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Local vendors highlighted in new Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market

The opening of the first Grand Rapids Whole Foods Market gives community businesses a chance to shine in a competitive market.

Located near the Woodland mall, the new Whole Foods will sell certified organic products to the community, from a variety of locally owned companies.

While health officials have long heralded locally-grown food, community vendors such as Genji LeClair, co-owner of the Great Lakes Bee Company, believe that it is also the more sustainable and environmentally conscious choice.

“We need to understand that putting chemicals on our crops and into our soil is really hurting not only the insects, but it also gets into the food supply, and the food that we’re eating. For anybody who’s been buying our honey and other local products: keep doing it.”

As the Fremont based honey company is experiencing growth, many other local food vendors have faced challenges in lieu of supply chain shortages and inflation.

LeClair acknowledges her company’s good fortune, but wants to remind West Michigan that supporting local food suppliers is one great way to support both the community and Michigan’s environment.

“Our heart goes out to every single person who has taken a stand for their local communities and for their local environments. Buy your local honey, become a beekeeper, maybe just plant some flowers that the bees might like to visit. Spread the good news about taking care of our environment and our farms!”

The GLBC-produced Hasselman’s Honey, along with two hundred other Midwest-made products, are available in the new store’s location.

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