Healthy Living on August 13, 2009 by

At Your Service!

What happens when you call a customer service line? An automated voice asks you to push 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, then 5 for one thing and 7 for another. Once you’ve pushed all the numbers you can possibly push and you’ve been on the phone long enough to have baked 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies, you are relieved and then disappointed to finally hear a computer-like voice tell you, “All representatives are busy at this time. Please wait on the line for 31 minutes for the next available assistance.”

You’d probably have better luck hitching a ride to their corporate office in Siberia for all that’s worth.

When I get to work in the morning, I feel like I’ve gone back in time, back to a place of honor and simplicity, back when small business meant something and people actually cared about other people. I walk into the customer service room to see just a handful of desks, one each for my 5 customer service coworkers and me. Towering file cabinets cluster in one corner of the room, the lifeblood of information we use to answer your many questions (do you know what the ash content of a flour measures?). The room usually smells like freshly baked bread made by our test kitchen staff.

I sit at my desk, the phone starts ringing, and before I know it I’ve spoken with a women from Spokane whose child suffers from celiac disease and obsesses over our Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix, and a man in Providence who would eat our Corn Grits/Polenta for breakfast, lunch and dinner if his wife didn’t have any say in the matter. Countless others: people who suffer from obscure food allergies and people who love our Gluten Free Brownie Mix as much as I do, people who are in the middle of baking bread and have a question about what to do next. People who call in just to say hello.

And that’s our bottom line here at Bob’s Red Mill. We’re here to talk, listen, and laugh. We’re here to solve problems and find answers to those tough, ambiguous questions (and even the silly ones!). We’re here to reply to your letters and emails and take your orders and work hard to serve you, our customers. We’re real people here. We prefer it that way.

Please feel free to email us anytime at and let us know what you think, what you fear, what you love, how the barbecue with the in-laws went last weekend. Anything. And we guarantee you won’t have to wait to talk to a live person.

After all, we do this for you.


Janis Battaglia says:

The article is great–and I would love to have an answer to my question right this red-hot minute, except that I couldn’t find a phone number with which to call you!

Oh, well. If someone actually gets this and can respond to the above e-mail address, I’d like to know if I can use the medium grind corn meal to make Polenta like I did with the Corn Grits? If so, would the proportions of ingredients be the same? Thanks! Janis
P.S. Congratulations on winning in Scotland! (Somebody misspelled “porridge” on the first page of your web site, though–where the pictures keep rotating.)

kimhayes says:

would like coupons … love the work y’all do for us thank you

Please email us at with your address to request coupons.

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