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Small vendors turn to the ‘bank’ of Whole Foods~article from Crain’s NY

January 27, 2015 When Daniel Sullivan, founder of beverage line TumericAlive, needed a $35,000 loan for an automatic filling machine at his Long Island City, Queens, bottling plant, he didn't turn to a bank. Instead, he borrowed the money from Whole Foods, which carries his drinks, made with organic turmeric root, throughout stores in the Northeast. The supermarket chain lends small vendors money through its fast-growing Local Producer Loan Program, or LPLP, which was launched in 2007 and has recently seen rapid growth. TumericAlive, a Manhattan-based firm with 20 employees, is now a national vendor to Whole Foods. Sales in 2014 were triple what they were in 2013, according to Mr. Sullivan, who declined to share the firm's revenue. The loan, which he secured three years ago, was key, he said. "It was important, not just because of the cash but because it created a strong partnership with Whole Foods." Read more..,