New Whole Foods store stocking its shelves with local products

Willie Greens is based in Monroe.

When Whole Foods opens in Lynnwood next month, it will provide a new chance for small, local producers to bring their goods to market.

Dozens of producers from around the state packed the Lynnwood Convention Center last week to educate new store employees on everything there is to know about them and their products.

“We started working with Whole Foods Market in 2007. We have a lot of family in the Mill Creek area, so the Lynnwood location will really be a neighborhood store for many of them,” said Tami Bowen of CB’s Nuts, based in Kingston. “For our business, it’s always about interacting with the customers.”

Jeff Miller, owner of Willie Greens in Monroe, has been working with Whole Foods for the past year. He benefited from the store’s local producer loan program.

“As one of this year’s recipients, we felt it was important to use the money to start our business earlier in the year. We were able to build five greenhouses. As a result, we already have sugar snap peas that are 5-6 inches tall. We would never have been that far along otherwise,” Miller said.

Whole Foods says it strives to buy from local producers, particularly those who farm organically and are dedicated to environmentally friendly, sustainable agriculture.

“As we open this incredible new location in Lynnwood, we’ve hired 150 new team members from this community and surrounding areas,” said Denise Breyley, Regional Local Forager at Whole Foods Market. “Our team members and our local producers are exactly what make Whole Foods Market so much more than simply a grocery destination.”

The grand opening is set for March 15 at 8 a.m.

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