Bob and Charlee Moore –
The Heart of Bob's Red Mill
For Bob Moore, it all started with a kernel of truth—a wheat kernel, that is. Back in the 1960s, Bob’s wife, Charlee, decided that she would feed her family nutritious whole grains, starting with an incredible loaf of whole wheat bread fresh from the oven.
Bob Moore: Before the Mill
February 15, 1929
Robert Gene Moore is born to Ken and Doris Moore in Portland, Oregon; six months later they move to San Bernardino, California
Bob and friend bring a model 1940 Douglas DC3 airplane, built by Rolph McPherson, to a Cub Scout meeting
Bob gets his first job, tearing down furniture to be reupholstered at Carson’s Furniture
Bob’s love of cars begins, as he spends $300 of his own money for a 1933 Chevy coupe
Bob joins the Army and is sent to Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands, to build bridges, roads and embankments that are used in nuclear testing exercises
Bob marries Charlee Lu Coote at his grandmother’s house, just less than a year from the day they met
Bob and Charlee soon welcome their first son, Ken, followed by Bob and David; the three boys were bright but full of mischief, and “Bobby did it!” became a family joke
Bob purchases a Mobil station and opens Bob Moore Mobil Service in Gardena, California
Bob, Charlee and family relocate to Mammoth Lakes, California to open a Chevron station; an unprecedented 14-foot snowfall devastates the fledgling business and the family relocates to Sacramento
The Moores rent a five-acre goat farm; here, Charlee plants a garden, raises chickens and bakes whole wheat bread as part of her mission to feed her family wholesome whole foods
Bob takes a job managing a JC Penney Auto Center and moves the family to Redding, California—the future site of Moores’ Flour Mill
Bob and Charlee met on a blind date in 1952. It was Charlee who first inspired the couple’s whole grain adventure when she decided to create a healthier life for her family by feeding them wholesome, natural foods and whole grains. Charlee was a fixture in the original Bob’s Red Mill store and took on many roles in the early days, including packaging products by hand.
The first whole grain loaf of bread that came out of my wife Charlee’s oven on our five-acre farm back in the ‘60s was the most delicious loaf of bread I can ever remember smelling and eating.
The Road to Bob's Red Mill
A Seed Is Planted
In 1968, while Bob was managing a JC Penney Auto Center in Redding, California, providence struck when he happened to visit the public library. There, something drew him to John Goffe’s Mill, the story of a man who—with no prior experience —resurrected his family’s ancestral mill and ground wheat into flour. This chance encounter changed the course of the Moore family forever, and created a ripple effect that has enriched the lives of everyone who enjoys wholesome whole grains.
“I envisioned the mill as a way to do what I wanted to do, what I believed in, which was whole grains. It was unique, it was healthy, and it fit all my aspirations for helping people.” —Bob
Moores' Flour Mill
Bob immersed himself in the ancient art of stone milling, researching historic mills and contacting dozens of people and companies in his quest to locate millstones and other flour-making equipment. While he discovered there were still plenty of mills in existence, most of them were relegated to museums! Fortunately, his persistence and people skills eventually paid off, and he was able to source traditional quartz millstones and other essential equipment from a defunct mill in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After a lot of hard work and ingenuity, in 1974 Bob was able to open Moores’ Flour Mill in a Quonset hut in Redding, California with Charlee and two of their sons.
Bob’s Red Mill Is Born
A few years later, Bob and Charlee left Moores’ Flour Mill to their sons and retired to Milwaukie, Oregon to attend seminary school. But while on a long walk one day, they happened upon an old feed mill—and realized it was for sale. After a lot of conversation and prayer, they decided to take a leap of faith and launch what would become Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. After all, Bob had already built Moores’ Flour Mill from scratch—and this time he was starting with an actual mill! Bob quickly put a plan in action (first major purchase: a $22 coffee pot) and in 1978, he and Charlee opened the doors of Bob’s Red Mill to a flurry of public and media interest. While the business has faced its share of challenges, their dream has been growing and thriving ever since.
Milestones of the Mill
The original Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods opens on Roethe Road in Milwaukie, Oregon
Northwest grocery chain Fred Meyer adds dozens of Bob’s products, introducing new customers to healthy whole grains
The original Bob’s Red Mill and Whole Grain Store burns to the ground in a suspected arson—only the millstones survived
Milling begins at a new, larger facility in Milwaukie less than a year after the fire
Bob and his new general manager, Dennis Gilliam, drive 22 hours straight to attend their first Expo West—without a price sheet—and take the business nationwide
Bob’s Red Mill distributes its first international products to Canada and South Korea, bringing whole grains to the world
The company relocates to an even larger facility, increasing its dedicated gluten free manufacturing capabilities and expanding to more than 100 gluten free products
On his 81st birthday, Bob announces he is creating an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), making everyone an employee-owner
Bob’s Red Mill announces its expanded participation in the Non- GMO Verified Project; to date, more than 200 BRM products are now Non-GMO Verified
The company celebrates the 10th anniversary of establishing their Employee Stock Ownership Plan
Food is powerful. It breaks down walls and feeds the soul. We know it and we live it. We believe in good food for all.
“My life’s purpose has been building and maintaining a company that provides healthy whole grain foods to folks around the world—and offers financial security to its employees.” —Bob
People Before Profit
From the very beginning, Bob and Charlee focused on people over profit: their mission was to provide wholesome food to their customers, build close relationships with farmers and suppliers, and treat their employees with generosity and respect. Thanks to these values, Bob’s Red Mill has grown beyond their wildest dreams—like a single kernel multiplying until it reaches the four corners of the earth.
If I had to pick one thing about my life that stands above all others, it would be the people. I love them all. I just love them.
Today, Bob’s Red Mill is proudly 100% employee owned, and we’re committed to upholding the values and legacy of Bob and Charlee Moore. It’s our privilege to continue their mission and bring you food you can feel good about eating!
Did You Know?
In addition to whole grains, Bob loves:
You can find Bob playing the piano at the mill or our Whole Grain Store. He often plays duets with his assistant, Nancy Garner. Their favorites? 1930s jazz, Cole Porter, Gershwin and Christmas carols.
Beagles & Classic Cars
Bob with two of his other great loves–his 1931 Ford Model A Roadster, and his beagle, Mandy. Bob owns two 1931 Model As, one a roadster and one a coupe, as well as a 1961 Ford Thunderbird convertible.
Bob has loved airplanes since he was a kid, and once planned to take flying lessons and buy a Mooney, a small private plane. When the original mill burned down, he instead focused his energy and funds on rebuilding.
Bob and Charlee enjoying a gondola ride in Venice, Italy. The couple loved to travel and visited Rome, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy, Greece and many other places.
Hats & Bolo Ties
Bob loves hats and has an extensive collection—he wears one every day for style and sun protection! Bolo ties are another of his signature items.