AUSTIN, Texas (June 7, 2018) – Whole Foods Market announced today that it has named Kelly Landrieu as Global Coordinator of Local Brands. Landrieu will work closely with Whole Foods Market’s local foragers and merchants throughout the organization to support and counsel local suppliers bringing innovative and trending products with the highest quality ingredients to customers.
Located throughout the company’s 12 regions, Whole Foods Market’s local foragers and buyers are responsible for finding and incubating new and unique products from each store’s community for our customers to discover. In 2017, Whole Foods Market onboarded more than 700 small suppliers to the shelves of local stores.
“We’re very excited for Kelly to work with our team of local foragers to source the best local products for our stores and help our local suppliers thrive and expand,” said Cathy Strange, Global Executive Coordinator of Specialty and Product Innovation and Development. “Kelly’s experience as a local forager in the field, along with her passion for food and entrepreneurship, make her a terrific advocate for our local buyers, foragers, and suppliers.”
As part of her role, Landrieu will partner with Whole Foods Market’s local buyers and foragers across the company to highlight the local product selection at the retailer’s stores. She will also develop continued education and mentorship programs for current and future local suppliers while also supporting her forager partners in the field.
Prior to this role, Landrieu helped develop and manage the “Friends of Whole Foods Market” program, featuring artisan and restaurateur partners operating their own independent venues within the walls of Whole Foods Market stores. Before that, Landrieu spent four years as Whole Foods Market’s local forager in the Southwest region, which includes over 40 stores across Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. In that role, Landrieu discovered, brought to market, and mentored hundreds of local brands, including MALK Organics, French Truck Coffee, and Windowsill Pies.
Whole Foods Market has long been recognized as an incubator for small suppliers with big potential. For more than 11 years, the grocer‘s Local Producer Loan Program has provided low interest loans to local suppliers to help them expand their businesses. Whole Foods Market has loaned more than $22 million to small businesses to use for investments in new equipment, organic certification, or research and development for new products.
Landrieu is based at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, as part of Whole Foods Market’s Product Innovation and Development Team.