Our Visit to Renwood Mills
We recently had the pleasure of visiting Renwood Mills, a North Carolina-based flour mill that’s been producing high-quality and locally sourced varieties of flour for over 80 years. They mill and package our unique flour recipe, which we use in our famous scratch-made biscuits.
Renwood Mills History
Originally founded in 1935, Renwood Mills has had several names over the years, but the milling process remains largely the same. The plant produces flour, cornmeal and baking mixes using crops from over 300 local farmers.
“Many of these farmers have been supplying us for years, and all of them know the impeccable standards that we expect.” (Renwood Mills presentation)
In addition to milling products for private-label use (like us!), Renwood Mills also sells several lines of their own products, like Tenda-Bake and Southern Biscuit.
Each batch of flour is tested throughout the process for overall quality, appearance and performance. The team also checks specifically for correct moisture content, protein content, ash content, and flour color.
In just one hour, the plant can mill and blend enough flour to make over three-quarters of a million biscuits. That’s a lot of dough!
Creating the Perfect Flour
The type of wheat used (and the process used to mill it) makes a huge difference in the end-product flour. Different types of wheat are better suited for different uses. For example, Hard Red Winter Wheat is the most popular variety of wheat in the U.S., making up 40% of production. This wheat is primarily grown in Kansas. It’s high protein and gluten content makes it ideal for baking bread and dinner rolls.
Renwood Mills uses Soft Red Winter Wheat, grown east of the Mississippi River. It produces a softer flour making it the perfect choice for cakes, pastries and, of course, biscuits!
“We use Soft Red Winter Wheat because it’s the right choice for making the best flour for baking light Southern favorites, and because it’s what our local farmers are growing.” (Renwood Mills presentation)
We began our visit with a brief presentation about all that Renwood Mills has to offer (as well as some fresh baked blueberry biscuits). From there, we headed to the mill! Wearing our required safety equipment, we followed David and Robbie as they led us through the multiple floors of the plant, stopping along the way to point out different stages of the process.
After our tour of the mill, we visited the Research & Development facility located right next door. This is where the team tests the quality of existing products, as well as testing recipes for new products.
We ended our visit with another batch of freshly baked biscuits. Gary made us two versions – one using our existing Tupelo Honey flour and one using a new blend that the Renwood team is in the middle of perfecting. Both sets of biscuits were absolutely delicious – all that was missing is our scratch-made Blueberry Compote!
True Southern Hospitality
We are so grateful to the Renwood Mills team for welcoming us into their busy facility! They answered our (many) questions about the milling process, and the numerous biscuit samples certainly didn’t hurt. The team is dedicated and passionate about their craft – in fact, many of their staff have been employed by the plant for years (and some for decades). We look forward to continuing our partnership for many years and biscuits to come!