Hodgson Mill Inc.
The story of Hodgson Mill Inc. begins in 1837, when Alva Hodgson, pioneer and entrepreneur, built a water-driven grain mill deep in the Missouri Ozarks. Over the course of several decades and a few rebuilds, the mill changed hands. In 1882, the mill’s iconic building was constructed and today, the operation’s current owners use its likeness on their products.
Since 2006, Bob and Cathy Goldstein have brought new life to the century-old operation, providing all-natural milled grains for consumers across the world. Bob first began work with Hodgson Mill in 1988, when the business was acquired by Siemer Milling, the mill run by Cathy Siemer Goldstein’s family for five generations. Bob had already established himself at Siemer Milling as a skilled manager and expert in the industry.
Hodgson Mill operations had already moved from the historic mill to a more modern production facility in Gainesville, MO. “The first time I walked in, I almost fell over,” Bob explains. “It was like I had stepped back in time about 40 years.” When the Goldsteins purchased the company in 2006, production was split between Effingham and Gainesville. To streamline operations, they made the decision to consolidate Hodgson Mill’s operations in a state-of-the-art facility in Effingham, Illinois, where Bob grew up on a farm and Cathy’s family is located.
In the time since, the couple has spent nearly 10 years balancing the growth of the business with the growth of their family. With six children, Bob and Cathy have now introduced a second generation of family members into the business.
Their daughter, Erin Goldstein, recently came on board as Brand Marketing Manager. Meanwhile, son Andy Goldstein is learning the trade and getting involved in specialty products. Outside of the family, Hodgson Mill employs more than 100 people in the company’s large production facility, as well as a brand new sales and marketing office which houses a retail store and will soon offer a café and education center.
Hodgson Mills offers a wide range of healthy, natural grains, flours, and mixes. The company’s catalog includes options for a range of dietary needs and preferences, including gluten-free and non-GMO products.
The brand offers popular stone-ground flours of traditional grains such as wheat and rye, as well as gluten-free and organic selections. In the grain segment of the business, consumers can find couscous, quinoa and cereals. Other specialty products, such as baking mixes, flax seed and pasta, are popular with consumers throughout the company’s broad distribution footprint.
In 2015, the company is adding 18 new products to the line. New additions include cracked Kamut Khorasan wheat, buckwheat hearts, red, white and black quinoa, sorghum, and side dishes and a hot cereal incorporating these popular ingredients. The business offers more than 100 non-GMO items and a leading selection of gluten-free products.
Customers can rest assured that food meets dietary requirements. Hodgson Mill’s products are certified through the Non-GMO Project, an organization that guarantees traceability in products. The company also takes high-level precautions to ensure gluten-free products do not come into contact with wheat, an allergy trigger for many of Hodgson Mill’s target market. The business offers USDA Organic products, which are grown and handled according to strict organic guidelines without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.
Foods for the future
Bob and Cathy take a lot of pride in the growth of the company. “It has been really rewarding to see the evolution of this business,” Bob says. “We have been part of this since 1988, consistently making upgrades including four expansions. We are proud of the high quality products and we have had a great team of people helping us along the way.”
In 2015, the company has opened up 39,000 square feet of new production and warehouse space for new packaging machinery. The sales and marketing office and retail space offer improved customer interaction with inviting spaces to showcase the company’s products.
Hodgson Mill’s products continue to grow in demand with changing food trends. While output and profitability are vital to operations, Bob says internal growth is his major key performance indicator. “We want to see our people grow as the business develops,” he explains. “Our people are a huge component of our success and we want to keep them happy while providing the best products and service possible to our customers.”
Over the coming years, Hodgson Mill will continue to grow as the slow food trend takes on an important role in the American food system. Customers will continue to rely on the business for quality products that are allergy-safe, nutritious and tasty. With a strong team, a streamlined facility and a growing loyal following, Hodgson Mill Inc. remains a leader in natural dry goods.