Whole Foods Co-op
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Grow Local Food Fund

The Whole Foods Co-op Grow Local Food Fund works to increase the supply of local, sustainable, and organic food by supporting projects that strengthen the local farming and food producer community. A grant will be awarded to farmers and food producers in the spring and fall.

Tell us about your project and apply for a grant!
$12,000 in funding available to 2-5 farmers and food producers for spring 2021

Apply for spring grants by March 15th! 

The Grow Local Food Fund is seeking to support

  • Any type of project that helps a farm or food producer scale its offerings.
  • Transitioning a conventional farm to organic.
  • Improvements to packing sheds and other facilities/purchases that increase productivity or efficiency.
  • Purchase of seeds, equipment, materials, plants, bins and more!

Current Application Priority

  • Priority will be given to farm and food producers located in the Lake Superior Bioregion of Minnesota or Wisconsin. This is any county in Minnesota or Wisconsin that touches Lake Superior including Saint Louis, Lake, Cook, Douglas, Bayfield, and Ashland. All farmers and food producers in Minnesota and Wisconsin will be considered. 
  • Priority will be given to vendors working with Whole Foods Co-op. 
  • Priority will be given to businesses owned or managed by Black, Indigenous or People of Color.
  • Priority will be given to farms or food producers that have turned a profit. 

Exclusions + Additional Details

  • 501c3 non-profit organizations are excluded from applying but encouraged to apply for our Non-Profit Support Program. 
  • Grant recipients will receive between $500 to $7000 in funding. An estimated $12,000+ will be awarded to 2-5 applicants in the spring 2021. Grant allocations and totals will vary based on applicant pool.
  • If a project is funded, applicants will be notified and funds awarded by mid-April, 2021.
  • The fall 2021 application will open in August with funds distributed in October.
  • Applicants are welcome to apply in both the spring and fall grant cycle.
  • A final report with information about the project and its effect on your farm business is required once your funded project is complete.

Questions? Email growlocalfoodfund@wholefoods.coop

Application Questions

See full list of application questions below to prepare. Application must be completed using our online form here. For assistance or clarification on your project eligibility, please contact growlocalfoodfund@wholefoods.coop. 

Contact Information 

  1. Farm or Food Producer Business Name 
  2. Business Website 
  3. Contact Person First and Last Name 
  4. Contact Person Email Address 
  5. Contact Person Phone Number 
  6. Is your farm or business located in the following Lake Superior Bioregion counties: Saint Louis, Lake, Cook, Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland? 
  7. Mailing Address 
  8. Business Address (if different than mailing address) 

Tell us about your Farm or Food Production Business 

  1. How many years have you been in business/operation? 
  2. Is your farm or business owned or managed by Black, Indigenous or People of Color?  
  3. Who works on your farm, or in your organization? Is your staff full-time, part-time, are they owners? Tell us about who does the day-to-day work, along with the planning, overseeing, and decision making. 
  4. Is an employee(s) of Whole Foods Co-op involved with your organization? If yes, please list name(s) and involvement. 
  5. Do you sell products at the Co-op currently? Tell us about your relationship (years, products, etc). 
  6. In 2020, what were your total annual income (sales, grants, other)? 
  7. In 2020, what were your total annual expenses (rent, utilities, labor, supplies)? Answer as best as you can. 
  8. Any additional financial information you’d like to share? 

Project Information 

  1. What is the nature and scope of the project you’d like funding for? If funded, how will you specifically use the funds? 
  2. What is the timeline for the project? 
  3. Who will be carrying out the bulk of the work on the project, and what experience and qualifications do they have that you feel will make them and the project successful? 
  4. How does your project support the growth of local food production? 
  5. How does your project positively impact the environment (air, soil & water)? 
  6. How will you evaluate the success of this project? Who will do the evaluation, and how will it be reported? 

Project Funding 

  1. Dollar amount requested 
  2. Total project budget (including dollars requested) 
  3. Is your business funding this project? If yes, how much? 
  4. Are others funding this project? If yes, please note amount, source and status (pending, confirmed). 

Additional Questions 

  1. Anything else you’d like us to know about your farm or food production business?  
  2. Please list 2 personal or professional references including full name, email address and/or phone number and your affiliation with this reference. 
  3. Please email 3 farm/business photos to growlocalfoodfund@wholefoods.coop. This should be done immediately following application submission. 

Whole Foods Co•op


Hillside Location

610 E 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55805

Denfeld Location

4426 Grand Avenue
Duluth, MN 55807