45 Years of Natural Leadership: Bob Moore Honored as a Whole Grain Pioneer

By: Elisabeth Allie | March 3 2023
Bob Moore Grinding Millstone

Bob Moore in his element, carefully grinding a millstone to create the best whole grain flour!

Bob Moore has long been known as a pioneer in the whole grains community, bringing nutritious stone ground foods to people around the world. Now it's official: the Oldways Whole Grains Council is honoring Bob with their Whole Grain Pioneer Award, and has named him their Whole Grain King!

Oldways, a food and nutrition nonprofit dedicated helping people live healthier and happier lives, gathered several prominent food manufacturers together back in 2002 for a one-day session about the importance of whole grains. One of their original sponsors? Bob's Red Mill, of course! This led to the creation of the Whole Grains Council, of which Bob's Red Mill is a founding member, and their mission of helping consumers find whole grain foods and understand their health benefits—a mission to which Bob has dedicated himself for most of his life.

"Bob’s Red Mill was one of the first companies—along with Sunnyland Mills and the Sorghum Checkoff program—that partnered with Oldways to bring more attention to the health benefits and great taste of whole grains," said Sara Baer-Sinnott, President of Oldways.

John Goffe's MillBob Moore's Whole Grain Journey

Bob's interest in whole grain nutrition was inspired by two things: a delicious loaf of whole grain bread baked by his wife, Charlee, and the book John Goffe's Mill. "Now, this book was printed about 1940, and I found it about 1955," said Bob. "This gentleman inherited a mill. It was sitting there derelict, and he decided he would go claim his inheritance. And the story goes about him getting the mill going, the water wheel, the old millstones, and he began making whole wheat flour, whole corn meal, wonderful whole grain products. And gosh, it went really well!"

This inspired Bob to learn all about stone milling, and he founded Moores' Flour Mill in 1974 in Redding, California with his wife, Charlee, and two of their sons. "I was just so enamored with that that I began writing to mills around the country to see if there was any possibility of my getting a mill, or finding millstones, and it did turn out that way," said Bob. "In Fansville, North Carolina, I found a mill, and I bought three sets of millstones, and brought them out to California where we were, and put them to work. That’s how this thing started, and it has never slowed down!"

Bob & Charlee Sidestep Retirement to Start Bob's Red Mill

Bob's Red Mill 1978

Bob and his first crop of employees at the original Bob's Red Mill location.

After establishing Moores' Flour Mill, Bob and Charlee left it to the kids and moved to Milwaukie, Oregon, intending to retire and attend seminary school. But fate had other plans: while on a walk one day, Bob and Charlee happened upon an old mill for sale, and soon founded Bob's Red Mill in 1978. While their beginnings were humble, they were soon challenged to grow . . . and grow!

"Well, first off, our mill had a little store in the front of it, so we had a little facility and sold on our own. I always put little ads in the food section of the local paper, reminding people they could get whole grains at Bob’s Red Mill," said Bob. "Then one day a gentleman by the name of Fred Meyer walked in, he was about 90, he was close to my age now. I didn’t know who he was! He said he wanted my products in his stores. He had, I think, at that time about 49 stores, and he wanted to put a health food store alongside of his regular grocery stores, and he wanted my stuff in there. I laughed at him! I said, oh goodness, I don’t have the wherewithal, the space, I don’t have enough mills . . . I only had three mills at the time. I said, y’know, I’ll tell you what, come back and see me in six months and I’ll be thinking about it. Well, I think the rest is kind of history."

Charlee Moore

Charlee Moore was part of the dream from the beginning: from baking bread to stocking shelves!

Bob's Red Mill products were soon in Fred Meyer stores all over the region, when tragedy struck—the original mill burned to the ground in a suspected arson. "We had a disastrous fire when we had the old wooden mill. We had to start over, and it took a lot of energy and effort and money to make that work. [What surprised us was] how quickly our customers put us ahead so that we could be successful, knowing what we were going through. That was one of the biggest, most wonderful events, how quickly we got back and got a much larger facility. We were able to buy property, and all in all, we turned a very terrible incident in our life, the company’s life, into a very positive thing. We’re still enjoying the fruits of our success, even from that time."

Bob Moore: A Whole Grain Dream Brought to Life

Today, as we celebrate 45 years in business, Bob's Red Mill has about 700 employees and is 100% employee owned, selling delicious, wholesome products (including 80+ whole grain items) in more than 70 countries around the world! This is all thanks to the dream of our founders, Bob and Charlee Moore, and their commitment to bringing whole grain foods to people all around the globe. We want to thank the Oldways Whole Grains Council, who are also celebrating their 20th anniversary, for recognizing Bob's years of leadership and service. Visit their blog to read their full interview with Bob, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and the Oldways Whole Grains Council Instagram so you can see Bob accept (and wear!) his crown!


  1. mickey
    I am new to your site but have bought your products over the years. Re flax vs chia, I like both seeds & try to eat a serving every day along with a handful of walnuts (boycotting almonds due to the water used to produce the crop).
    I hope you will add me to your newsletter/blog as i want to maintain good health & am convinced that seeds are a key component.
  2. Marilyn Jess
    While preparing my morning cereal I was reading the back of the Muesli bag and the story of how the cereal was created by Bob and his staff. Have bought many of your products and recommended them to others.
  3. Kelly
    Thank you Bob for many breakfasts made with your beautiful oats. May you rest in peace

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