We have a lot of Bob's products in our kitchen, and my boys know his name. My 5 year old loves Bob's 10 grain cereal and I regularly use his flax seed, whey, gluten, as well as faithfully using his organic oats, organic whole wheat flour, and unbleached white flour.
Growing up, my mom baked our bread and once took me as a small child (with my Grandma) to Bob's Red Mill, in its earlier location (before it unfortunately burned in 1988).
Traveling there yesterday and walking among the shelves and bags of wholesome choices, barrels of bulk goodies brought back very hidden memories for me. I remembered my first (and only) visit to his store when I was just a little one. Peering into the big barrels of flour and not quite understanding how the whole bulk foods system worked.
When we walked in we were greeted by Nancy, Bob's Executive Assistant who led us to the cafe and explained very kindly our options and how to go about ordering. I was impressed from the get-go. Not to mention the moment you step out of your car, you are pulled in by the amazing aromas... :)
We had lunch in the cafe seating area, overlooking the store. At one point near the end of our lunch, I took my four year old to the potty and when we returned my five year old was beaming, as well as my Grandma... Bob had been by!
He had visited with them for a moment and given my son a little wooden coin that signified a free cookie. My boy was infinitely proud of the whole experience.
I told him he was my hero for meeting Bob and after lunch we looked all over the store, I wanted to meet Bob, too! My four year old covered his face with his hands and cried quietly when we found out Bob had left ~ he really wanted to meet him, too.
"I didn't want a free cookie, Mommy, I just really wanted to meet Bob..." he told me. I believe him.
He has never cried for lack of meeting Chuck E. Cheese :)
While my Grandma perused the bulk section, I took my boys to the bakery case for cookies. The woman behind the counter was so sweet - she opened a new bag of chocolate chip for us (since they were sold out of almost everything) and as she placed them in the case she broke one in her gloved hand.
"Oh well" she says "I'll just have to throw this one away, unless you want it." I most gratefully did :)
As we approached the counter to pay for my little one's cookie (my big boy proudly handed his little wooden coin over the counter), she said "I've got another coin back here, don't worry about it." And she gave my little one his cookie for free too.
So, in the end she gave us three free cookies (they were $1.25 each).
I purchased bunches of organic oats, organic 7-grain cereal, some interesting Anasazi Beans, several loaves of the best bread made with organic flour, potato-rosemary buns (must I say more about these?) and a big bulk bag of organic hard white whole wheat flour. Heaven, truly.
I seriously felt like a kid in a candy store - except I was a mama in a whole grain health foods store - which is much better.
It was entirely addicting ~ we spent 3 1/2 hours there!
All in all, our visit to Bob's Red Mill was a complete success. We left there tired and proud, my big boy and Grandma still bubbling about meeting Bob, and my little boy (his snicker doodle gone now) drifting off to sleep in his car seat.
Next time, in a few months, we will go at 10am and get in on the free 1 hour mill tour they offer: Monday through Friday only at 10am.
You will no doubt enjoy this story published by Oregon Live on February 16, announcing Bob Moore's generous gift to his employees on his 81st Birthday.
Okay, I just really wanted to share all of that with you. It feels great to do the right thing for your family's health, eh?
Have a great Sunday, Love & Sincerely, Katie