Bob Moore, the founder and president of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, passed away on February 9, 2024, at the age of 94. He was known for his passion for whole grains, his generosity, and his leadership in the natural food industry.
The Legacy of Bob Moore
Founding Bob’s Red Mill
Bob Moore was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1929. He grew up during the Great Depression and learned the value of hard work and thrift. He served in the US Army during the Korean War and later worked as an engineer and manager for various companies.
In 1968, he and his wife Charlee moved to Oregon with their three sons. They bought an old mill and started grinding whole grains into flour, cereal, and other products. They named their company Bob’s Red Mill, after the red paint on the mill building.
Growth and Success
Bob’s Red Mill grew steadily over the years, as more people became interested in natural and organic foods. Bob’s products were sold in health food stores, supermarkets, and online. Bob’s Red Mill also became a certified organic processor and a certified kosher facility.
Bob’s Red Mill offered a wide range of products, including gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and keto options. Some of the most popular products were steel cut oats, almond flour, quinoa, and flaxseed meal. Bob’s Red Mill also produced baking mixes, granola, pancake mix, and soup mix.
In 2010, Bob surprised his employees by giving them full ownership of the company through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). He said he wanted to reward them for their loyalty and dedication. He also wanted to ensure that the company would continue to operate according to his values and vision.
Impact on the Community
Support for Local Farmers
Bob’s Red Mill was committed to supporting local farmers and suppliers. Bob’s Red Mill sourced most of its grains from the Pacific Northwest, where the climate and soil were ideal for growing high-quality crops. Bob’s Red Mill also partnered with farmers who practiced sustainable and organic farming methods.
Bob’s Red Mill also helped to preserve and promote rare and ancient grains, such as spelt, kamut, amaranth, and teff. Bob’s Red Mill worked with researchers and growers to develop and distribute these grains, which had unique nutritional and culinary benefits.
Bob’s Red Mill was also generous in giving back to the community. Bob’s Red Mill donated millions of dollars and tons of food to various causes and organizations, such as food banks, schools, hospitals, and research institutes.
One of Bob’s most notable donations was $25 million to Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in 2011. The donation was used to establish the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness, which focused on studying the link between nutrition and health.
Bob’s Red Mill also supported education and research on whole grains and nutrition. Bob’s Red Mill sponsored scholarships, grants, and awards for students and scientists who pursued studies in these fields. Bob’s Red Mill also hosted an annual conference called the Whole Grains Summit, which brought together experts and enthusiasts from around the world.
Remembering Bob Moore
Bob Moore was remembered by his family, friends, and colleagues as a kind, humble, and visionary leader. He was described as a man of integrity, faith, and curiosity. He loved to learn new things and share his knowledge with others. He was also a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Bob Moore was also passionate about his hobbies and interests. He enjoyed playing the piano, reading books, traveling, and gardening. He was especially fond of roses and had a large collection of them in his home.
Bob Moore was also an avid runner and cyclist. He participated in several marathons and bike races, even in his 80s and 90s. He said that exercise was one of the keys to his longevity and vitality.
Tributes and Condolences
Bob Moore received many tributes and condolences from his customers, fans, and admirers. Many people expressed their gratitude and appreciation for his products, which had improved their health and well-being. Many people also shared their stories and memories of meeting or interacting with him.
Some of the prominent figures who paid tribute to Bob Moore included the governor of Oregon, the mayor of Milwaukie, the president of OHSU, and the director of the Whole Grains Council. They praised Bob Moore for his contributions to the economy, the environment, and the society.
Bob Moore’s funeral was held on February 16, 2024, at the Milwaukie Presbyterian Church. It was attended by hundreds of people, including his family, friends, employees, and business partners. The service was also live-streamed online for those who could not attend in person.
Bob Moore was a remarkable man who left a lasting legacy in the natural food industry and beyond. He was a pioneer, a philanthropist, and a mentor. He touched the lives of millions of people with his products, his generosity, and his spirit. He will be greatly missed, but his mission will live on through Bob’s Red Mill and its employees.