What local celeb, whole grain empire builder and business legend enjoys hobnobbing with the likes of Martha Stewart and the cooking gals from Real Simple? Here’s one quick hint: he is always wearing red. It’s Bob of Bob’s Red Mill and what you may or may not know, is that there’s actually a Bob and there is actually a red mill and they both can be found here in Portland. Read on to discover what makes this spot a true Portland gem.
Bob’s Red Mill products are healthy, high quality mixes, grains and oats. You know the ones in the clear bags that inspire, confound and delight us? Yeah those. With recipe suggestions galore including tips about how to incorporate their organic and gluten free options, Bob’s Red Mill products are something every frenzied family can appreciate. In fact, they help make our busy lives easier and healthier! Pancake mixes, muffin mixes, bulk items, soup mixes and cereals, biscuit mixes and harder to find options like teff, spelt, and tapioca, are all at-the-ready.
Here in Portland, Bob’s Red Mill is so much more than just his food, though. We are ground zero for a festival of his natural foods; onsite bakery (oh the aromas wafting throughout the store), product-purchasing nirvana, and a cafe. Situated fifteen minutes away in Milwaukie, Bob’s Red Mill is a fab destination for an uber-family-friendly outdoor patio-delivered summer breakie or lunch. It’s also top notch for a picnic snack (picnic tables on hand in a grassy stretch right next to the cafe patio).
Worship at the Altar to Healthy Grains
To understand the lore of Bob’s Red Mill, let’s first discuss Bob himself. Bob Moore is an 80-something-years-young visionary who has been dedicating himself to healthy foods for the masses for over thirty years. Bob’s Red Mill, the building, boasts a still working water wheel (delightfully fascinating for kiddos of all ages) with bench seating for admiration of all types. Large millstones are on display inside and out and yowza, if they don’t remind us of the hard work it is to make the yummy foods we can now so easily grab off the shelves.
Bob’s Red Mill’s fantastic store shines with tremendous tastiness at every turn. Bob may be your new bestie. Watch out. And whatever you do, don’t let the kiddos hold the shopping basket. It will be full of treats in seconds flat. Their in-house baked cookies are bigger than your head and the bulk bins go on for days.
Bob’s Red Mill is yet another example of the local awesomesauce going on here in Portland. But get this – somebody else unique and awesome to Portland has his business right across the street, too. Your field trip to Bob’s Red Mill just got even richer! Across the street is none other than the home office and bakery of Dave’s Killer Bread! Upon arriving or exiting the parking lot to Bob’s Red Mill you will see whole grain lovin’ patrons crossing the street to go to or from Dave’s to get their Good Seed fix. Hooray for convenience, busy menu makers!
Tours of Bob’s Red Mill’s manufacturing facility are (close by the Visitor’s Center) held once a day at 10:00 am. Their Grain Guides are knowledgeable to put it mildly and can answer any questions you and your little grainiacs may have. Go see first hand how they make their baked goodness magic happen.
Know Before You Go:
Bob’s Red Mill is open Monday – Friday 6:00 am. to 6:00 pm. The restaurant stops serving at 3:00 pm. On Saturday the store and café open at 7:00 am. and the store closes at 5:00 pm. They are closed Sundays.
Their cafe features indoor and outdoor tables. We recommend the outdoor! With covered tables, some lush greenery, a bit of road noise from the highway behind (but hardly noticeable), grassy space in the picnic area, and a water feature, there is plenty to keep your mini muffins happy until the food arrives.
Dave’s Killer Bread
5209 SE International Way
Milwaukie, OR 97222
“Like” this story if you’ve been to Bob’s Red Mill and then tell us about your food pilgrimage in the comment section below.
— Liz Overson
Photos courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill Facebook page and Liz Overson.