Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Day at the Red Mill

Jocie and I went for a tour of Bob's Red Mill. You know Bob? He's the man who looks like Santa on those bags of flour and grain sold all around the world. Bob lives in Portland!  So does his mill.  And I love a factory tour with all my heart. I'll tour anything, especially if it's related to textiles or bread. This fit the bill exactly, so we went, and we enjoyed.

I mean, it was kind of what my baby daddy would call a 'lobby tour'. Though it looks like I was in these rooms, everything was observed through windows, since you can't be letting the dirty public around food. Still interesting, though! What about these giant bags of flour?! We learned that they're only ever used once. Then they're sold to gravel companies. Fascinating!

There was construction (and it was loud), but we could see where they stickered the bags there near the lobby. Apparently you need a hair net to apply the stickers...  

Then, Bob came in. There was a buzz of excitement, as we all asked for photos. Bob looks amazing! At age 84, he gifted the company to the employees when he was 82 and still holds an office upstairs. Some days he comes down and holds a sing-a-long with the tour! I wish they hadn't told us that. We didn't get the sing-a-long :(. Bob was sweet, though, asking us all where we are from. It was like meeting a jolly politician. Can you kiss my baby, Bob? Ok, maybe just a photo, then.

Jocie and I had a look around the rest of the lobby and learned a few things about milling.  We also investigated some machinery Bob acquired for the old mill, that had survived the Big Fire (ohhh, the drama, folks).  As they say at Bob's, "we grind with stones, we don't eat them" (or some such, I can't really remember).

After the tour, we headed down the road to the faux red mill, where you purchase your grains in the fabulous shop and eat your lunch, or breakfast, or breakfast for lunch, which rivals IHOP as the best ever, but that's a topic for another day...

It was a great morning!  I am counting the days when Penny is old enough to take a trip to the Holy Grail of Oregon tours, to see more machines doing what they do. I know it's not so exciting, but I just love it!

Penny Jones just likes meeting celebrities, and Bob is her biggest (and only) one so far!

P.S. Penny wore her HarVest, and got many compliments.
P.P.S.  There were also free samples, and now I have more favorite products, and some bread mixes to try!


Jocelyn Pascall said...

I loved this day. And you have the cutest baby ever.

dear olive said...

I think I know Red Mill! (And I'm in Australia!) And Bob gave the company to the employees??? Amazing. What a guy. Kellie xx

Alexandra said...

I love factory tours too! My favorites ever were the Jack Daniels distillery and the Celestial Seasonings factory(where even the bald guy in our tour group had to wear a hairnet!). The mint room was something I will never forget - it burns the eyes as soon as you walk in! Glad you had fun even though you didn't get to wear a hairnet!

Vintage2Vogue said...

love the stripes on you! they're always a classic choice!!!

stop by for a visit,

lydia from vintage2vogue


today i said...

I love this post!.

I saw that first picture of you and I thought you look very much like Hillary Swank!