Small Businesses Find Shelf Space At Whole Foods Market

By Evan Jones
Reading Eagle, Pa.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Several local Pennsylvania entrepreneurs describe their experiences getting into Whole Foods and what has happened since they made it onto the shelves.

Reading Eagle, Pa.

When customers first enter the Whole Foods Market in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, they find themselves in a sea of fresh fruits and vegetables all neatly arranged in what looks like a farmers market.

Rows of radishes, bunches of broccoli and racks of bananas help make up a colorful array.

If you take a closer look at some of the vegetables at the organic-based supermarket, you’ll see a sign revealing their origin. For instance, the turnips came from Red Earth Farms, Lynn Township, Lehigh County. A bright red tag alerts customers to produce that is from a local vendor.

In fact, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market IP LP specializes in bringing locally based products to the shelves of its more than 400 stores nationwide.

The Lower Macungie store, in the Hamilton Crossings shopping center, just over the line from Berks County along Route 222, has been stocking its shelves with regional products from produce to meats to craft beer.

In fact, there are several products from greater Berks on the shelves of the Whole Foods, which opened in September.

Two from Berks
Just off the produce aisles, Whole Foods sells its bath and body merchandise in a section known as Whole Body. Two companies from Berks that are represented are Tangerine Betty, a Wernersville company that makes organic lip balms, and Paisley & Co. Bath Boutique & Fragrance Bar, Kutztown.

Tangerine Betty, which had been only sold online and at some boutiques, saw an uptick in sales since it went on sale at Whole Foods, said Beth Niedrowski, the company’s creator and CEO.

Niedrowski, who makes her product at her home, has seen her orders gradually rise from “a couple hundred to a couple thousand.”

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