Location: Vancouver, WA
Manufactured in Vancouver, WA, all of Biokleen’s products, including laundry, kitchen and cleaners, are 3X concentrated for better economical and environmental savings. This means less packaging which conserves waste, energy and water. Biokleen products have been recognized for exceptional quality and performance, using only superior ingredients to obtain superior results and a strong customer following. Trusted for over 20 years, Biokleen is a pioneer and an expert in producing and formulating green cleaners. Biokleen continues to be innovative and look for ways to make positive changes to our environment and offer healthier cleaning solutions for our customers.
Location: Kingston, WA
Husband and wife team, Clark and Tami Bowen started CB's Premium Nuts in 2006 after being inspired by the fresh roasted peanuts at a baseball game. A small batch, craft roaster, they source from farmers across the U.S. and have opened their own organic processing facility in Washington State. CB’s Nuts roasts in-shell peanuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and peanut butter. CB's used their first loan to roll out in-house peanut butter and their second loan to invest in equipment that strengthens their food safety protocols in order to safely expand their nut and seed lines nationwide! Read more about CB’s Nuts Here!
Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt
Location: Seattle, WAFounded:
Located in Seattle, WA, Ellenos started retailing their hand-crafted, small batched yogurt in Pike Place Market in July 2013. Their product is made with a family recipe that’s been handed down from generation to generation. Despite being a young company, Ellenos has already seen phenomenal growth, especially in Pacific Northwest Whole Foods Market stores.
Ellenos will use the loan to purchase a two-line, 16 oz cupping machine. The equipment will speed up current cupping capabilities so that they can bring more of their delicious yogurt to market! They’re even bringing exclusive flavors to Whole Foods Market – be sure to try the new Passionfruit flavor the next time you’re in the Pacific Northwest!
Location: Seattle, WA
Founded by Julie O’Brien and Richard Climenhage, Firefly Kitchens is a Seattle based producer of naturally fermented foods. They are making a name for themselves as producers of probiotic rich sauerkraut, kimchi and seasonal cultured vegetables that come from healthy, organic ingredients sourced from local farms. They continue to grow their customer base by sharing their knowledge of fermenting foods and the health benefits of eating them daily. The funds from the Local Producer Loan were used to purchase production equipment enabling Firefly Kitchens to expand production throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Four Seasons Gourmet Foods
Location: Seattle, WAFounded:
Located in Seattle, WA, Four Seasons Gourmet Foods is the maker of Marnie's products - purchasing fruit and vegetables directly from family farms and turning them into fruit jams, jellies, syrups, vinegars, and pepper sauces. Their condiments can be found exclusively in the Pacific Northwest Region.
In 2005, owner Pericles Tarsinos made his first batch of Raspberry Vinegar and sold it in local farmers markets. Now, ten years later, Four Seasons Gourmet Foods' mission is to rebuild a disappearing key element in the food chain: equitable micro food manufacturing that buys fruit directly from family farms for full wholesale price. From the beginning, Pericles has believed in investing in his community and as such, profits are put back into the community, advocating for the infrastructural development of the micro food systems in the places where the community does business. The loan from Whole Foods Market will be used to purchase a hot stamp coder machine that will help automate the application of date and batch codes on each bottle - significantly increasing efficiency in the production process.
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
The Hedlin Family Farm has been around for three generations. Founded in the early 1900s by Rasmus and Pothea Koudal, immigrants from Denmark, it's now owned by grandson David Hedlin and his wife Serena Campbell. This diversified farm grows a variety of vegetables, including certified organic crops. In their greenhouse you'll find a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes.
In addition, Hedlin's large cabbage seed crop is purchased by growers all over the world. They have a farmstand on site for visitors to purchase their products. You'll soon be able to taste some of his organic cabbage in the Pleasant Valley Farms Organic Sauerkraut that will be arriving in Whole Foods Market dairy cases in mid-October. This is a unique product – made just like grandma used to.
What's especially unique about this farm is that they are currently working with the Nature Conservancy on a project to provide habitats for migrating shorebirds.
La Conner Flats
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
La Conner Flats is owned by Bob and Margie Hart. Bob’s great grandparents, Isaac and Margaret Jennings, purchased the farm way back in 1884, so they’ve been a part of the community for well over a century. Today, they grow a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as beautiful flowers.
During my visit to their farm stand I bought cherry tomatoes and just-picked bi-color sweet corn. They also sell potatoes, onion, garlic, cauliflower, beets, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and a variety of freshly picked apples. The day I visited they were also pressing cider from variety of apples grown on the farm.
Whole Foods Market doesn’t yet carry La Conner Flats products, though our corporate office held our July Regional Leadership Meeting at their farm, where Bob and Margie catered a delicious BBQ dinner for our group of 50 made with their farm-grown produce. During the summer, it’s a great place for weddings and other parties in the gazebo in their beautiful garden. I hope you get a chance to visit their lovely farm.
