MULWAUKIE, Ore. - Bob Moore, the founder of whole-grain food company Bob’s Red Mill, has died. He was 94.
A statement from the Milwaukie, Oregon-based company announced his death on Saturday.
"He was 94 years old and full of the same love for wholesome foods as the day he founded Bob’s Red Mill," the company said, alongside several photos of the late founder. "Bob’s passion, ingenuity and respect for others will forever inspire the employee owners of Bob’s Red Mill, and we will carry on his legacy by bringing wholesome foods to people around the world."
The company statement added that it would "truly miss his energy and larger-than-life personality."
Moore was born in 1929 in Portland, but grew up in Southern California and went on to own a couple gas stations and do various jobs, according to the company. He married his wife, Charlee, in 1953 and the couple had three sons.
Eventually, the family moved to Redding, California, where their future in selling natural foods and whole grains began.
"After a lot of hard work and ingenuity, in 1974 Bob was able to open Moores’ Flour Mill in a Quonset hut in Redding, California with Charlee and two of their sons," the company’s website states.
A few years later, the couple left the Moores’ Flour Mill to their sons and retired to Milwaukie, Oregon. While on a walk, they saw an old feed mill for sale.
"After a lot of conversation and prayer, they decided to take a leap of faith and launch what would become Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. After all, Bob had already built Moores’ Flour Mill from scratch—and this time he was starting with an actual mill," the company’s website says.
"Bob quickly put a plan in action (first major purchase: a $22 coffee pot) and in 1978, he and Charlee opened the doors of Bob’s Red Mill to a flurry of public and media interest," it adds.
By 2010, Bob's Red Mill had grown exponentially, with an estimated revenue at over $100 million and products distributed in grocery stores worldwide. That same year, Moore switched to an employee-owned business model through the Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
Earlier this year, Moore discussed his desire for the company to give more to its employees during an interview with Portland Monthly.
"I came up here to study the Bible, and the Bible says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you," Moore recalled. "And so there’s an element of how you treat people that impressed me. And sharing in the profit, sharing in the company to make things more fair and more benevolent impressed me, and I felt strongly about it."
He added: "The more everyone organizes and works hard, the greater the profitability of the company, and that translates into higher value of ownership."
Charlee passed away in 2018. Moore is survived by his three sons, Ken, Bob, Jr., and David; daughters-in-law Dora, Barbara, Ashleigh and Terry; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.