New England Natural Bakers, Greenfield, MA, is partnering with organic yogurt maker Stonyfield, Londonderry, NH, to demo each brand's products at retail stores throughout the end of 2014. The brands are sharing their products with customers to show how they can complement each other. Stonyfield is featuring its organic Greek and traditional organic yogurts, and New England Natural Bakers is sampling its Organic Selects Granola line.

The companies will be demoing at locations including select Whole Foods Market stores, New Seasons Market in Washington, Dave’s Marketplace in Rhode Island, Mrs. Greens on the Eastern Seaboard and select Sprout’s stores in the Southwest. “When they reached out to us to supply granola to sample with their yogurt at the Boston Marathon Sports Expo, we were eager to support the event in any way possible. Since then, we’ve been discussing ways to work together in an effort to inspire and  educate  consumers;  the  co-demoing  was  a  natural  evolution  of  the relationship," says Larry Cornick, brand sales and marketing manager for New England Natural Bakers.

Honored September 17 in Baltimore at the Organic Trade Association’s 2014 Organic Leadership Awards Celebration were Marty Mesh, executive director of Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, with the Growing the Organic Industry Award; Doug Crabtree, farmer and organic farm trainer, Vilicus Farms, with the Organic Farmer of the Year Award; and Barry A. Cik, technical director of Naturpedic Organic Mattresses, with the Rising Star Award.

Nature’s Path, Richmond, BC, Canada, awarded its fifth annual Gardens for Good Grants to Franklinton Garden, a nonprofit urban farming and healthy food advocacy initiative in Columbus, OH; Mercy Gardens, a collaboration between two non-profits in Decatur, IL, that will bring organic food to about 300 food insecure men, women and children daily, as well as train low-income people to become organic gardeners; and Growing Chefs!, a Classroom Gardening Program that inspires kids with a love for growing and eating healthy food. Each group received $15,000 in grant money.

Boston, MA-based Dancing Deer Baking Company received an investment from private equity firm River Hollow Partners. The terms of the transaction were undisclosed. The brand markets gourmet, baked goods across multiple distribution channels. 

Stevia-sweetened chocolate maker Lily’s Sweets, Blue Bell, PA, contributes a percentage of its profits to organizations that support children. This year’s donation recipients are: Camp Cranium, Community Rocks!, Hope for Henry, Camp Okizu and MaxLove Project.

After a fire leveled its bakery earlier this year, Rustic Crust, Pittsfield, NH, broke ground on a new 27,000-ft2 bakery and production facility on the same site. The new two-story facility is 30% larger than the original bakery, and is slated to open this fall. The company also launched a national awards program honoring first responders.

The best overall Matcha tea award at the bi-annual North American Tea Championship went to Aiya America, Torrance, CA. The company took first place in three categories.

Red Jacket Orchards, New York, NY, updated the look of its Joe’s Summer Blend, and renamed it Joe’s NY Style Lemonade.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2014