Whole Foods Market has announced the first cohort of 10 brand participants in the company's Local and Emerging Accelerator Program, including two beauty brands: Tangles & Beyond and Vamigas.
The 12-week program will provide mentorship, education and the potential for financial support to promote business growth to up-and-coming brands across the United States.
Upon successful completion of the program, including compliance with Whole Foods Market’s Quality Standards for ingredients, cohort members will have the opportunity to become Whole Foods Market suppliers and gain placement on the shelves of their home city’s Whole Foods Market stores.
Brands will be eligible to receive a $25,000 equity investment from a donor-advised fund managed by the Austin Community Foundation, with proceeds benefiting Whole Foods Market’s private operating foundations.
Participating brands include two beauty players:
- Tangles & Beyond, a Mississippi-based hair care brand founded by Ashley Bates and Julian Bates. Tangles & Beyond features whipped shampoos formulated with rose kaolin clay and conditioners infused with sea buckthorn.
- Vamigas, a California-based skin care brand made from Latin America botanical ingredients by Latinas in Chile and Mexico. The brand was founded by Christina Kelmon and Ann Dunning, who "are on a mission to reclaim the cultural identities of Latin American ingredients, like rosa mosqueta, and educate everyone about the power of their ancestral beauty rituals."
Will Betts, vice president of local merchandising at Whole Foods Market, said, "We are delighted to welcome 10 exceptional local producers to the first cohort of our Local and Emerging Accelerator Program. We look forward to sharing valuable insights into marketing best practices, strategy and channel development to help expand the cohort members’ brands while preparing to introduce their products to Whole Foods Market shoppers. Whole Foods Market has long been committed to supporting small, local and emerging producers, and the Local and Emerging Accelerator Program enhances our ability to strengthen our relationships with local brands and elevate our product selection for communities across the country.”