Bob’s Red Mill

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer

The owner and founder of Bob’s Red Mill died peacefully in his home Feb. 10, 2024, at age 94. Instead of selling his multi-million dollar business, Moore decided to give full ownership to his 700-plus employees. 

Bob Moore began his journey with his wife, Charlee, in the 1960s, when they decided they would use their whole grains to make a delicious loaf of bread for their family — and their love for grains grew from there. Years later, with the same passions, Moore came about “John Geoff’s Mill” by George Woodbury — a story of a man with no experience resurrecting his family’s mill, which inspired Moore to the fullest; “I envisioned the mill as a way to do what I wanted to do, what I believed in, which was whole grains. It was unique, it was healthy, and it fit all my aspirations of helping people.” 

This motivated the creation of Moore’s Flour Mill, which was eventually left to their sons after the Moores’ retirement. 

After the Moores retired, they moved to Milwaukie, Oregon, took a leap of faith and bought an old feed mill. Bob’s first large purchase was a $22 coffee pot — and the rest is history. 

The business has grown dramatically and is featured in almost every grocery store in the U.S. Red Mill’s products have grown from flours and grains to granola, protein powders, oats, mixes, baking aids and more. 

The Moores’ have always had the philosophy of putting people above profit. The family expresses this clearly on their website: “From the very beginning, Bob and Charlee focused on people over profit: their mission was to provide wholesome food to their customers, build close relationships with farmers and suppliers, and treat their employees with generosity and respect. Thanks to these values, Bob’s Red Mill has grown beyond their wildest dreams — like a single kernel multiplying until it reaches the four corners of the earth.” 

The Moores stood by their word. In 2010, on Bob’s 81st birthday, he announced the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, ESOP, promoting every employee to an employee-owner. After his passing this February, the plan was put into motion and over 700 employees are now the shareholders and owners of Bob’s Red Mill. 

Many may wonder how someone could so easily do such a selfless act, but as Bob says himself, “If I had to pick one thing about my life that stands above all the others, it would be the people. I love them all. I just love them.” 

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