Whole Foods Market announced the ten brands in the initial cohort of its Local and Emerging Accelerator Program. They include Rhode Island-based Israeli-Jewish Buns Bakery, Pennsylvania-based Asian candy brand Numa and Mississippi-based hair care company Tangles & Beyond.

The selected brands will participate in a 12-week curriculum led by industry experts and receive a year-long mentorship with a Whole Foods Market Local Forager. They will also be eligible for a $25,000 equity investment managed by the Austin Community Foundation donor-advised fund.

Vice president of local merchandising, Will Betts, said Whole Foods Market has long been committed to supporting small 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.

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