must have in my life and since chocolate can't be grown in New England it is important to me that I am supporting a responsible company. Taza makes sure that every part of the process is not only quality but is fairly produced. The company is well know in Somerville and gives back to the community in many ways. I also really like that the open their doors to the public and is transparent about every step of their production.

Lori M says …

I love knowing where my food is coming from! Thank you!

Diane says …

I purchased a locally grown butternut squash last week and made soup that was delicious. Thanks for supporting local growers by carrying thier products.

Charlotte says …

I'm a fan of local, raw honey.

Tonya says …

Maywood Farms figs make the best desserts for a sugar-free, whole food household.

Kathy C says …

Naturally, I love all the fresh local produce, and I prefer to support local farmers. But I have to admit, the Sugar Plum Fairy pies are to die for! It just doesn't get any better.

Terri David says …

Smiling Hara Tempeh is my favorite locally produced product in the Asheville, NC area.

Kathe Newman says …

First Fields ketchup uses NJ tomatoes to make an innovative and tasty new product. In the process, they are inspiring lots of folks to create new local food businesses. YUM!

Melissa O'Connor says …

I love the black olive bread from Bread & Cie in San Diego, California.

JackieP says …

Mmm progress coffee, the best in austin when I visit! love how it is so fresh/strong! :)

Katie says …

Raw honey is always a fav here, other's change seasonally. Right now in MI, it's the apples and cider!

Karen says …

Sidehill Farm yogurt is my favorite. I had it at our local farmers' market and was thrilled when I saw it in Whole Foods. It's local, from grass-fed cows, and is absolutely delicious.

Jessica C says …

My favorite local food is Straus Family vanilla ice cream. It is so creamy and delicious and I hope that some of the cows I see every day are making the milk for this yummy treat!

Jenna Coker-Jones says …

There is a local company that makes MOOKIES!!! They are a Great Source of Hemp Protein, Omega 3,6,9 , Vitamins, Enzymes, Minerals, Phytonutrients, and Soluble / in-soluble fibers. They help with bad cholesterol, sweetened with cinnamon & stevia for proper blood sugar. They come in Peanut Butter, Brownie, Trail Mix, Chocolate Chip... Mmmmm... They are raw, vegan amazingness! There are 3 per pack for 6.99... Super healthy, super low in fat/sugar.... http://www.maderaw.com/snacks/cookies/the-meal-cookie-mookie.html

Carol says …

Hail Merry's raw tarts are to die for! The Lemon ones are my favorite followed by the Chocolate Mint ones...delicious!!!

Stacey Graf says …

My favorite local product in this area is Bolani! I found them 1st @ the local farmer's market. Now I see them available in Whole Foods but I still buy @ the Farmer's Market. :) Their food is healthy, low in calorie and no preservatives. Everyone who I introduce to the food loves it & goes back for more. FYI: Bolani is a traditional Afghani flatbread stuffed and baked with either spinach, pumpkin, red potato, or green lentil filling. My favorite is the spinach topped with Basil Pesto, lentil curry & their sweet/hot sauce. I hope to win to try the other local products being offered in the bag! :)

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