We have hundreds of wonderful people here at Bob's Red Mill bringing you Whole Grain Foods for Every Meal of the Day®, and we're excited to introduce you to them with our series of employee-owner interviews! Next, we're taking you inside the mill and chatting with Shannon Johnson, Veteran Retail Store Associate at the Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Store & Restaurant here in Milwaukie, Oregon. Shannon frequented our original mill as a child (her mother was a regular customer) and joined Bob's Red Mill more than 25 years ago. Today, Shannon still has a family connection: not only do two of her kids work here, but so does her husband! Read on to learn about the early days of the mill:
Bob's Red Mill: How long have you worked at Bob’s Red Mill?
Shannon Johnson: It was 25 years in April!
Bob's Red Mill: In addition to maintaining the sprouting seeds and spices and working as a barista, what other duties have you had at the Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Store?
SJ: I’ve managed the store two or three times, I’ve managed the kitchen a couple of times—I’ve done just about everything here. I do love the store and the customers, that’s what I really enjoy about this job.
Bob's Red Mill: Where did you work before you came to Bob’s Red Mill?
SJ: Before this I was at Mike’s Drive-In, I worked there for 10 years, starting when I was in school. So this is my third job. My first one was Taco Time for a couple months. I’m really good friends with Todd, who owns Mike’s Drive-In, we’ve grown up together. And now here I am!
Bob's Red Mill: What made you want to work at Bob’s Red Mill?
SJ: My Mom actually shopped here and she knew Bob, so she told me they were hiring. I came down and got the interview, I filled out the application, and Bob came down and gave me the whole tour of the place. I went home, and he called me and said, “Can you start tomorrow?” And I’ve been here ever since! I started when we were [located] across the street, but I shopped at the original mill.
Bob's Red Mill: What are the skills that have served you the best at Bob’s Red Mill?
SJ: Probably customer service. That’s what I had at Mike’s Drive-In, but I was raising kids and needed to make more money, so this was something I really needed to do.
Bob's Red Mill: Do you feel there are any new skills you have developed?
SJ: Computers! In my day, that wasn’t a thing. I had to learn that. I’ve always loved to cook, I’ve been cooking since I was a little girl. So it’s like it was just meant to be.
SJ: I really like the Vegi Soup Mix. I just love it because I love the barley in it, the bite of the barley. It’s so quick and easy. I’ve had so many people buy it because you can have it done in an hour, and it’s the easiest and best soup. Other than that I do like the muesli, that’s another one of my favorites.
Bob's Red Mill: You must get a lot of requests for product recommendations. You have to be the expert on all of our products!
SJ: We try, we do our best!
Bob's Red Mill: What do you do when you’re not working?
SJ: I have three kids, they’re all grown now. Two of my kids work for Bob’s Red Mill. I have a son in maintenance, and my daughter works in labeling. And my husband works here. He’s in receiving. I actually met him here. It’s a family business!
Our thanks to Shannon for taking a break to chat with us. If you'd like to meet her in person, stop by the Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Store here in Milwaukie and say hi!