Local Vendor Profiles In California

4505 Meats

Location: San Francisco, CA

Located in San Francisco, 4505 Meats produces high quality, locally sourced meats throughout San Francisco area Farmer’s Market and their butcher shop and will begin selling Bacon-Studded Hotdogs and Chicharrones in our NorCal stores!
Ryan Farr, the chef, butcher, and master stomach behind 4505 Meats, left his job as chef at a Michelin starred restaurant in 2009, and with his wife Cesalee, founded 4505 Meats. They started 4505 in order to bring people closer to their meat. He began teaching butchery classes and selling chicharrones.

Ryan’s experience and voracious appetite are an ideal complement to Cesalee’s creativity, style, and overall vision for the company. Ryan and Cesalee are dedicated to flavor and quality, adding their own unique touches to create exceptional meaty products. Based out of San Francisco, they strongly believe in keeping it local and supporting the growing Bay Area community and food movement.

Alexandre Kids Organic Eggs

Location: Crescent City, CA

Alexandre Kids is an offshoot of the Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farm, an Organic Valley Grassmilk partner. Started as a High School FFA Project by two of the Alexandre Kids, Joseph and Christian, and supported with the help of their three siblings, all of the hens are raised on organic pastures under the watchful eyes of the Alexandre dairy cows and Great Pyrenees guard dogs. The hens graze on green, lush organic grass and have room to roam in the fresh coastal air and sunshine. Mobile coops designed by the family are moved a couple of times per week so that the pasture gets desired fertilizer and prevent overgrazing. The hens intermingle with the dairy cows and enjoy a natural farm life setting where they can produce the most nutritious organic eggs.

Owners and 4th generation dairy farmers, Blake and Stephanie Alexandre are strong proponents of sustainable farm practices, nutritional education and environmental stewardship. The Alexandre’s use no pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics or GMOs on their CCOF Certified Organic farm. They have also been leaders in the conservation of the Redwoods Coast Wetlands, working hand in hand with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and many others to restore wetlands and protect waterfowl like the Aleutian Cackling Canada Geese. They bought their first farm in 1992 and have established three more farms throughout Northern California. Check out this video of their farm!

All One (Nutritech)

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Doug Ingoldsby learned his business philosophy from his late father James, a pioneer in the supplement industry - stay focused and provide the right combinations of the highest quality ingredients in a form that is pleasant to take, and success is sure to follow. Now, Doug, his son Peter and other family members keep their small company with a big heart running with the same commitment to excellence. They listen carefully to their customers, and have expanded their well-loved line of multi-vitamins to include supplements for kids, seniors and even special formulations to promote weight loss.

Angelo and Franco

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Angelo Tartaglia and Franco Russo, originally from Bagnoli Irpino in the South of Italy, came to America with the desire to share some of Italy’s best-kept secrets: love of natural and authentic food produced to the highest standards. They decided to get the best quality product, import the cheese makers, not the cheese. Angelo and Franco mozzarella and ricotta cheeses are produced in Los Angeles using the centuries old original Bagnoli Irpino recipe – further develop and mastered over three generations by Franco’s family business. The products used are 100% natural and originate from locally to guarantee maximum freshness and quality.

Archi’s Acres

Location: Escondido, CA

Founded:
2005

Located in Escondido, CA, Archi’s Acres grows living basil in water and energy efficient hydroponic greenhouses.

Started in 2005 by Colin and Karen Archipley, the couple switched their growing methods to hydroponic greenhouses in 2006. Hydroponics is a form of crop production which saves up to 90% more water than conventional crop production. Growing in greenhouses also gives Archi’s Acres the capability to grow living basil year round. Additionally Colin, after coming home from a third Iraq deployment with the Marines,created Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training with his wife. VSAT is a vocational/ entrepreneurial program for transitioning military veterans into agriculture. Thus far, Archi’s Acres has trained over 160 veterans on their farm. To learn more, watch this video.

The funds from the Local Producer Loan will be used to purchase hydroponic equipment for use in a brand new greenhouse.

Read more about Archi's Acres on the Whole Story!

