Bob Moore of Bob’s Red Mill dies at 94
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Bob Moore, who followed his passion in the middle of his life to found Bob’s Red Mill, died Saturday at his home, officials connected with the company said. He was 94.
He took his love of healthy foods and milling whole grains to found the company in 1978 in Milwaukie, Oregon. The company quickly grew from just serving the Portland region to being a global food brand with more than 200 products in more than 70 countries.
When he was 81, officials said, he began an Employee Stock Ownership Plan for the company. At this time, more than 700 employee owners own the company. He remained on the board until his death.
“Bob’s legacy will live on forever in all of us who had the opportunity to work with him and is infused into the Bob’s Red Mill brand,” Bob’s Red Mill CEO Trey Winthrop said in a statement. “He did everything in his power to leave us on a strong path forward. All of us feel responsible and motivated to preserve his old-world approach to unprocessed foods; his commitment to pure, high-quality ingredients; and his generosity to employee owners and educational organizations focused on nutritional health.”
A celebration of life will be held at the Bob’s Red Mill store in Milwaukie at a future date. Details are pending, but it will be open to the public.
Bob spoke with KOIN 6 News in February 2022 about his life and times. Watch the video below
Moore was easy to recognize. He wore a red vest, cap, a beard and a bolo tie — just like the image on millions of packages of milled whole grain products from oatmeal to flour.
He was born in Portland on February 15, 1929 but grew up in California. He ran two gas stations, then started a flour mill there. He turned it over to his sons, then retired with his wife to Milwaukie to attend the seminary.
But when he found an old feed mill in Milwaukie, he decided to launch Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods when he was around 48.
“Bob’s Red Mill was health food before health food was cool,” said Kerry Tymchuk of the Oregon Historical Society. “The title of his biography that was written about him is ‘People Before Profits.’ And I think that was one of his philosophies. He was a very religious man and believed in helping people, an incredibly generous philanthropist and gave millions of dollars of donations to Oregon State University and OHSU.”
He 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.