ESCONDIDO, CALIF. (February 28, 2013) – Archi’s Acres is the latest recipient of a low-interest loan from Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program. Archi’s Acres is known for their locally-grown organic living basil, which is currently available at Whole Foods Market stores in Hillcrest, La Jolla, Encinitas, Jamboree and Laguna Niguel stores. The loan will allow Archi’s Acres to expand their business with the addition of a half-acre greenhouse.
Archi’s Acres grows its organic 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. This form of crop production 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 and to provide consistent quality.
“We are a small scale organic farm and with the help of Whole Foods Market we will be able to build three new greenhouses in the first quarter of this year, said Karen Archipley. “We will build a half acre greenhouse at our Escondido Farm, and one acre greenhouses in San Bernardino and Boston.”
But there’s much more to the Archi’s Acre story. Colin, after coming home from a third Iraq deployment with the Marines, created Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) with his wife. VSAT is a vocational/entrepreneurial program for transitioning military veterans into agriculture and is the first program to bring together the private sector and the Veterans Administration. Thus far, Archi’s Acres has trained over 160 veterans on their farm.
“This couple shares Whole Foods Market’s core values both in how they produce their crop, which uses about one-tenth the water used in traditional farming methods, and in how they give back,” said Dwight Detter, local forager for Whole Foods Market, Southern Pacific region. “With their VSAT program, Colin and Karen created the opportunity for our veterans to transition from military to civilian life and give them the chance to be business owners and entrepreneurs.”Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket, has pledged to grant up to $10 million in low-interest loans to small, local producers.
To date, the program has funded some $8 million for more than 130 vendors’ capital expenditures.To apply for a loan through Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program, producers must meet Whole Foods Market’s strict Quality Standards, use the funds for expansion and have a viable business plan. Loans range from $1,000 to $100,000 and have fixed, low interest rates. To view online video testimonials and to learn more about the Local Producer Loan Program, visit wholefoodsmarket.com/loans.