The accelerator program features 10 companies from throughout the country, each with the potential to be sold in local Whole Foods stores once the company completes the program.
The program provides mentorship, education and the potential for financial support to promote business growth for the participants. Upon successful completion of the program, cohort members will have the opportunity to become Whole Foods Market suppliers and gain placement on the shelves of their home city’s Whole Foods Market stores.
Good Girl Chocolate founder Dr. Tabatha Carr said she built Good Girl Chocolate while on a personal transformation and quest to live and love life. Selected by the Southwest Region, the chocolate company offers gluten- and soy-free bean-to-bar chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar. Good Girl Chocolate also has a retail store in Penn Square Mall.
“We are delighted to welcome 10 exceptional local producers to the first cohort of our Local and Emerging Accelerator Program,” said Will Betts, vice president of local merchandising at Whole Foods Market. “We look forward to sharing valuable insights into marketing best practices, strategy and channel development to help expand the cohort members’ brands while preparing to introduce their products to Whole Foods Market shoppers. Whole Foods Market has long been committed to supporting small, local and emerging producers, and the Local and Emerging Accelerator Program enhances our ability to strengthen our relationships with local brands and elevate our product selection for communities across the country.”
Members of the initial cohort will participate in a 12-week curriculum taught by Whole Foods Market and other industry experts, undergo a yearlong mentorship with a Whole Foods Market Local Forager and have access to other growth-related supplier benefits. Brand participants who successfully complete the program will be eligible to receive a $25,000 equity investment from a donor-advised fund managed by the Austin Community Foundation, with proceeds benefiting Whole Foods Market’s private operating Foundations.