Ardent Mills launched a new set of capabilities within the existing mill in the popular River North Art District (RiNo) of Denver. The mill's new processing "muscle" will directly support The Annex by Ardent Mills (the Annex).
The company is investing in the Denver Mill to add capability to clean and pack intact grains, pearl barley and dehull heirloom grains like emmer, einkorn and spelt for a growing segment of farmers looking to bring these grains to market and customers who want to incorporate them into their recipes.
The mill enhancement is in response to rapidly increasing customer demand in segments such as artisan baking, brewing and distilling, food service and retail foods. These customers are seeking a connection to heritage traditions and ingredients, food safety certification, and product consistency and purity. The Annex is ideally positioned to service these needs through the mill, which will produce and clean food-grade, organic and non-GMO grains and sell them nationwide in 25- and 50-pound bags and totes.
"Our first year has been wrapped in innovation," said Shrene White, Director, The Annex. "We have listened to our customers, worked closely with our farmers and evaluated the future of the markets we can serve. Through the organic-certified mill, we are helping our customers bring these grains to life by serving as their source for dependable, food-safe, high-quality intact grains."
"As more and more farmers are willing to grow these grains, milling becomes the next important step to get them to the market place," said Kelly Whitaker, award-winning chef and co-founder of Noble Grain Alliance. "Noble Grain Alliance and our hospitality group are committed to the restoration of heirloom grains to Colorado and we are excited to see the development of the Denver Mill to help advance our work and the work of so many others into the future."
The Annex, dedicated to cultivating the future of specialty grains and plant-based ingredients, has aggressive plans to continue to grow and expand in Year Two. The Denver mill project is one of the first steps in this effort. The capital investment will provide the mill with comprehensive capabilities including cleaning, dehulling, pearling, color sorting and packaging.