Local Producer Loan: Gelateria Naia and Cocoa Metro

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 opens in a new tab recipients more than satisfy!

Gelateria Naia opens in a new tab

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 opens in a new tab 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 opens in a new tabcan 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 opens in a new tab

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 opens in a new tab. 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.

Explore More