Whole Story

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Local Producer Loan: Gelateria Naia and Cocoa Metro

By Heather Kennedy, August 11, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Heather Kennedy

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. Lucky for me, two of our most recent Local Producer Loan recipients more than satisfy!

Gelateria Naia

This amazing gelato company was founded by fellow travelers who sampled this historical frozen dessert wherever they went. (Did you know gelato dates back to the 16thcentury?) They wondered why they couldn’t find a great scoop of gelato back at home in the Bay Area and they set out to change that! The result? A high-quality, unique product made by hand in small batches that’s now sold in many Whole Foods Market gelato bars in Northern California, as well as in their own Gelateria Naia stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. With encouragement from their fans, Gelateria Naia began looking into how they could sell their product on the grocery shelves. Rather than going with the traditional pint-of-ice-cream model, they took an approach as distinctive as their product and decided to create gelato on a stick. Adult gelato enthusiast, shake hands with child ice cream bar lover. What an amazing combo! They received a Local Producer Loan from Whole Foods Market and created a completely unique item that is sold in the frozen section of Whole Foods Markets across Northern California. This is the perfect example of what the Local Producer Loan Program can do: provide capital to create a new and exciting product that benefits a local company, Whole Foods Market and our shoppers! Using locally sourced ingredients, Bar Gelato by Naia are available in nine outrageous flavors that make me want to eat gelato all day: Blue Bottle Coffee, TCHO Chocolate, St. George Single Malt Whisky and Numi Jasmine.

Cocoa Metro

Husband and wife team Mike and Lizzy love chocolate. So much so that they plan their vacations around visits to cacao plantations! Now that’s passion. And in my experience, the best products are born from passion. That’s definitely the case with Cocoa Metro Dark Drinking Chocolate. Mike and Lizzy decided to take their love of chocolate and create a milk that provides a real cocoa taste. This premium drinking chocolate is made with surprisingly few ingredients, the way chocolate milk should be! It’s the perfect combo of dark Belgian chocolate, fresh milk, evaporated cane juice and natural vanilla flavor. And the super cool retro glass bottle adds even more nostalgia to the chocolate milk drinking experience. Thick, rich and chocolaty Cocoa Metro is available at Whole Foods Markets in the Northeast, from Virginia all the way up to Maine. Currently the product is sold in 32-ounce glass bottles and they are using the proceeds from the Local Producer Loan program to expand their line and offer a smaller, 14-ounce version. Do you have a favorite adult treat that makes you feel like a kid again? Tell us about it.

