Richard Ruelas tells our story much better than we could. Read it here.
We have revived the tradition that started in Tempe, Arizona, over 125 years ago by Charles Hayden and his Hayden Flour Mills. While not milled at the iconic Hayden Flour Mills’ building, our fresh flour harkens back to a time when flour still was full of nutrients and flavor.
In 1874 Charles T. Hayden established the Hayden Flour Mills at the base of “A” mountain in Tempe. The mill depended on thousands of bushels of Pima and Maricopa Native American corn and wheat for its success. However, by the 1890’s, within forty years of the first settlements, the local Indian food system collapsed. For a while, Hayden partnered with farmers in Lehi, but eventually the mill sourced grain brought in by rail from out of state. By today’s standards, the mill started out as environmentally “green.” Four French stone bhur mills were powered by water from the free flowing Salt River. (It wasn’t until the 1920’s that the mill converted to electricity.) Over time, the stone mills were replaced with a high-capacity industrial rolling milling process. With consolidation in the milling industry, Hayden Flour Mills ceased operations in 1998 after 125 years of production. In 1873, there were 23,000 mills in the United States; by 1998 there were just 201 mills, with four firms accounting for 70% of total industry capacity.
Today we grind organic grains on an Austrian stonemill. And we are even growing most of these grains locally! We are working with chefs, farmers and conservationists to revive Arizona's local grain economy in the spirit of Charles T. Hayden and his 1872 Hayden Flour Mill.
(Photo Credit Bill Steen)