Costa Mesa, CA—Mother's Market & Kitchen,WholeFoodsMagazine'sRetailer of the Year in 1996, announced that the company was initiating a fast-track, online process to enable qualified local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis the ability to get their food and products into the chain's stores. Mother's, which has 9 locations in California, said all qualified, quality providers will be considered, but that the plan is to initially select vendors that can offer supply-challenged products. This includes soups, pastas, sauces, paper products/toilet paper, bread, yogurt, and organic produce.

"We are working to help local food producers affected by the restaurant, hotel and resort closures by putting their quality products on our shelves," said Dorothy Carlow, CEO, Mother's Market & Kitchen, in a press release. "As a local business that supports other local businesses, we invite local vendors to bring us their quality products."

Illustrating the benefit of the program, Mother's shared the experience ofJonnie LoFranco, owner of Santa Ana-basedBREAD Artisan Bakery, a women-owned small business. Last week, Mother's said,LoFranco found herself wondering how to ensure her employees continued to earn wages when the bakery'scustomers—including its biggest customer, a major theme park inAnaheim—shut their doors.

"Mother's Market & Kitchen provided a lifeline to me and my employees," LoFranco said in the release. "Mother's reached out to us and today, in less than a week's time, BREAD is Mother's featured artisan bread provider and helping to satisfy our communities' vital need for food staples."
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Mother's said local providers are invited to apply for consideration by filling out the company's onlineLocal Vendor Fast-Track Applicationform. "We understand time is of the essence and it is our goal to quickly process all requests," the company said on its site. "To qualify, your company must meet our strict standards. If you meet these requirements, you will be contacted to take the next step in this process."