Wednesday, April 6, 2016

My new Hero, Bob from Bob's Red Mill

My new hero.  Bob from Bob's Red Mill.  I adore the man.  

     Recently I was on a teaching tour in Portland area.  My wonderful host, the Wilson Family called and arranged for me to spend the morning with Bob, from Bob's Red Mill.  Wow,  what a treat.  

      First off I was amazed that Bob,  who at over 80 years old completely runs the company, would have time for me.  He actually blocked off hours for me and I was  in heaven.  He gave me a personal tour of the entire building which is by the way massive.   From the mills to the labs, I enjoyed every minute.

     I learned so much stuff.  Did you know that when a load of grains come into the dock that before it is unloaded a sample is taken up stairs to the Lab and test are run to make sure it is up to the standard of Bob.   For example if it is gluten free it is checked for gluten and even if a trace is found it is rejected.   He has no problem sending back complete truckloads of grains that do not match his standards.  I love that.  

     I had no idea that Bob's is the largest grain packaging plant in the world.  He bags more grains than any one else.  For that reason he can demand the quality of the products he brings in.  

     I love the mills.  It was amazing how many he had and how much they work.  They are grinding 24 hours a day.   The mill never stops and employees over 400 employees.   

     Speaking of Employees,  Bob's love him.  I asked them.  And they all love working for him.  His turnover is low.  That tells you a lot about a company.  His main turnover is when they retire and his hiring is for expansion, not replacement.   As we went through the plant I was amazed that he knew every single employee by name,  from the lab techs, to the janitors.  I asked him about that.  He laughed and said, "I should, I hired them all personally."    Amazing.  

      He took the time to show me every part of his factory/mill/plant.  It was amazing.  I enjoyed every second and learned so much from him.  His love of grains was inspiring.  In fact I was so happy to be with someone that loved grains as much as I do.  At one point over lunch he said "Chef Brad, where have you been all my life".   I was thinking the same thing.  

     His story is great and inspiring.  I am in my fifties and wonder sometimes if I am going to be able to get it all done.  Bob was so inspiring to me.  In his eighties he does more then men half his age.   He inspired me to never stop,  no matter what keep moving forward and he speaks from experience.  His mill was burned to the ground and he picked up and started over only to become what he is today.  

      And what is Bob today.  Bob is a man that at 88 years old still has a vision and works each day to get it done.  He loves what he does and inspires thousands by his example and dream.  He is all about quality and blessing the lives of everyone he comes in contact with.    I loved that fact that he was willing to take a few hours out of his day and bless my day and inspire me to keep moving forward to capture my dreams.   Thank you Bob for  one of the best days ever.  Thank you for providing America with grains.  

Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy

The tour guide was great, but I loved the caption over her head.

My dear friend Eric Wilson.  We enjoyed the tour of Bob's Red Mill.   We are standing in front of a really old mill.  

Bob loves to read.  He gave me this book and I love it. 

I love this.  My entire last twenty years has been built on this theme.  No grain No gain.  

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