Bob Moore, Who Founded Bob’s Red Mill, Is Dead at 94

Bob Moore, the grandfatherly entrepreneur who, with his wife, Charlee, leveraged an image of organic heartiness and wholesome Americana to turn the artisanal grain company Bob’s Red Mill into a $100 million-a-year business, died on Saturday at his home in Milwaukie, Ore. He was 94.

His death was announced by the company, which did not cite a cause.

Founded in Milwaukie in 1978, Bob’s Red Mill grew from serving the Portland area to become a global natural-foods behemoth, marketing more than 200 products in more than 70 countries. The company’s product line runs a whole-grain gamut, including stone-ground sorghum flour, paleo-style muesli and whole wheat-pearl couscous, along with energy bars and cake and soup mixes.

Over the years, the company profited handsomely from the nutrition-minded shift away from processed foods and grains.

“I think that people who eat white flour, white rice, de-germinated corn — in other words, grains that have had part of their nutrients taken away — are coming up short,” Mr. Moore said in 2017 in an interview for an Oregon State University oral history. “I think our diets, nationally, and international probably, show the fact that we just have allowed ourselves to be sold a bill of goods.”

Despite the company’s explosive growth, Mr. Moore fended off numerous offers by food giants to buy Bob’s Red Mill. He opted instead for an employee stock ownership plan, instituted in 2010, on his 81st birthday; by April 2020, the plan had put 100 percent of the company in the hands of its more than 700 employees.

“The Bible says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Mr. Moore, an observant Christian, said in discussing the plan in a recent interview with Portland Monthly magazine.


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