Bay State Milling Company, the largest family-owned, privately held grain miller in the U.S., is marking 125 years of business and the fifth generation of family ownership this year. According to the Family Business Consulting Group, only 3% of family-owned businesses make it beyond the fourth generation. Over the last century and a quarter, Bay State Milling has expanded beyond commodity flour to offer a wide variety of grain-based ingredients including nutrition-forward products like HealthSense High-Fiber Wheat Flour and SowNaked Mindfully Farmed Oats. The company operates 12 facilities across the U.S. and is now processing in Canada. 

Founded in 1899, Bay State Milling’s flagship mill in Winona, MN remains the company’s largest facility and will serve as the backdrop for the kickoff of its 125th anniversary celebration. Additional events will take place at Bay State Milling facilities across the country throughout the remainder of the year to recognize this milestone and honor the employees who have built and contributed to this legacy.

“In 1899, our founder traveled by train all the way from Boston to Winona to buy a bankrupt flour mill on the banks of the Mississippi River,” says Pete Levangie, president and CEO of Bay State Milling Company. “Since then, Bay State Milling has been on a relentless pursuit to promote the growth of nutritious, sustainable and accessible ingredients within our food system. We’ve continued to innovate and create industry-leading food ingredients in response to consumer demand for variety, health, taste, and affordability in their food choices. We are grateful to our dedicated team and loyal partners for helping us achieve this incredible milestone and look forward to many more years of milling excellence.” 

While Bay State Milling is headquartered in Quincy, MA, Winona is the birthplace of the company. Impressed by Minnesota’s reputation for high-quality wheat flour, the founding partners purchased Winona’s Porter Mill over a century ago – but wheat flour was just the beginning. Today the Winona mill employs 115 people to produce food ingredients including wheat flour, rye flour, and HealthSense High-Fiber Wheat Flour, the first and only high-fiber white flour in North America made from a unique varietal of non-GMO high-amylose wheat.

Related: Bay State Milling works to keep ahead of bakery ingredient trends