The mill – located in the River North Art District (RiNo) of Denver – will clean and pack intact grains, pearl barley and dehull heirloom grains like emmer, einkorn and spelt.
It will sell the food-grade, organic and non-GMO grains nationwide through The Annex by Ardent Mills, a business unit set up in March last year to promote speciality grains.
According to Ardent, it is seeing increasing demand from customers for these ingredients for use in artisanal baking, brewing and distilling.
Bringing ancient grains to life
“Our first year has been wrapped in innovation,” said Shrene White, director of 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 as their source for dependable, food-safe, high quality intact grains.”
The RiNo mill – which has a 5,000 cwts daily milling capacity – is the smaller of two flourmills Ardent operates in the Denver area.
The company’s Commerce City facility has 20,000 cwts of daily milling capacity and includes family flour packaging, bakery mix manufacturing and a specialty mill that produces baker’s brand and mills whole wheat flour.
The announcement comes shortly after Ardent announced it is closing four of its flourmills to enhance efficiency.
The mills – located in Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania have a combined milling capacity of 23,600 cwts.
The Annex by Ardent Mills operates as a company-within-a-company, cultivating ties with farmers, university and private research teams, customers and key vendors to identify, source and grow heirloom and ancient grains.
It portfolio includes heirloom wheats – emmer, einkorn, spelt, White Sonora – rye; barley and pulses; and ancient grains including Ardent Mills Great Plains Quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, teff and sorghum.
Innovative Bakery Resources (IBR), another business unit of Ardent Mills, along with its Arlington mix facility, were integrated into The Annex, which is backed by The Ardent Mills Advantage, a network of services and resources like R&D, production, consumer insights and risk management.