Whole Foods Market Northern California announces recipients of third annual Local Producer Grant presented by Working Solutions
Program provides 13 grants for local businesses, funded by a percentage of July 20 sales at Northern California and Reno Whole Foods Market stores
EMERYVILLE, Calif. (June 30, 2016) – Whole Foods Market’s 43 stores in Northern California and Reno, Nevada, will donate 5 percent of their Wednesday, July 20, sales to fund Local Producer Grants given to 13 small businesses in the region.
The Whole Foods Market Local Producer Grant, presented by Working Solutions, is designed to support the growth of businesses bringing innovative, high quality natural products to the marketplace. Recipients are selected by Whole Foods Market’s regional buyers because they offer best-in-category quality, present an ingredient in a new way, and/or show a strong commitment to a mission or environmental cause. Additionally, recipients’ products must meet Whole Foods Market’s strict quality standards.
This year's grant recipients are:
- Suite Foods Waffles (Liège waffles, San Francisco)
- Heliotrope San Francisco (Face and body care, San Francisco)
- Rawkit Fuel (“Energy truffles,” Petaluma)
- Dry Creek Peach & Produce (Organic peaches, Healdsburg)
- The Great & Wonderful Sea of Change Trading Company (“Sea Bakin’,” Windsor)
- CHEVOO (Herbed goat cheeses, Sonoma)
- Sonoma Wool Company (Dryer balls and dish drying mats, Valley Ford)
- Five by Five Tonics (Bitters and tonics, Chico)
- 2nd Story Bakeshop (Breads and pastries, San Jose)
- Sweetdragon Baking Company (Nut brittles, San Jose)
- NeoCocoa (Gourmet chocolates, El Granada)
- Sprouted Minds (Raw nutrition bars, San Mateo)
- Nevada Brining Company (Pickles, Sparks)
The grants will follow a Community Giving Day on July 20. With Community Giving days, Whole Foods Market donates 5 percent of sales from a given day to a cause that supports the local community or economy. Five percent of the 43 stores’ total sales from July 20 will be donated to Working Solutions, a nonprofit microlender committed to helping San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneurs realize their dreams of business ownership. Working Solutions offers both capital and free business consulting to all borrowers. The organization administers the Local Producer grants following Whole Foods Market funding, and remains available as both an additional funding resource and an educational resource for winners.
“We are proud to be partnering with Whole Foods Market on the Local Producer Grant Program for this third year,” said Emily Gasner, Working Solutions CEO. “We’ve helped distribute over $400,000 in grant funds to nearly 80 businesses; these dollars have helped past grant recipients grow their businesses in many ways: from new packaging to organic certification to repairing broken equipment. We are thrilled to complement our own mission of providing affordable small business loans and personalized business consulting with the grants provided through Whole Foods Market and the 5% Day program.
Whole Foods Market has long been committed to supporting local producers. This is the third year for the grant program. In 2007, the company founded the Local Producer Loan Program, which provides short term, low-interest loans for capital expenditures for small food producers. To date, the Local Producer Loan Program has loaned more than $20 million to small businesses nationwide. For more information on Whole Foods Market's support of local vendors, visit wholefoodsmarket.com/local.
Executive Vice President, Operations
Rob Twyman began his natural foods career in 1983, working at Bread & Circus in Wellesley, MA, as a summer job. Several years after graduating from Indiana University, Rob started a fast (natural) foods restaurant in San Francisco which he ran for a few years before joining Whole Foods Market as a prepared foods team member in Mill Valley, CA in 1993.