Whole Foods Cupertino hosts We Love Local Event Learn about the local businesses showcased at the event

Whole Foods Cupertino hosted its second We Love Local In-Store Tasting Event of the year on Saturday, October 12. Aiming to celebrate local food and products, the event allowed customers to sample foods and meet staff from the businesses behind these products. Patrick Wyman, the Regional Local Forager of Whole Foods Cupertino, works closely with the branch’s smaller, local suppliers. For Wyman, the purpose of this event is to highlight the local businesses that provide jobs for the community.

“We are celebrating our local suppliers,” Wyman said. “We are celebrating them and celebrating that with our customers who can try some great products.”

The event was organized in a “passport” style, where customers collected signatures from five vendors to receive a complimentary bag. Vendors with samples, stickers and other merchandise located throughout the store informed consumers about their products.

Patrick Wyman informs a customer about the We Love Local event and how to receive a free bag.

Continue reading to learn more about all eight of the vendors showcased at the event: Marin Kombucha, Chromatic Coffee, REBBL, The Organic Coup, RightRice, Mary’s Organic Chicken, Panorama Meats and Dosateria.

1. Marin Kombucha

Beginning operations in 2015, Marin Kombucha was founded by Brian Igersheim, who has been brewing kombucha since 2000. Marin Kombucha specializes in brewing kombucha — fermented tea — with locally sourced organic materials and aging the tea in oak, which enhances the flavor of the drink. Originally home-based, the local business has now expanded its business operations to Nevada.

Daniel Krohn (Sales Representative)

Q:What is special about your product/business?

A: They oak age it essentially, which evens out the palate so it's a lot less vinegary and acidic than other brands. It doesn't add a lot of sugar or fruit juice from other brands, so it still has all the health benefits of a kombucha without being a soda.

Q: How does this event help local businesses like you?

A: I think it's really important, I think it's great that Whole Foods does this. It’s a lot better than just shipping something across the ocean because there are a lot of sustainability issues with that. It’s a lot better to support a local business. Importing these days is a lot cheaper, to make something in China or mass produce it in another country, so by supporting a local business you are helping the people which have, in a weird way, a disadvantage production wise.

2. Chromatic Coffee

In October of 2012, Chromatic Coffee first opened its doors in Santa Clara and opened another branch in San Jose as of 2017. The company prides itself in working and building relationships with the farmers who supply them coffee from countries ranging from Honduras to Ethiopia.

Annalise Zimmerman (Barista and Head of Quality Control)

Q: What is special about your product/business?

We sell coffee, usually directly from the farms. We pride ourselves on working directly with our farmers for many years such as our Rosalio coffee. We have worked with them for eight years now. What we firmly believe is paying a higher price for the coffee to go invest in our farmers so they can have a better way of life a better way of living. In return, we get to have better coffee as well, they get to have different processes and open up to all kinds of varieties and ideals that weren’t available to them before. So coffee, unknown to a lot of people, has over 800 aromatic chemicals. Aromatic chemicals are what your body picks up on to see what something tastes like, what makes a banana a banana. Because it's so complex, almost four times more complex than wine, there are so many tasting notes that people don't even know about because most coffee is roasted really, really dark and not treated with a lot of care. So we like putting in a lot of effort, a lot of experimentation, and a lot of time into every single bean to get the best that we can [get] out of it to show cause for what it is, which is a fruit. So beyond treating it like wine or something that's incredibly valuable, we also create relationships with our famers there and we like to bring them over here to remind people where coffee is coming from.

Q: How does this event help local businesses like you?

A: Often times, I find that people don't really know what coffee is. It's the world's largest commodity which is greatly overlooked and so people are very alienated from what they consume. This gives us the opportunity to go ahead and introduce them to what they are having on the daily. So we get to reintroduce to them that, ‘Hey this comes from a coffee tree, these come from berries, these come from many, many farmers who have put their blood, sweat and tears into it’ and we get to create that relationship and inform our customer base about everything that they are putting into their own bodies as well, and of course just creating a great big family.


Located in Emeryville, Calif., REBBL sells an organic coconut milk-based beverage line as well as original probiotic sparkling tonics. REBBL was founded by a professor at UC San Francisco to support his nonprofit Not For Sale, which seeks to eradicate the human trafficking problem in Peru. REBBL donates 2.5 percent of its net sales to Not For Sale to provide shelter, education, healthcare, legal services and job training for survivors of human trafficking.

Aurelia Muckinhaupt (NorCal Market Manager)

Q: What is special about your product/business?

A: This is a completely different model in the sense that we started off as a non-profit and found a way to make money to help that non-profit, so that is a very different concept. We also put into practice what we call the regenerative business model, which means we actually give money to the farmers to help them supply our beverages. For instance, the brazil nut: we give money for them to help start their business. They give us the brazil nut, which we then purchase, and that again helps because that money is given all the way to the supply chain to even go back to help the farmer — very unique system.

Q: How does this event help local businesses like you?

