Emeryville, Calif. (June 27, 2014) – On Wednesday, July 2, Whole Foods Market shoppers will help fund 40 grants for local food and body care product makers based in Northern California and Reno to develop their business – one for each of the region’s 40 stores. This is the first time the company has implemented a grant program. Stores will fund the grants by donating five percent of the day’s total sales, and Bay Area microlending nonprofit Working Solutions will administer them.

Members of each store’s community selected the 40 winners via Facebook, from among more than 300 initial applicants. To qualify, applicants had to grow or make their product in Northern California or Reno, meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards, and earn, on average, a maximum of $100,000 in annual revenue. Applicants did not have to already be a Whole Foods Market supplier, and the company is not requiring winners to take on a more long-term relationship with the retailer following their receipt of grant money (Whole Foods Market is open to the conversation, though).

It is expected that each grant will total between $3,000 and $7,000 – enough to conduct a food safety audit, earn Organic certification, go through the Non-GMO Project verification process, or buy a batch of raw ingredients.

More information is online at localfoodmakergrant.com. For other facts about Whole Foods Market’s long-standing commitment to supporting local producers, visit wholefoodsmarket.com/local.

The winners are, by store:

Whole Foods Market Sacramento

Simply Manna – sustainably grown gourmet mushrooms

Whole Foods Market Blithedale

Jammit Organics – jams sweetened with apple juice

Whole Foods Market Blossom Hill

Carolieta’s Organic Kitchen – organic catering

Whole Foods Market Berkeley

The Mead Kitchen – purveyors of fine artisanal meads

Whole Foods Market Capitola

In The Breadbox – gluten free, dairy free bakery/catering

Whole Foods Market 2001 Market Street

Yum Yum Tonics – tonics, syrups and drinking vinegars

Whole Foods Market Campbell

Snake & Butterfly – organic, fair trade gourmet chocolates

Whole Foods Market Coddingtown

Chalk Hill Cookery – plant based cuisines and cooking classes

Whole Foods Market Davis

Stone Soup Catering – fresh, seasonal catering with options for special diets

Whole Foods Market Folsom

South Fork Farm – certified organic farm and bakery

Whole Foods Market Fremont

Jellicles Inc. – Sunol farm and raw wildflower honey

Whole Foods Market Franklin

Nosh This – gourmet candies and chocolates (makers of the infamous “bacon crack”)

Whole Foods Market Fresno

RawFresno – raw veggie, fruit and nut products

Whole Foods Market Oakland

Bubble Farm Soap Co. – beeswax/honey soaps, salves, salts

Whole Foods Market Lafayette

Hollie's Homegrown – herbs, teas, herbal body and bath products

Whole Foods Market Los Altos

Strike Brewing Company – session style and high gravity beers

Whole Foods Market Los Gatos

DrinkDrop – easy, natural, single-serving cocktail mixes

Whole Foods Market Mill Valley

Nunkui Cakes – elegant, “not too sweet” gluten free chocolate cakes

Whole Foods Market Monterey

Super Natural Foods Company – vegan, gluten free snacks

Whole Foods Market Noe Valley

Sal De Vida Gourmet – culinary salts, rice mixes, spreads and confections

Whole Foods Market Novato

Farmer Joy

Whole Foods Market Napa

Plumeria Flours – Hawaiian-inspired cookies and confections

Whole Foods Market Ocean

Bini's Kitchen – Nepalese cuisine from the soul

Whole Foods Market Palo Alto

Root Down Farm – Collaborative duck and flower farmers

Whole Foods Market Petaluma

Weirauch Farm & Creamery – organic cow cheese, farmstead sheep cheese, sheep milk soap

Whole Foods Market Potrero Hill

Indian Bento – Indian food with a street-smart twist

Whole Foods Market San Ramon

JK Naturals – organic, hand-crafted soap and skin care

Whole Foods Market Redwood City

Spread the Love – organic jams and jellies made in a home kitchen

Whole Foods Market Reno

Bigtruck Brand – custom, “sew on site” trucker hats

Whole Foods Market Roseville

Two winners:
Nacheez – non-dairy nacho-style cheese
The Cultured Kitchen – cultured and fermented foods

Whole Foods Market Sebastopol

The Kefiry – non-dairy kefir fermented beverages

Whole Foods Market San Mateo

Sprogs Fresh – savory and sweet rice “scooters”

Whole Foods Market Sonoma

Milk & Honey Ice Cream – seasonal gourmet ice creams

Whole Foods Market SOMA

Sugarfoot Grits – cheese grits with bacon, pork belly and/or greens

Whole Foods Market San Rafael

Toluma Farms & Tomales Farmstead Creamery – dairy, organic farm and creamery

Whole Foods Market Santa Rosa

Oz Family Farm – farm-raised rabbit

Whole Foods Market Stevens Creek

Three winners:
Karinto Krisps – sweet, nutty black sesame crisps
Peacecock – hemp edibles and wearables
RawDaddy Foods – sweet and savory stuffed cones

Whole Foods Market Haight

Crumble & Whisk – seasonal and original cheesecakes

Whole Foods Market Santa Cruz

Friend in Cheeses Jam Co – organic, gluten free jams in unique and original flavors

Whole Foods Market Walnut Creek

Body by Bees – natural handmade soaps, scrubs, salts, sugar polishes and skin care