Ardent Mills has announced the launch of a new business unit, The Annex by Ardent Mills (“The Annex”), dedicated to exploring and providing food companies and foodservice operators with “next” grains and unique plant-based ingredients.
Driven by a team of experts The Annex offers the nimbleness, flexibility and speed of a start-up, all supported with the resources, relationships and expertise of Ardent Mills. It operates as a company-within-a-company, cultivating deep and lasting ties with farmers, university and private research teams, customers, and key vendors to identify, source, grow and pioneer everything from organic and heirloom grains to leading-edge ingredients.
The Annex offers a growing portfolio that includes heirloom wheats: emmer, einkorn, spelt, White Sonora; rye; barley; pulses; and ancient grains including Ardent Mills Great Plains Quinoa®, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, teff and sorghum. These ingredients are available in a variety of traditional forms like whole berries, flours and flakes as well as unique formats, including mixes, blends, IQF (individual quick frozen) and crisps. The Annex is also open to custom grain and ingredient programs which include exclusive cultivation of select grains that are not in commercial production.
“An annex is independent yet is part of something bigger,” says The Annex by Ardent Mills general manager Shrene White. “We’re excited to be empowered by Ardent Mills to be idea cultivators and solution providers. The Annex will support Ardent Mills traditional flour customers and a wide spectrum of new customers by offering a one-of-a-kind product portfolio. We love a challenge. And we bring to our work an earnest desire to collaborate with customers, farmers, universities and researchers, supporting their innovation and cultivating ideas to help build their businesses, whether it’s in fresh or packaged prepared foods, bakery or beverage.”
The Annex is backed by The Ardent Mills Advantage, a robust network of services, resources and experts that includes everything from R&D, production and culinary support to consumer insights, and risk management. Innovative Bakery Resources (IBR), another business unit of Ardent Mills, along with its Arlington, Ore. mix facility, are now integrated into The Annex by Ardent Mills. IBR is a state-of-the-art artisan bakery, where cutting-edge concepts and high-touch craftsmanship come together to help customers quickly take their ideas to market.
“We’re excited about the possibilities The Annex opens up,” says Ardent Mills CEO Dan Dye, “It’s a big step based on a simple, powerful idea: good food matters to everyone, and it should be available to everyone. We look forward to working closely with our partners big and small as we dream together about where that idea is headed next.”