Whole Story

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We Love Local Granola!

Local Producer Loan ProgramWe’ll admit it — we’ve been associated with granola from time to time! So I find it only fitting that several of our Local Producer Loan Program recipients produce this iconic health food. After all, it’s as yummy today as it was when we opened 30 years ago — maybe even more so! Like granola, our support for local producers has been around since the beginning. That’s why we started the Local Producer Loan Program, which has provided almost $4 million in low-interest loans to small, local producers. We’re proud to be helping them grow their businesses and bring more products like these great granolas to market.

 

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Michele’s Granola Owner: Michele Thornett Timonium, Maryland

In early 2006, Michele took the first dozen bags of her granola to sell at a local farmers market. It quickly gained followers, and within 18 months, she had moved production into a commercial kitchen where she began baking for local food co-ops and natural food stores. Although Michele’s Granola products are now available in almost 100 retail stores, the granola is still made by hand in small batches. Michele recently moved production to a larger commercial kitchen, and she used her loan to purchase equipment and build out the space. Michele’s products are currently available in our stores in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Pure Bliss Organics - owners 2010 2

Pure Bliss Organics Owners: Jon and Karen Morgan, Antonio and Krishna DaCosta Marietta, Georgia

Jon, Antonio and Krishna have been involved with natural foods for most of their adult lives. In fact, they met when Jon visited the Higher Taste, Antonio’s vegetarian restaurant in Tallahassee. Upon moving to Georgia, the two couples purchased local granola company Shooka’s, converted it to organic production, and changed the name to Pure Bliss Organics. They also expanded the product line beyond granola, incorporating nuts, whole food bars and energy bites.  They are using their Local Producer Loan funds to purchase packaging and packaging equipment.  Pure Bliss Organics products are currently available in our stores throughout the South region.

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Laughing Giraffe Organics Owner: Justin Baumgartner Phoenix, Arizona

One of our first loan recipients, Laughing Giraffe Organics is a wonderful example of what the LPLP can do for a small business. Since receiving his funds, Justin has expanded his line of raw, vegan, gluten-free granola, first from a few stores, next to our entire Southern Pacific region, and then into nine (!) regions (hundreds of stores!), with an organic certification thrown in there for good measure! We are so proud of Justin’s success and are excited about his new packaging.  Laughing Giraffe Organics is available in stores in all of our regions except Mid-Atlantic, South, and the UK (for now!).

Have you tried any of these granolas? Let us know what you think!

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31 comments

Comments

Kristen says …

Michele's Granola is truly the best! I have loved it since I first tasted it and still crave it all the time!

Suzanne Herron says …

Michelle’s Granola is the best granola product ever!!! I just can't live without it. I like mine on top of chocolate ice cream!

Keith says …

Micheles has turned me into a huge granola fan. This is by far the best product in a crowded market--the flavor and texture are amazingly addictive. Keep it coming guys!

Michele T says …

This is the best granola I have ever tasted! It is made with all healthy ingredients and it tastes delicious. I found it on vacation in Bethany Beach and have been ordering it on line ever since. I hope they start carrying it in the Whole Foods in Westchester. It is a great thing to send in college care packages for a healthy study break.

Carol says …

Michele's granola is Awesome ! We can't get enough of it. When Friends and Family come to visit and try it they love it! It makes a great gift to send for any occasion ,I send it for Christmas.

Sandy Davis says …

Micheles Granola is the best I have ever tasted. Excellent flavor and quality!!!Please bring it to Florida!!!!!!

Ruth Ross says …

I love Michelle Granola! it is the best. I got it when I visit my family in MD area and I am so excited to be able to get it in my area now!!!! It is the best in the world.

Adam says …

love Michele's granola, i could probably eat an entire bag standing in the kitchen if i wasn't careful lol

AndreaT says …

Another Michelle's Granola fan here - we discovered her at the farmer's market a few years ago, and were thrilled when Whole Foods started carrying it!

Nandini says …

Michelle's granola is a staple in my house. I add a little to my plain yogurt with some fresh fruit. Yumm!!! I'm so impresses with the consistency of manufacturing. I've never had a bad bag. Bravo Michelle and thank you Whole Foods for carrying it.

