SAN DIEGO – Sept. 17, 2010– Whole Foods Market today announced that it has awarded the latest low-interest loan out of its Southern Pacific region to a tortilla chip company in San Diego through the company's Local Producer Loan Program. The loan to Whale Tails Chips is part of a company-wide initiative to provide up to $10 million in low-interest, long-term loans to small local producers throughout the U.S.
“We are so pleased with both this program and the fact that even with the current economic situation we can continue to provide loans to our valued producers,” said Patrick Bradley, Southern Pacific Regional President for Whole Foods Market. “We want our regional producers to know that we are more than a retailer – we are here to help them grow their businesses. We are happy to support Whale Tails and their commitment to protecting the environment and manufacturing a high quality product. ”
Whale Tails Chips is an innovative company that makes corn tortilla chips in the shape of a whale’s tail, with a mission for fine quality snacks that make dipping easy. Whale Tails Chips promotes the understanding and preservation of whales and the environment while maintaining socially and environmentally responsible business practices. The company will use the loan to promote the benefits of changing to a BioPlastic compostable film that will be used in their chip bags, which will be available soon. Compostable BioPlastic both reduces the need for using crude oil in the manufacturing process and the long-term harm of plastic in landfills and the oceans.
“I am so proud and honored to be the recipient of this loan,” said Ric Kraszewski, Vice President of Sales for Whale Tails Chips. “I hope to spread knowledge about the use of compostable bags and set the example for other companies, showing that if I can go green, we all can. Let’s change how we make plastics and get it out of our oceans.”
To date, local producers in the Southern Pacific Region, which includes California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada, have received $125,455 in loans. Other loan recipients include Laughing Giraffe Organics, Alaska’s Bakery, Righteously Raw and NuttZo.
To apply for a loan through Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program, producers must meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards, use the funds for expansion, not operating expenses, 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.