A: I think the value is for people to understand when they are purchasing items that the money they are giving helps to keep us employed, for instance like myself. And we all know how this isn’t an inexpensive area so it’s really valuable that we are given that support.

4. The Organic Coup

Named the country's first United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified organic fast-food restaurant, The Organic Coup is slowly taking the Bay Area by storm by opening over 10 locations at multiple universities, sport venues and conventional restaurants. Founder Erica Welton originally set out to provide clean, healthy fast-food for her children.

Kerry Johnson (Restaurant Manager at SF branch)

Q:What do you think makes your business special?

A: We are the only certified organic fast-food in the United States. Everything we sell is certified and backed by California Certified Organic Farmers so you’re truly getting clean food with our restaurant.

Why did you want to join the Organic Coup?

A: I actually met Organic Coup because I worked at the AT&T ballpark and Organic Coup was invited to become the first organic food stand inside AT&T ballpark, so I actually trained them on operations at the park and I liked them so much that I got hired by them — I worked at AT&T for eight years and jumped ship last year and started running [a] restaurant in SF.

5. RightRice

RightRice is located in every Whole Foods nationally as well as in most major natural food retailers in the Bay Area. Keith Belling, who is also the founder of Popchips, launched this brand in February of 2019 to provide a rice alternative made of lentils, chickpeas and other vegetables.

Jake Huver (Vice President of Sales)

Q: What is special about your product/business?

A: The most important thing is that this is an alternative that actually delivers on taste and texture. Most alternatives make big compromises where it’s like ‘Gosh, I have to have no carbs so I have to eat this thing I don’t really like but it’s good for me.’ This is one of those where you get all the benefits of having more nutrition, but in terms of meeting the expectation of rice, it’s very close. We want to surprise and delight customers in that way and I think we get that done.

Q: How does this event help local businesses like you?

A: These [types of events] are huge. If you’re building a brand, you have to be supporting customers not only like Whole Foods but also educating consumers on what you’re trying to do. Especially for events like this, We Love Local is about having actual company employees here to be able to talk about the brand in a way somebody that’s [in a higher position] isn’t going to understand exactly what we’re doing, so it’s really important to have this discussion with consumers and show them about the brand and also show customers that you’re supporting them.

6. Mary’s Organic Chicken

All Whole Foods stores in California, Oregon and Nevada carry Mary’s Organic Chicken. As a generational family-farm from Sanger, Calif., Mary’s Organic Chicken is known by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for their commitment to humanely raised meat.

Deborah Bacey (Brand Ambassador)

Q: What is special about your product/business?

A: She [the founder] cares about the welfare of animals, good food [and] good nutrition. We should all be able to eat good, clean food, which is a really big thing.

Q: How does this event help local businesses like you?

A: It’s good to have people try things, talk to people about what they’re interested in. A lot of people don’t read the paper online and not everyone sees advertising online so it’s really to answer any questions and just meet the people.

7. Panorama Meats

Panorama Meats — a certified organic and 100% grass fed meat producer — is a local supplier to Whole Foods market. The company also sells meat to local ranchers across California and Texas.

Amy Dufond (Sales Representative)

Q: What inspired this business?

A: What inspired our founders to create the business was because they really were stewards of the land. A lot of the ranges in Panorama are involved in the California Rangeland Trust where some of the proceeds go back into preserving California’s rangelands and this has been going on for generations. So that’s inspirational — the stewardship to the animals and the people who help families to remain in ranching. We have some ranchers well into their sixth or seventh generation which is pretty phenomenal. Plus it tastes great.

Q: How does this event help local businesses like you?

A: Just getting the opportunity for customers to try before they buy. A lot of customers may not know or maybe they’re too busy to wait in line and ask, so being here for them and answering any questions is really a lovely opportunity for us.

8. Dosateria

Dosateria (DOSA), an authentic South Indian restaurant, first opened in 2014 at the Cupertino location of Whole Foods. Before coming to Whole Foods, the critically acclaimed restaurant was already operating in San Francisco and Oakland. The husband-wife team, Emily and Anjan Mitra, began their business with the vision to introduce regional dishes of Southern India to Americans.

Emily Mitra (Founder)

Q: What is special about your product/business?

A: We make authentic Indian food but we crossover to an American and Indian audience. We use seasonal ingredients but we really adhere to [authentic recipes] and we present and package it in a way that is modern and urban and friendly. Our goal is to really introduce America to Indian food and have a brand that people trust so they can really experience more regional Indian food. Certainly our packaging differentiates us, something that's kind of modern, fun and colorful. Millenials are big customers of ours and appealing to that audience is something that differentiates us too.

Q: How does this event help local businesses like you?

A: Our partnership with Whole Foods began because of how much they pride themselves on supporting local and not just buying the products but highlighting them. So they are really great at doing these kinds of things. They're having this event because they want to highlight — in this huge store with literally hundreds of thousands of products — which ones are local, and so we get to stand out for a day.

Created By
El Estqoue


Photo Credits: Jai Uparkar