Manini's Gluten Free
Location: Seattle, WA
Manini’s Gluten Free is located in Seattle, Washington, and has raised the “Gluten Free” bar with rice-free baking mixes and fresh pasta made with Ancient Grains!
Manini’s Gluten Free was founded ten years ago by brother and sister team, Jim and Donna Collins. Their mission was to develop good tasting and nutritious rice-free, gluten-free whole grain products for their five-year old niece diagnosed with celiac disease. What resulted was a family business dedicated to creating a delicious tasting line of rice-free, gluten-free pasta and bread products. These time-tested mixes are unique because they are based on ancient grains, contain no rice, soy beans, and are casein free.
They are using the funds from the Local Producer Loan Program to purchase a ravioli maker to produce an exciting and Exclusive line of fresh, Gluten-Free Stuffed Raviolis! Flavors include Goat Cheese and Mushrooms; Thyme, Rainbow and Swiss Chard; and a dairy-free Hubbard Squash flavor.
Mt. Townsend Creamery
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Mt. Townsend Creamery is an artisan cheese producer who builds upon the agricultural tradition of the North Olympic Peninsula by using high quality local milk to create fine artisan cheeses. As the North Olympic Peninsula’s first artisan creamery they built their business on innovation as well as tradition. They have created a variety of cheeses that uniquely showcase the “terroir” (sense of place) of the Olympic Peninsula and the skill of their cheesemakers. They used the funds from their Local Producer loan to purchase stainless steel cheese vats and ancillary equipment to increase production efficiency. Read more about Mt. Townsend Creamery here!
Sherman Pioneer Farm
Location: Coupeville, WA
This farm is owned by Dale and Liz Sherman. Dale is a third-generation family farmer whose grandfather began farming on Whidbey Island back in 1852. In the 1950s, Dale’s father worked with Washington State University to develop a new variety of squash, the Sugar Hubbard. This squash is a cross between a Sweet Meat Squash and a traditional Blue Hubbard. Deep orange in color with a sweet, delicious taste, it’s quite versatile – great roasted, in soup, stews, muffins and also makes a delicious pie that tastes a bit like pumpkin. You’ll be able to find the Sugar Hubbard Squash at Northwest Whole Foods Market next month, just in time for holiday feasting.
Learn more about them on The Local Forager!
Skagit Fresh Apple Cider
Location: Bow, WA
Skagit Fresh is the brainchild of three farmers in the Skagit Valley: Alan Merritt (2nd generation farmer), Richard Sakuma (3rd generation) and Jim Perkins (2nd generation). They teamed up in 2004 with the goal of preserving apple growing as a viable crop in the Skagit Valley. In the last five years, apple production in the valley has decreased by over 30% due to price pressure from foreign-grown product and large-scale agribusiness production.
Here, the only apples used in this cider are grown by the three owners. The primary variety will be Jonagold, blended with Gravenstein, Gala or Honeycrisp. The first bin of apples pressed during my visit was Alan Merritt's Gravenstein apples. Alan is the only grower of Gravenstein apples west of the mountains.
Taylor Shellfish Farms
Location: Bow, WA
The Taylor Family of Taylor Shellfish Farms owns 1,700 acres of shellfish beds in tidelands of Samish Bay. Taylors have been farming shellfish since 1890, and this particular farm started growing oysters in 1921. I was lucky enough to sample some steamed manila clams and barbequed Pacific oysters.
Taylor is one of the seafood suppliers that Whole Foods Markets in the Northwest buys from on a rotating basis, so keep your eyes open for their wonderful shellfish next time you’re in the store.
Willapa Hills Cheese
Location: Doty, WA
Started in 2005 by husband and wife team, Stephen J. Heuffed and Amy Turnball, Willapa Hills was established as a livestock operation, grade A dairy and licensed creamery with the dream of producing hand crafted all natural cheese and dairy products on a family farm. Stephen and Amy established a flock of pasture raised dairy ewes, then a milking parlor and finally their first batch of cheese in 2008. Three generations live and work on the farm. They will use the LPLP funds to buy cheese packaging, processing and aging equipment.
Willie Green’s Organic Farm
Location: Monroe, WAFounded:
Located in Monroe, Washington, Willie Green’s is a THREE-time LPLP recipient and has become a vital grower partner to the PN Region. Willie Green’s sells a variety of organic greens and vegetables to our Pacific Northwest stores. Willie Green’s Organic Farm was established in 1987 by Jeff Miller. Beginning with only a quarter acre plot, Jeff has grown the farm to sixty acres, and produces 50 to 60 varieties of vegetables and berries. Willie Green’s is committed to providing customers with only the freshest organic and seasonally grown produce available.
Willie Green’s first loan went to building five greenhouses that made it possible to grow vegetables earlier in the spring and later into the fall. Their second loan helped build a HACCP certified organic packing facility in order to sell washed, ready to eat salad mixes and baby spinach. Our third loan will go towards purchasing a water chiller and water treatment system to expand the production of the greens program and keep up with burgeoning demand in the PN stores!
You can hear more from Jeff in our LPLP video