Category: Local




Margee says ...
Both of these look great but since I'm in the northeast, won't be able to try the Gelateria Naia bars. Will they be shipping them to the east coast WF stores anytime soon??
08/17/2011 5:14:25 PM CDT
Karmen says ...
Anyone who loves food is a friend to me!!!!!! I can't wait to try both items!!!
08/17/2011 5:47:49 PM CDT
Pamela Grant says ...
When do we get the chocolate milk stuff at Bridgeport???? We NEED this!
08/17/2011 5:59:30 PM CDT
Deborah says ...
These products sound fantastic- please bring them to GreenLife/ Wholefoods in Asheville , NC.
08/17/2011 7:37:33 PM CDT
Melinda says ...
I'm going to go grab a chocolate milk tomorrow :0) looks yummy!!!
08/17/2011 7:45:41 PM CDT
Tiffany says ...
Do you have the chocolate milk in the Ann Arbor, Michigan stores?
08/17/2011 9:36:55 PM CDT
ken in stl mo says ...
Looks and sounds great but what of us who don't do dairy? How 'bout a gelato made with hemp or almond milk (or goatmilk) version? (Organic, of course.)
08/17/2011 10:10:39 PM CDT
C says ...
When are the Bar Gelato by Naia coming south? Will be looking for them on my next northern trip.
08/17/2011 10:30:37 PM CDT
Chandana says ...
Hi, I live in Seattle .. when do you think these products will be available here? Very cool!!
08/18/2011 11:48:38 AM CDT
deecee says ...
Now if they would just use organic milk, perfect!
08/18/2011 12:32:39 PM CDT
Ana Maria says ...
These products look really good, but vegan versions would be better. Chocolate almond milk, maybe???? Whole Foods is great. Love that you support locals. :-)
08/18/2011 12:33:36 PM CDT
Linda says ...
Please bring these mouth-watering treats to Indy! I am dying to try them!
08/18/2011 2:45:50 PM CDT
Chef Jeff says ...
Sorry to say that Heather Kennedy missed the mark on her stories... she peaked my interest to read more but didn't deliver on the info. She claims "Using locally sourced ingredients, Bar Gelato by Naia are available in nine outrageous flavors that make me want to eat gelato all day: Blue Bottle Coffee, TCHO Chocolate, St. George Single Malt Whisky and Numi Jasmine." That's 4 by my count, and how are Coffee Beans, Belgian Chocolate, Scotch Whisky and Jasmine Flowers local ingredients?
08/19/2011 8:04:24 AM CDT
hkennedy says ...
@Chef Jeff You’re right! We left out a few flavors. Here’s the full list of Bar Gelato flavors: TCHO Chocolate, Blue Bottle Coffee , Kiwi Sorbetto, Pistachio, Grapefruit Sorbetto, St. George Single Malt Whisky, Numi Jasmine, Nocciola, and Madagascar Vanilla. Naia does an incredible job of sourcing their ingredients locally when possible. For example, TCHO chocolate is made in San Francisco, Numi Tea is located in Oakland, as is Blue Bottle Coffee. St George Spirits is located in Alameda and the pistachios come from a farm in Lincoln, CA. The Kiwi and Grapfruit come from California when in season. The hazelnuts for Nocciola come from Freddy Guy Farms in Oregon, which is the nearest place to get that type of hazelnut. The only product that is not locally sourced is the Madagascar Vanilla. If you’d like to learn more about the Bar Gelato flavors, visit their website: http://bargelato.com/flavors/
08/19/2011 8:06:52 AM CDT
Marsha says ...
These both sound delicious! I love Whole Foods, but have recently move to the Lewes area in Delaware and desperately we need a Whole Foods store!! All those that agree say= Ay! Anyone leaving in southern Delaware and wanting a whole foods = please write whole foods and let them know WE WANT A WHOLE FOODS IN DELAWARE!!!
08/19/2011 1:30:34 PM CDT
marsha says ...
They sound so delicious! I wush I had them in my area. I just moved from Fairfax, Va., where i had a Whole Foods store a mile away= to Lewes, De., where we don't have a Whole Foods. WE NEED AND WANT A WHOLE FOODS! HOpefully, Delaware will have a Whole Foods soon!! All those that want a whole foods in Delaware please write them and ask them to build one in southern Delaware!
08/19/2011 3:56:12 PM CDT
Diane says ...
Being a child of the 50's, I can really relate to the two lines introduced here. Looking forward to those gelato bars! But FOR YEARS I've been craving the banana pops we used to get in NY. They were creamy, smooth, milky. No lumps. Perhaps Fudgcicle brand?)NOT the icy ones available now. Ahhh the old days. Thanks!
08/20/2011 2:01:08 PM CDT
hkennedy says ...
Thanks for all of the interest in these two amazing companies! Right now, Bar Gelato by Naia is available in Northern California and they will soon begin shipping to stores in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. They are looking into expanding into other regions of the country including the Pacific Northwest and the North Atlantic. Cocoa Metro is also on the move! They are currently working with our stores in Southern California and hope to have product on the shelf there soon. In the meantime, you can put a request in at your store to carry either Bar Gelato by Naia or Coca Metro. And you may want to ask them if they have a local gelato or chocolate milk product that they recommend.
08/24/2011 4:58:03 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@C Lucky you, to travel AND eat gelato! Each of our stores offers a slightly different mix of products matching the hungers of the neighborhood. The link below will take you to the store list. Once you find your store, you'll be offered information on contacting them directly. This will be the best way to find out if/when these bars will be ready for consumption by you in your area. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/
08/26/2011 11:20:46 AM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Tiffany Good question! Check out the link below to speak directly with your store in Ann Arbor. They should be able to let you know if you can be enjoying the gelato bars as early as this afternoon. :) http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/annarbor/
08/26/2011 11:29:33 AM CDT
janejohnson says ...
Hey all! Many of you have been inquiring about the availability of the Naia products in your local stores. Since our product mix varies by store and region, please contact your local store to make sure you're getting the most accurate information about all our products. The following link will assist you in locating your neighborhood store. Hopefully your efforts will be rewarded with gelato bars! http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/
08/26/2011 12:27:52 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Ken Thanks for the suggestion! Whole Foods Market definitely offers dairy free frozen dessert options. Please check with your local store to learn which products are offered. (Follow the link below to identify your community's store.) http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/
09/14/2011 1:21:36 PM CDT