North Vancouver, Canada (April 4, 2018) – Whole Foods Market will award an $80,000 loan to Greenbelt Microgreens as part of the grocers Local Producer Loan Program, which grants low-interest loans to growing local artisans, farmers and producers. Greenbelt Microgreens, a certified organic greenhouse grower of soil based microgreens, grows year round locally in British Columbia, Ontario and New York State, and plans to utilize the loan to expand its packing and cold storage space at their greenhouse in Maple Ridge, BC. The organic microgreens, which include arugula, pea shoots, sunflowers, broccoli and radishes, are early stage vegetables that have a delicious flavour profile and a very high nutrient density because of their young age (10-14 days).
“Our commitment to local farms and artisan producers drives our ability to offer new and interesting products to our customers that are local to their region,” said Denise Breyley, Local Forager for the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. “These relationships give us the opportunity to seek out the best products, while also giving local farmers and food artisans the tools and guidance to help them grow their business.”
Whole Foods Market North Vancouver, opening on April 26, will also feature a strong selection of local and regional products, including:
- Brew Dr. Kombucha, which utilizes a unique brewing technique that extracts naturally occurring alcohol while keeping the live and active cultures in its kombucha, and creates various flavor profiles that are made in-house with dried herbs, roots and fruits.
- Tree Island Yogurt, a WFM local producer loan recipient, will unveil their newest flavours with this store opening. The three flavours, Okanagan Peach, Pacific Strawberry, and Prairie Berry Blend, are all made with fruit that is sourced directly from Canadian farmers.
- Lisa Lou’s Chocolates, founded by Whole Foods Market alum Lisa Gardin, balance salt and sweet, crunch and chewy, creamy and crispy to create confections that are small batch and seasonal.
- Terra Breads, another local producer loan recipient, has been a fixture in Vancouver since its start in 1993. The company continues to use the same organic sourdough starter since its inception, and will sell pastries, breads, and granola in the store. Terra Breads will also be providing the bread on April 26th for the store’s opening bread breaking ceremony.
- Salt Spring Island Goat Cheese, made by-hand on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia with the freshest ingredients.
Whole Foods Market is committed to the concept of fresh, healthy, local foods, and supporting both local products and the people who supply them. Loan recipients must meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards, use the funds for expansion and have a viable business plan. Typical loans range from $1,000 to $100,000 and have fixed low-interest rates.
Previous recipients have used their loans for purchasing more livestock, investing in new equipment, expanding production facilities, adapting to more sustainable practices or converting to organic production. The Greenbelt Microgreens loan will be the 6th for small business owners in British Columbia, for a total of over $400,000 awarded in BC. Overall, over $2 million has been distributed to recipients in the Pacific Northwest.
For more information on the Local Producer Loan Program, visit: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values/caring-communities/local-producer-loan-program.