I recently took a store tour of Harmon's Grocery Store, where I enjoyed learning about the store founders and local products, as well as how they select their meat products and where all that beautiful cheese comes from. I'll have more about it in future posts.
During my tour, I learned that the only flour Harmon's uses, for their fabulous baked breads, comes specially ground just for them, from Lehi Roller Mills. In my little humble opinion, there is no better bread this side of the ocean, so, this tidbit of information sent my mind wondering about the Mill and, those famous towers that jut up along the skyline of Lehi, Utah.
Like most people in Utah, I have seen, purchased and given those tasty baked mixes during the holidays and I thought it would be interesting to learn more about Lehi Roller Mills, and it's history, that is steeped so deeply in Utah. I reached out to them and asked for a tour. While the mill does not offer actual tours, I was thrilled when they invited me to come and have a look around.
After all, what self respecting teenager of the 70's, wouldn't want to put her feet on the same ground that Kevin Bacon walked on during the filming of Footloose, right? “Yum Yum! 🙂
Okay, that's enough reminiscing. Dancing aside, Lehi Roller Mills was actually established over 100 years ago, by George G. Robinson. The Mill holds a prestigious place on the National Historic Register.
My guide Alex Robinson, who is 4th generation to it's founder, taught me that those iconic towers painted with the words “Turkey Red”, are often confused as being Turkey feed. In reality, it's named for the Red Wheat that was grown in the country Turkey. Many bakers claim the gluten, protein and flavor make it the best wheat for baking.
This special flour is not only coveted by Harmons Grocery, it was also the first flour used by Kentucky Fried Chicken and is still being used in over 300 KFC restaurants today. An interesting litle tidbit about Jake Harmon, founder of Harmon's Grocery, spelled with an “o” and Pete Harman, spelled with an “a”, who was the first KFC franchisee, the two were actually brothers. An accidental public mis-spelling of the name is what caused the name differences. Rather than taking the costly action to make the correction, Jake Harmon chose to leave it with an “o”. No matter how you spell it, the relationship between the Robinson and Harmon's families go way back.
While visiting the mill store, located in Lehi on 833 Main Street, there were a few folks coming and going that swear it is the only flour that will bake their breads and cakes to perfection. I learned that the Mill takes the philosophy “only the best wheat can make the best flour” very seriously. Every batch of wheat, most of which is grown locally, is hand tested for quality before being ground. It's one of the few remaining mills that does this kind of testing.
I also learned the recipes for the mixes, are old Robinson family recipes, that were created by the founders wife and daughters. You can find some wonderful recipes in the recipe section of the website. I have to admit, I was REALLY surprised at the precise processes and selection of grains that go into making flour.
So, what matters most is the result right? Friends, I've got to tell you, if you haven't tried the pancake mix yet, you should pick some up the next time you go to the grocery store. You will never by Bisquick again! The pancakes it makes are super fluffy with the perfect density. I've never experienced this quality with any other other boxed brand. They are as good as homemade and no buttermilk is required!
Their muffin, brownie and pancake mixes are sold at most Utah grocery stores. I like to pick mine up at Harmons where they sell for around $2.99 a box.
Or, if you prefer to order online, Lehi Roller Mills is currently offering a special where you can get a FREE box of Pancake Mix with any online order (will end without notice). To access the free mix, just sign-up for their emails (bottom right of the page) and special coupon code will be displayed. You can avoid shipping by choosing to pick up at the Mill Store in Lehi.
And now, with all this talk about pancakes, I find myself with a craving. I'm off, to eat myself a big stack of Sunday morning goodness.
Editors notes: This review was not paid for or solicited by Lehi Roller Mills or Harmons. We post these because we love our local Utah businesses and want to share them with you. Note also, that at this time Lehi Roller Mills does not offer tours of the Mill to the general public.
Posted by Joani