Aviara Farms

Location: Carlsbad, CA

Jimmy Ukegawa learned how to grow strawberries from his parents and grandparents, who settled in the Oceanside area in the 1940s and started the family operation. Today, Jimmy runs Aviara with his brother Joe and still welcomes eager groups to come pick their own strawberries! The temperate climate in Carlsbad and the proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes for ideal strawberry growing conditions. In fact, the cool marine layer allows for berry harvest long into the summer, sometimes as late as July.

Be Wise Ranch

Location: Escondido, CA

Bill Brammer's passion for organics began in college, where his revolutionary theories on farming without the use of harmful chemicals were met with questions and more than a little resistance. He now oversees 200 acres of organic crops, including strawberries, heirloom tomatoes, cabbage and cucumbers. Self-educated on agriculture and microbiology, Bill co-founded the Organic Farming Research Foundation in 1990 to develop educational programs and support networks for other sustainable farmers.

Begley's Best

Location: Studio City, CA

Ed Begley's cleaning products are an extension of his lifelong commitment to living a green lifestyle. His home runs on solar power, his backyard features an organic garden, and both he and his wife drive "green" vehicles. Begley's Best All Purpose Cleaner, Glass and Surface Cleaner, and Spot Remover are safe to use throughout the house and are completely biodegradable. Inspired by other companies that give back, Ed gives all his profits back to environmental charities.

Bennett's Honey Farm

Location: Piru, CA

Red and Ann Bennett produce pack, and distribute their Topanga Quality Honey from their 100% solar-powered facility, which Red personally designed with his background in engineering. When they started 28 years ago, Ann took on the task of head beekeeper. Instead of filtering their honey, they use a process called "gravity straining," which allows the honey to retain more minerals. Although it takes longer, the Bennetts believe it's necessary to create the highest quality honey available.

Bleating Heart Cheese

Location: Tomales, CA

Founded:
2009

Located in Tomales, California, produces original cheeses made from sheep and cow milk, and occasionally goat and water buffalo. Founded by husband and wife team, Seana Doughty and Dave Dalton in 2009, the mission of Bleating Heart is to produce premium-quality American original cheeses, only using milk from dairies who strive for the humane treatment and well-being of the animals that produce the milk, and responsible stewardship of the land on which the animals live and graze. No artificial methods are used with the sheep dairies where they source milk, therefore the cheese is only made during the natural lactation cycle of the sheep. Each and every wheel of Bleating Heart cheese is totally handcrafted in small batches with milk sourced from small local farms.

After several years of renting creamery time from other cheesemakers, Bleating Heart has started to build and equip their own micro-creamery, located on the 1,000+ acre Thornton Ranch in West Marin County. Bleating Heart is using the proceeds of this loan to convert and upcycle three shipping containers into a cheese aging room in order to expand their supply and deliver to more stores!

BTTR Ventures

Location: Emeryville, CA

Check out BTTR Ventures on the Whole Story blog!

Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez started BTTR (pronounced “better”) Ventures while in a business ethics class in UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. This unique business takes spent coffee grounds from area cafés, including Whole Foods Market’s Allegro coffee bars, and uses the grounds as a substrate for mushrooms; used substrate is then converted to compost. Their current products are oyster mushrooms and grow-your-own-mushroom kits; they also plan to offer shiitake mushrooms and kits. BTTR Ventures are using their loan to purchase equipment and expand into a 1000 ft2 space.

California Baby

Location: Los Angeles, CA

When Jessica learned that she was pregnant, she started taking a closer look at the products available to her. While researching the ingredients found in baby shampoos she was shocked to find that, not only were many of them harsh on the skin, but many were also suspected carcinogens! Determined to keep her children away from these types of chemicals, Jessica began experimenting with organic herbs and plants, and other gentle, biodegradable cleansers. With her line of California Baby products still growing, Jessica continues to look for the best ingredients in the world as she pioneers the baby skincare field.