Deanne says …

I have had the distinct pleasure of being a Michele's Granola customer for almost 2 years now. I discovered her products in Whole Foods while on a visit to Virginia. I was pleasantly surprised at the flavor and have been hooked since! Unfortunately, the local stores in Georgia don't carry her products, however, I am thankful to be able to order directly from the company and have it shipped to my door! I am a fan!

Liam says …

Go Michele. I love the granola and can tell you that she is the coolest girl ever. She deserves everything good that comes to her... Much love Liam

alexandriatom says …

I love all of Michele's granola flavors, but my favorite has got to be the Cherry Chocolate, very addicting!! YUM,YUM The all natural ingredients and fact that its made locally are just bonuses. Keep up the good baking!!! Tom

Jason says …

I feel bad for the managers at my 2 local Whole Foods stores cause when they run out of Michele's granola, I let them know they're out till it's back. What's even more amazing to my family is that I like ANY granola at all. I'm usually all about meat, meat and more meat. It's that good.

Lynn Neal says …

Michele's granola is the best granola I've ever eaten, everything else pales in comparison.

Ed says …

I am addicted to Michele's Granola for breakfast and eat it everyday. I recently moved from DC to New York and my local Whole Foods doesn't sell it -- I have to stock-up when I visit friends back in dc. Please bring this granola to NYC.

Carole Brennan says …

Michele's Granola is the best granola ever! All the flavors are so good it's hard to pick a favortie, and the large pieces make it great for snacking. Thanks for carrying it in your stores.

Tom Herron says …

I love Michele's Granola, and have been eating it for two years. The flavors are wonderful. Recently, when I had an upset stomach, the only thing I could eat was Michele's Granola. I'm convinced it mas healing qualities. It should be in every Whole Foods Store in the country. Tom

Christine says …

With so many excellent reviews about Michele's Granola, I would love to try it! Hope it can make it to Florida!!

BMacon says …

I love Michele's Granola and hope to see it on more shelves around the country! Fabulous natural taste!

Bob Aller says …

Love Micheles Granola. I had it on east coast when visiting my relatives in Delaware. When is it coming to San Francisco? It is like dessert for breakfast! Bob

Chris says …

I certainly didn't think I was alone as a big fan of Michele's Granola and it's clear from other posts that I am not. I highly recommend this product. All of Michele's granola flavors are sweet, crunchy, and tasty. It is great in yogurt, as cereal, or as a snack. I have tried other brands and nothing compares!

Nancy A. says …

Michele's Granola is the BEST! I love it and every person I have given it to asks where they can buy it.

Doug Brennan says …

I am ADDICTED to Michelle's Granola. My wife Carole has to hide the bags from me so I don't consume more than my "fair share." Luckily a local shop stock's it, so I frequently sneak down there and get a couple bags all for myself. I hope she doesn't read this. - Doug in Harrisburg.

scrappy jessi says …

yum they all sound great!!! Please bring them to the mid-west!!! we need some good granola! thanks oxoxoox jessi

Noelle says …

Michele's Granola is the best! I first tried it at a local farmer's market, and was super excited to find it at Whole Foods... I just bought the cinnamon raison variety tonight! For those who don't have any stores that carry Michele's granola nearby, check out her website -- you can buy online!

Randi says …

I LOVE Michele's Granola!! It really is the best. Great taste. Exciting variety of flavors. Consistent quality. I have ordered through the Michele's Granola web site several times, and have never had a bad batch. I've even used it as gifts for friends - it's that good! :)

Nicole P says …

To the Michele's Granola fans who don't have access to it locally, you can order online: http://www.michelesgranola.com. As a big fan myself, thought I'd share that on. :o)

Tadu Yimam says …

I love Michele's Granola! It's super delicous and can be added to anything - yogurt, fruit, desserts! Love Love it!

Zia says …

A few months ago I tried Michele's granola from the Princeton Whole Foods, and it was a sheer delight to finally find a granola that satified at every level, mind, body, & soul. It is the only granola I buy, and it is universally loved by everyone in our household, a rarity, and flies of the shelf for breakfast and snacks. I can taste the freshness of Michele's small batch method in each bag.

Karen Crawford says …

I have bought all of the products above. They are all GREAT. I still purchase them--- I love them all.