Lowell, MI, April 10, 2024 – King Milling Co., the oldest continually operating business in Kent County, today celebrated the completion of a $47 million expansion that brings the country’s most modern flour mill to West Michigan.

The new six-floor monolithic concrete mill at King Milling’s headquarters in downtown Lowell produces 800,000 pounds of flour a day, enabling the company to produce more than 2.5 million pounds per day in its four mills on-site.

The facility includes wheat storage bins, tempering bins, cleaning and sifting equipment and finished flour bins.

A special ribbon-cutting was held at the new mill, 149 S. Broadway St., and included remarks by representatives from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s and U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar’s offices as well as city leaders and members of the Doyle family, who has owned King Milling for five generations.

“King Milling is proud to continue a century-plus tradition of providing premium flours to some of our country’s most popular consumer brands and restaurant chains,” Chairman and CEO Brian Doyle said.

“Fueled by strong customer demand, this expansion is the largest single investment we have made – and we are grateful for the State of Michigan and City of Lowell for their partnership in this expansion project.

“We also are deeply appreciative of our team of wonderful employees who are committed to King Milling’s success. Without their hard work and dedication, this new mill and our earlier milestones would not have been possible.”

The expansion project received a 12-year, 50% tax abatement from the City of Lowell and a $250,000 Food and Agriculture Investment Program grant from the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“In 2022, King Milling Company was awarded $250,000 through the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development. Today, we see the incredible results of those funds with King Milling’s expansion,” said Timothy Boring, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“An estimated 90% of King Milling’s products are sold regionally, further adding value to our wheat growers and local supply chains. Companies like King Milling are showing why Michigan continues to be a destination for food and agriculture businesses looking to grow while increasing innovation and outcomes.

“At MDARD, we continue to focus on investing in businesses that will help Michigan grow its food and agriculture sector while increasing exports and food processing activities.”

The new mill features the latest in energy-efficient design.

The fully insulated building uses all LED lighting, premium-efficient motors and a heat recovery system in which process heat is used to preheat intake air.

This sustainable design reduces fossil fuel use when operating in colder temperatures.

“The new mill is a significant investment not only for King Milling but for Michigan agriculture,” King Milling President Jim Doyle said.

“This represents a commitment to Michigan farmers, helping to fuel greater demand for their wheat. In addition, the mill’s feed by-product will provide significant food and fiber to Michigan’s growing animal sector.”

Construction on the new mill began in summer 2022 and was completed this past winter. The mill features materials and machinery from several companies in West Michigan and the state, including the concrete, electrical wiring, HVAC piping and grain handling system.

Skilled trade workers from West Michigan and the state spent a total of more than 192,000 hours on the project, with another 150,000 hours logged by highly specialized workers from outside Michigan.

These workers contributed to the region’s economy by renting apartments and hotel rooms, eating at local businesses and visiting entertainment venues, festivals and other events across West Michigan.

“For five generations, King Milling has been a staple in Kent County and a driving force in Michigan agriculture,” Stabenow said.

“By opening one of the most modern flour mills in the country right here in West Michigan, they have ensured that they will continue to be at the heart of their community for generations to come.”

The company mills various kinds of wheat for a wide range of flours for bakers and food processors.

It mills soft red, soft white, hard red winter and hard red spring wheats, either individually or blended, and produces varieties of white flour, whole wheat flour and wheat bran as well as its Super Kleaned Wheat® and Ceres®products.

King Milling’s Ceres® line features wheat processed through a proprietary process developed in the 1960s that deactivates enzymes for a longer shelf life.

While the majority of King Milling’s sales are sold in bulk to food processors, consumers can buy a few of the company’s branded flours at Gordon Food Service Stores, Heffron Farm Markets in Grand Rapids and Red Barn Market in Lowell.

“King Milling is a staple of West Michigan, and it plays a major role in the local economy, producing flour sold in our communities and across the country,” Moolenaar said. “Michigan farmers will also benefit from the modernization and expansion of this facility. Congratulations to the team at King Milling. I wish them all the best.”

King Milling has been family owned and operated from its beginning on the banks of the Flat River and is now in the fourth and fifth generations of Doyle family ownership, with over 60 employees throughout its operations on West Main Street.

In its early days, King Milling utilized a stone-grinding process to produce flour in a mill on each side of the Flat River.

Today, the company still utilizes some waterpower in its A Mill located on the banks of the river.

King Milling operates four mills using a fully automated network of milling equipment to produce a variety of hard and soft wheat products, sourced and processed in accordance with the food industry’s highest health and safety standards, providing unparalleled service focused on each customer’s specific needs.

The company was among the first mills in the world to fully automate operations.

When the King family founded King Milling Co. in 1890, Michigan had 700 flour mills.

That number dropped to 534 by 1900 and 28 in 1958.

Today, King Milling is one of only six remaining flour mills in the state.

About King Milling Co.

Family owned and operated since its humble beginnings in 1890 along the Flat River in Lowell, King Milling mills various kinds of wheat for a wide range of flours for bakers and food processors in Michigan and across the country. It produces hard and soft wheat products for customers who, in turn, make food products for some of the nation’s most popular consumer brands and restaurant chains. King Milling, after buying the existing flour mill in Lowell that began in 1847, is the oldest continually operating business in Kent County. To learn more, visit kingflour.com.