Whole Foods

JJ’s Sweets® Awarded Whole Foods Market® Local Producer Loan

For Immediate Release:


Steven Hoffman, Compass Natural Marketing, steve@compassnatural.com, tel 303.807.1042

Saskia Cervantes, JJ's Sweets, saskia@cocomel.com, tel 303.800.6492

JJ’s Sweets® Awarded Whole Foods Market® Local Producer Loan; Proceeds Used to Launch New Chocolate-Covered Cocomels®, Organic Coconut Milk Caramels

Boulder, CO-based JJ’s Sweets®, maker of Cocomels®, was awarded financing via the Local Producer Loan Program by Whole Foods Market® to launch new Chocolate-Covered Cocomels® in a convenient two-pack, now available to all retailers nationwide. Cocomels, the original coconut milk caramels™, are artisan crafted, smooth and creamy caramel confections that are gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO, vegan, kosher and certified organic.

Boulder, CO (July 14, 2014) – After achieving significant growth and national distribution for its artisan-made, dairy free and certified organic Cocomels®, innovative confectioner JJ’s Sweets® was awarded a small business loan by Whole Foods Market® under its Local Producer Loan Program in the Rocky Mountain Region.

The funding was earmarked to create and launch a new product:  Chocolate-Covered Cocomels®, in a convenient grab-and-go two-pack size, now available to all natural, organic and specialty food retailers nationwide.

Chocolate-Covered Cocomels are handcrafted, luscious, smooth and creamy coconut milk caramels, enrobed in a silky layer of vegan dark chocolate. The new package size is convenient and perfect for the everyday consumer to indulge in a delicious caramel confection, without any dairy or gluten. Chocolate-Covered Cocomels are available in Sea Salt, Vanilla and Espresso varieties.

“Our new Chocolate-covered Cocomels two-pack is the perfect size and price point for customers on the go. They are presented in space-saving, eye-catching display boxes - ideal for point of purchase displays and merchandising on the shelf,” said Saskia Cervantes, Director of Marketing for JJ’s Sweets.

Loan Program Supports Growth of Artisan Producers

The new Cocomels product was made possible by the support of the Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program in the Rocky Mountain Region. The loan program, established in 2006, is driven by Whole Foods Market’s 11 regions, with support from the company’s central office in Austin, TX. “By playing a role in advancing new ideas, growing businesses and realizing dreams, Whole Foods Market stays connected with both our neighborhood producers and our global food community,” said Betsy Foster, Whole Foods Market Global VP of Growth and Business Development, who helps oversee the local producer loan program.

Speaking to the success of Whole Planet Foundation's micro-credit loans in developing world communities, Whole Foods Co-CEO John Mackey said, “We intend to do a similar thing to support local agriculture wherever we have stores.” Today, the Local Producer Loan Program provides up to $25 million in loans to independent businesses. Since its inception, the program has provided 184 loans to 155 companies.

“We are grateful for the support provided to us by our local Whole Foods Market region,” said JJ Rademaekers, Chief Candyman and Founder of JJ’s Sweets. “The Local Producer Loan Program has allowed us to extend our family of products and bring new Cocomels sizes to all retailers and consumers looking for a delicious treat that is organic, non-GMO, kosher, vegan, gluten-free and dairy free. Our customers will be able to indulge just the right amount with this two-pack size, or if they’re feeling generous, share with a friend!” he said.

About Cocomels® and JJ’s Sweets®

JJ’s Sweets®, maker of Cocomels® – The Original Coconut Milk Caramel – is a Boulder, CO-based company that creates innovative, artisan-crafted candy confections using sustainable practices, premium ingredients and old-world inspiration. Award-winning Cocomels are batch-cooked in copper kettles with dairy-free ingredients to create delicious, smooth and creamy caramels, which are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, and USDA certified organic. Inspiration, creativity and love go into each blissfully delicious treat!

Cocomels are available to retailers and consumers nationwide in four delicious flavors: Original, Sea Salt, Vanilla, and Espresso, and come in 3 convenient sizes (Single piece tubs, 3.75 oz. Flagship boxes, and 1.5 oz. pocket packs). Chocolate-Covered Cocomels are available in convenient, 1 oz. two-packs, including Vanilla, Sea Salt and Espresso varieties.

Cocomels can be found throughout the U.S. at leading natural, organic and specialty food stores, including independent co-ops, Whole Foods Market, Fresh and Easy, Earth Fare, The Fresh Market, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts, PCC, New Leaf Market, Erewon, Lassen’s, Mother’s Market, Dean and Deluca, MOMs, and other leading retailers.

Learn more at www.cocomels.com, and on Facebook and Twitter. Contact info@cocomel.com, tel 303.800.6492.

