Third Street, maker of premium, sustainable beverages, receives a loan from Whole Foods Market via the grocer's Local Producer Loan Program to help expand its manufacturing capacity. This is Third Street's second LPLP loan, making it one of only a handful of two-time recipients of the program.
"We're thrilled to see this partnership grow. This is another great opportunity for us to expand our options for customers and continue our brand development throughout Whole Foods. It's especially rewarding to achieve this sustainable growth as we celebrate our 20th year in business," said John Simmons, Founder and President of Third Street.
Third Street's relationship with Whole Foods Market began in 2000 when they launched their 'Real Brewed' chai concentrates in the company's Rocky Mountain Region. The company received its first LPLP loan in 2011, to expand its manufacturing capabilities in order to compete across multiple product platforms.
Throughout their 15-year partnership, Third Street and Whole Foods Market have developed multiple, exclusive product lines. Most notably, Third Street collaborated with Whole Foods Market's global grocery team to create a line of 14oz Organic, Fair-Trade and non-GMO-verified ready-to-drink iced teas, which launched in 2014. Available in 9 flavors, this line was an expansion on their award winning unsweetened 1-liter iced teas, which launched in 2013.
"Helping Third Street grow their business has been a no-brainer from the start," said Dwight Richmond, global grocery purchasing coordinator for Whole Foods Market. "From our first meeting, it was clear that Third Street was on a mission to shake up the way people think about and enjoy ready-to-drink tea. From bottling fair trade microbrews from around the world to offering new twists on classic flavors – they are reinventing the category, and we're excited to continue to help them innovate."
Since Whole Foods Market began their Local Producer Loan Program in 2007, they have provided more than $15 million dollars in low-interest loans to over 225 companies.
The Local Producer Loan Program strives to foster the growth of small businesses in the natural food industry and supports expanding initiatives to make artisan and sustainable products more pervasive. Funding from LPLP loans will greatly contribute to Third Street's expansion and continued success.
Third Street will continue to focus on the development of their 14oz ready-to-drink iced tea line with the release of two new flavors in 2015: Lemongrass Green Tea and Half & Half Green Tea. The company's iced teas can be found at Whole Foods Market nationwide, retailing for $1.99.