Newest Recipient of Whole Foods Market® Local Producer Loan Program Grows Business
AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-12-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Pacha Soap is the newest independent local business to receive funding from Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan Program. With the new funds, Hastings-based Pacha Soap will develop their sustainable liquid hand soap product line, Pump it Up, to include additional premium-quality personal care products. These new products will support Pacha Soap’s global efforts to provide soap and clean water to those in need.
“Pacha Soap shares one of Whole Foods Market’s Core Values, serving and supporting our local and global communities, with their commitment to creating a quality product that also gives clean water access and economic opportunities to those in developing countries,” says Julie Blubaugh, Local Forager, Whole Foods Market Midwest region. “Pacha Soap first began selling their soaps at our Omaha location in 2014. Our customers loved their product so much; they expanded into other Whole Foods Market locations throughout the Midwest and across the country. We are thrilled to continue to support them through our Local Producer Loan Program and help them grow their business and through that, their humanitarian campaigns.”
The Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program allows small, local, independent producers an opportunity to expand their business with a small, low interest loan. In 2006, Whole Foods Market set aside $10 million for the Local Producer Loan Program to help Whole Foods Market suppliers and independent local farmers and food artisans with low-interest loans for capital expenditures and has since increased the amount available to up to $25 million. The program minimizes fees, interest rates and provides an alternative to traditional lending paths. Loans generally range from $10,000 to $100,000 with a 5 percent interest rate. Funds are typically used for expansion and capital expenditures such as buying more animals, investing in new equipment and infrastructure, or expanding crops.
Loan Producer Loan Program recipients have a unique partnership with Whole Foods Market. Teams work with local producers to share their products with Whole Foods Market customers, help them support the local communities where the businesses are based and reinforce the value of environmental sustainability.
“The Local Producer Loan Program is another way we can help independent local businesses develop and grow,” says Blubaugh.
Handcrafted with premium plant oils and essential oils, Pacha Soaps meet Whole Foods Market’s Quality Standards for body care products and do not contain sulfates, parabens, fillers, silicones, or phthalates. With the success of their bar soaps, Pacha Soap expanded their business to include bulk bath soaps and their new, exclusive to Whole Foods Market, liquid soap line. Like many Whole Foods Market supplier’s, Pacha Soap’s co-founder Andrew Vrbas, wanted his new business to not only offer artisan products made from natural ingredients, he also wanted to help those in developing countries.
“We sought to develop sustainable practices that we could use in our soap making here in Hastings and also be applied to impoverished communities to help them grow and thrive,” says Vrbas. “When you purchase Pacha Soap products made here in Nebraska, we pay it forward to communities around the world through our ‘Pump It Up’ and ‘Raise the Bar’ campaigns.”
Launched in 2014, Pacha Soap’s “Pump It Up” campaign provides 100 gallons of water for those in water-scarce communities for every 11 ounce bottle of liquid hand soap purchased. Through their partnership with Water4, a public charity dedicated to providing clean water to impoverished areas, Pacha Soap trains and employs local workers in the water-scarce areas to drill low-cost wells in their communities, providing clean water to the area.
Pacha Soap’s “Raise the Bar” campaign uses a “buy-one, give-one” model to provide a bar of soap to schoolchildren in Burundi, Africa for every bar purchased in the United States. Instead of shipping the handcrafted bars, Pacha Soap has partnered with Imagine Burundi Terimbere, a foundation that trains local men and women business in commerce practices, to establish a soap shop in Burundi, Africa to make and distribute the give-away bars. This shop provides careers for 10 men and women to make soap bars for over 30,000 area children each month. The soap makers earn fair wages and are able to provide for their families while supporting their community.
For more information on Pacha Soaps and their humanitarian efforts, visit PachaSoap.com
SOURCE: Whole Foods Market