Carlsbad Aquafarm

Location: Carlsbad, CA

John Davis and his son Andy raise the highest quality seafood while improving the marine ecology around them. A family-owned business since 1990, this local aquaculture lagoon is just north of San Diego. Their farm houses not only Black Mussels and Manila Clams, but a living reef which is helping to replenish some species of fish. Because they naturally purify the water their shellfish live in, the water returns to the ocean cleaner than when it washed into the lagoon.

Chuao Chocolatier

Location: San Diego, CA

Chocolate is more than just a job for brothers Michael and Richard Antonorsi — it's a family tradition! Their ancestors owned a small farm in Venezuela in the early 20th century. The company's name is derived from the city of Chuao (pronounced "Chew-WOW") in Venezuela, which is known for producing the best quality cacao in the world. In 2002, they opened their store in San Diego, with Michael in charge of making delicious chocolate concoctions and Richard handling the business affairs. Their unusual flavor combinations are sure to delight and surprise!

Claravale Farm

Location: Panoche, CA

Founded:
1997

The historic Claravale Farm is dedicated to producing the highest quality dairy products using simple, old fashioned, natural methods. Claravale produces “unadulterated” milk products from Jersey Cows (famous for their tasty milk…) and have been in business since 1927. Owners, Ron Garthwaite and Collette Cassidy, bought the farm in 1997 and have continued to operate it in the same tradition. They use 100% organic alfalfa, hay and grain and never use GMOs, antibiotics or added hormones. They treat their herd of jersey cows with the highest standards imaginable as Ron and Collette believe they are the heart of the business.

Coco Delice

Location: Oakland, CA

Coco Delice is a small artisan chocolate company in the Bay Area specializing in dark gourmet chocolates. The company was founded by Dennis Kearney in 2005 and has grown steadily since then. Dennis used the loan funds for packaging & materials for a new product launch.

Collective Wellbeing

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Ellen and Jack Davies started Collective Wellbeing in 2004 with the purpose of making beauty products that enhance the wellbeing of those who use them. Today, the line includes 60 different products for use from head to toe. As part of their commitment to social responsibility, Collective Wellbeing offsets all CO2 emissions created by its activities, from production to shipping and everything in between.

Coracao Confections

Location: El Cerrito, CA

Daniel Korson and Matthew Rogers, two young entrepreneurs from the Bay Area, recently started Coracao Confections, a line of raw, organic versions of popular chocolates. Both Dan and Matthew have culinary training, and Matthew has been with the raw, vegan restaurant Café Gratitude since 2004. He has specialized in raw desserts and has been teaching classes on them since 2006.

Coracao is the first true start-up to receive a Local Producer Loan. Daniel and Matthew used the loan funds to purchase ingredients and chocolate-making equipment, including a mixer, a heat sealer, and chocolate cases for use in our stores. For more on Coracao, check out their video on the Whole Story!

Core Method

Location: San Francisco, CA

Former Whole Foods Market Team Member, Corey Rennell started Core Method after having studied traditional food sources throughout the world. Before founding CORE, Corey went on a quest to get to the bottom of nutrition. He trained with elite athletes, researched the biology of food, and spent 14 months living with twelve tribes around the world. Remarkably, he discovered the most profound and consistent things we know about nutrition are really simple. At CORE, Corey and his team apply this enduring wisdom to make convenient, healthy, food. CORE makes raw, whole-ingredient, sweetener-free meal replacement products: a high-protein bar in two flavors (Warrior) and a vegan bar in two flavors (Defender). Inspired by the traditional values of the people he lived with, Corey’s company focuses on clear, unbiased information and reciprocity and commits all net profits to charity. Corey used the loan to fund the co-packing and rollout of the product, including R&D, design, and packaging.

Read more about CORE on the Whole Story Blog!

Cuyama Orchards

Location: Cuyama Valley, CA

Jean and Howard Albano grow their apples organically at their family orchard in Santa Barbara County. Warm days, cool nights and ample native water make this unique little valley the perfect place to grow sweet, crunchy apples bursting with flavor. The Albanos are famous for their Fuji apples, a cross between the Red Delicious and the Ralls Genet varieties prized for its excellent flavor and crispness.

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