About Whole Foods Market

Founded in 1978 in Austin, TX, Whole Foods Market® (NASDAQ: WFM) is the leading retailer of natural and organic foods, and America’s first national “Certified Organic” grocer. The company has 386 stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

Communications by Compass Natural Marketing

info@compassnatural.com | 303.807.1042

Forging the Way: Functional Formularies® Liquid Hope™

For Immediate Release:


Robin Gentry McGee, Functional Formularies, robin@functionalformularies.com, 937.271.0381

Steve Hoffman, Compass Natural LLC, steve@compassnatural.com, 303.807.1042

Forging the Way: Functional Formularies® Liquid Hope™ Innovative Organic Whole Foods Meal Replacement Wins NEXTY 2014 People’s Choice Award

Award-winning Liquid Hope by Functional Formularies, the world’s first organic, non-GMO shelf stable whole foods meal replacement and feeding tube formula, is poised for growth in the natural products retail and health care institutional channels.

Wilmington, OH (October 17, 2013) – The combination of revolutionary product and the power of social media placed Liquid Hope—the first organic, non-GMO, shelf stable whole foods meal replacement designed for enteral (feeding tube) delivery produced by Ohio-based Functional Formularies—among a select group of 61 nominees for the 2014 NEXTY Awards.

The winners were announced in time to be showcased at Natural Products Expo East this past September. Liquid Hope won the People’s Choice Award in the Natural, Organic and Functional Foods and Beverages Category.

The NEXTY Awards, powered by Boulder-based New Hope Natural Media in conjunction with the Sterling Rice Group, recognizes companies in the natural products space for their ingenuity and innovation in a given category.

While meal replacements and supplements are a fiercely competitive and growing category—U.S. consumer sales of supplements grew 7.5% to $32.5 billion in 2012—the organic whole foods meal replacement feeding tube category was virtually nonexistent until Liquid Hope came to market. The leading conventional feeding tube formula brands are Nestle and Abbott Nutrition.

Robin Gentry McGee is the Founder and CEO of Functional Formularies, the company behind Liquid Hope. The whole foods meal replacement is the first of a line of products developed by McGee in 2006 in an attempt to help her elderly father recover from a traumatic brain injury. McGee realized the hospital feeding tube formula was comprised mainly of ingredients including corn syrup, soy and sugar that may have been genetically engineered, artificial flavors and other chemicals—“no real food to be found,” she says, and thus began her quest to use food as medicine to help her father.

Food as Medicine

As a seasoned chef, certified health coach and entrepreneur, McGee knows Functional Formularies is an opportunity to “delve into the deeper healing properties of food and share with those in need of alternative forms of nutrition due to illness or digestive issues, or simply a desire to consume nutritious whole foods on a regular basis.”

With an extensive ingredient list of pureed gluten-free, vegan, organic whole foods including green peas, carrots, sprouted quinoa, miso, almond butter, turmeric, rosemary and a proprietary vitamin blend, the meal replacement was originally intended for feeding tube delivery however it’s palatable savory flavor works well for anyone seeking increased daily nutrition through oral consumption.

Currently consumers of Liquid Hope range from children as young as 18 months to the elderly suffering from such illnesses as cancer and Eosinophilic Esophagitis, extreme inflammation of the esophagus.

“Many of my cancer and ALS patients have asked me for a whole foods approach to nutritional support and I have not had anything to give them until now. Liquid Hope is a perfect answer to this problem. It is … made to help improve the health of patients, not add to their illness. I would love to have all my patients on it,” said Lynn Goldstein, MS RD CDN, Clinical Nutrition Supervisor for Beth Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

With positive response from health care professionals, McGee would like to see the company launch into the larger health care institutional channel, crossover pharmacies, and the natural products retail marketplace. Retail outlets that emphasize education for the consumer are ideal, says McGee. Liquid Hope, available in 12 oz. shelf-stable pouches, is currently sold at Dorothy Lane Markets, select independent natural products stores and online atwww.functionalformularies.com.

Meet Functional Formularies at the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo

Functional Formularies will exhibit at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo October 19-22 in Houston, TX. For more information visit www.eatright.org/FNCE.

For more information about Functional Formularies or to inquire about selling Liquid Hope in your store or health care practice, please email Functional Formularies or call 937.271.0381.

About Functional Formularies

Founded in 2008 by chef, certified health coach and entrepreneur Robin Gentry McGee, Functional Formularies produces organic whole foods meal replacement products, including Liquid Hope, designed for enteral feeding and oral consumption. The company is founded on the principles of “food as medicine” and is an alternative for patients suffering from a wide range of illness as well as those seeking increased daily nutrition through whole foods. For more information visit www.functionalformularies.com.

Communications by Compass Natural Marketing

info@compassnatural.com 303.807.1042