Jeff and Emma Zimmerman
Tell us about your business.
We are a family business (started by a father-daughter team) that is devoted to making the freshest and tastiest flours from some of the world's oldest varieties of wheat. We started Hayden Flour Mills three years ago on a quest to make bread that tasted good. Like it used to. That's when we discovered heirloom wheat and a whole world of colorful and flavorful grains. We started growing one of the oldest wheats in North America called White Sonora and stone milling it in our garage. Pretty soon we were selling to local chefs and home bakers and had to move out of the garage. We got a bigger stone mill and we started growing more acres of White Sonora Wheat. And the hunger for artisan bread and fresh flours just continues to grow! Today we grow ten different heritage and ancient grains right here in Arizona and mill them into heritage baking mixes, stoneground polenta, pasta flour, pizza flour and artisan bread flour, just to name a few!
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.
The most important thing in our workspace is our Austrian stone mill. Our mill is made of the most stunning Tyrolean pine and its based on a technology that's been used to mill flour for thousands of years. It is a beautifully simple process and it produces a beautifully simple flour--as it should be, without additives or bleaching! We mill all our flours fresh to order. At the beginning of the week we fill up our shelves with grain from the farm and by the end of the week it's all turned into flour and delivered to our chefs, packaged for the farmers markets and sent to our online customers. It's a great feeling to see the empty shelves at the end of the week and know that everyone got the freshest flour possible from locally grown heritage wheat. It doesn't get more wholesome than that!
What inspires you?
We are inspired by the incredible variety of grains in the world. Most of these varieties have long been forgotten by modern farmers. Which is sad because we are missing out on some truly colorful and flavorful grains! It seems like we are always discovering a new grain like Blue Beard Durum or Purple Tibetan Barley. We are also inspired by the beautiful creations of our customers. Their artisan loaves, fresh pastas, and whole grain salads never cease to amaze us.
What makes your business stand out?
There is nothing like the sweet smell of freshly milled flour. Once you taste REAL flour there is no turning back. Sadly there are very few communities with mills anymore and the craft of stone milling has been all but lost. We hope to bring back the craft of milling, but more importantly we hope to build a community of farmers, bakers, chefs and brewers around these delicious grains.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?
Be your first customer. Never make a product that you would not use and love yourself. Never cut corners and do everything with excellence.
What does American Made mean to you?
American Made is creating something beautiful from the land that surrounds you.