December 19, 2008

New Natural Products Company? Whole Foods wants to loan you money.

Whole Foods, teetering between everyone’s favorite green company and the Big Green Giant folks (including yours truly) love to criticize (nothing wrong, I should think, with being held to a high bar as long as you can top it)…has a unique, generous loan program intended to help small natural products vendors go big. The lastest recipient? Phil’s Fresh:

Boulder-based Phil’s Fresh Foods has just won a $96,000 loan from Whole Food’s Local Producer Loan Program. Phil’s is a wholesale, all-natural burrito manufacturer; its product is stocked by local Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage and Sunflower stores, as well as some King Soopers. Selling at about $2.50 each, this is “not the typical frozen burrito,” says Phil’s Heather francis. “We make everything from scratch and we really focus on the ingredients and the best-tasting product.”

The company, which has plans to extend its national reach, plans to use the loan to to buy better quality-control machinery and move into a bigger space. Owner Phil Anson (pictured above) started the company in 2002; today it has over $1 million in annual sales. To learn more, visit Phil’s Fresh Foods website — or just pick up a few at your local Whole Foods.

The Local Producer Loan Program was created in February 2007 to help support and promote local companies producing high-quality, natural foods. Whole Foods has since doled out $2 million, with $517,000 going to businesses in the Rocky Mountain region.

“Our loan program was created to help small businesses expand their operations,” explains Paul McLean…

Here’s the rest of the story, courtesy today’s Westword online.

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