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King Arthur Flour

America’s Oldest Flour Company | 0 Comments

TWO CENTURIES OF FLOUR AND BAKING: THE EVOLUTION OF KING ARTHUR FLOUR

KING ARTHUR FLOUR America’s Oldest Flour CompanyKing Arthur Flour is America’s oldest flour company, founded in Boston in 1790 to provide pure, high-quality flour for residents of the newly formed United States. To put it into context, George Washington had just been elected to his first term in office.

More than 220 years later, we’re the nation’s premier baking resource, offering everything from top-quality baking products to inspiring educational programs – all backed by the passion and commitment of our dedicated employee-owners. King Arthur Flour became an employee-owned company in 1996, when Frank Sands instated the employee stock ownership program (ESOP). We are now 100% employee-owned, and have always been 100% committed to quality.

Our headquarters in Norwich, Vermont, is called, appropriately, Camelot. Vermont Public Radio also calls Camelot home.

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Our Timeline

KING ARTHUR FLOUR America’s Oldest Flour Company1790

Henry Wood began importing European flour to Long Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. His goal was to provide high-quality flour for bakers in the fledgling United States.

1896

More than 100 years later, the company Wood founded gave its product a new brand name: King Arthur Flour. Their new, exceptional, U.S.-grown flour was introduced at the Boston Food Fair.

1957

The Sands, Taylor, & Wood Company proudly displayed mentions of King Arthur Flour and other products everywhere possible, including on company vehicles, as seen in a 1957 photograph at the company’s Massachusetts headquarters.

1984

Then-owners Frank and Brinna Sands moved the company from Massachusetts, where it had been based for 194 years, to Norwich, Vermont, where the company is headquartered today.

1990

King Arthur Flour established its mail-order Baker’s Catalogue; published The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook; and mailed its subscription newsletter, The Baking Sheet – to 126 readers.

1992

The Baker’s Store was opened in Norwich at the urging of local catalogue customers. The same year, our Life Skills Bread Baking Program began visiting schools to share the joys of baking and giving.

KING ARTHUR FLOUR America’s Oldest Flour Company1995

King Arthur Flour built new headquarters in Norwich, a 12-sided post-and-beam building appropriately named Camelot. Camelot now houses The Baker’s Store and Vermont Public Radio.

1996

With thoughts of retiring, Frank and Brinna Sands decided to sell the company to their employees and began an Employee Stock Ownership Plan; the company also launched its first website.

1998

King Arthur Flour established a second location – Avalon – in nearby Hartford, Vermont, for its customer service, fulfillment, and product development functions. Avalon underwent expansion in 2004 to accommodate the company’s growing workforce.

2000

The King Arthur Flour Bakery and Baking Education Center opened next door to Camelot. Today, bakers come from around the world for our renowned breads and pastries and exceptional classes.

2004

The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion won the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook of the Year Award; King Arthur Flour also completed its ownership transfer and became 100% employee-owned.

2007

King Arthur Flour became a founding B (Beneficial) Corporation, changing its bylaws to reflect its commitment to all stakeholders – including shareholders, business partners, the community, and the environment.

2010

King Arthur Flour launched its award-winning line of gluten-free baking mixes; its Life Skills Bread Baking Program taught its 120,000th student; and Baking Education Center classes reached more than 4,600 bakers.

2011

King Arthur Flour began a major expansion of The Baker’s Store, King Arthur Flour Bakery, and Baking Education Center to ensure we remain a destination for passionate bakers for years to come.

KING ARTHUR FLOUR America’s Oldest Flour Company

Business Is About Relationships: Learn About Our Recipe For Success

Making pure and consistently performing flour for over 200 years is no easy task, but we take such pride in our flour that we wouldn't have it any other way. We're motivated by knowing that every day, people across the country count on our flour - on us - to make their baking the best it can be. And as an employee-owned company, that's a responsibility every single one of us takes very seriously. See what makes us great; learn about our company, our people, our town.

Our Mission

KING ARTHUR FLOUR America’s Oldest Flour CompanyWe support and seek to expand all aspects of baking by being the highest quality product, information, and education resource for, and inspiration to, bakers worldwide. Our foundation is our good King Arthur flours, and our commitment is to the highest standards of excellence, value, and integrity in everything we do.

Our Purpose

The King Arthur Flour Company seeks to build communities worldwide through the creative joy of baking. This is our reason for being; it reaches beyond the bottom line into everything we do. Our purpose within our own company is to:

  • Inspire and guide each and every person at King Arthur.
  • Expand, prosper, and endure.
  • Provide employee-owners with guidance and support as the business constantly grows and changes.

What Sets Us Apart?

There are four major qualities that set us apart from our larger competitors, enabling us to outpace them, the industry, and the overall economy.

  1. First, we have an earned respect. There is a sense that our enterprise is special in what it stands for, what it does, and how we do it. This shows itself in the uncommon efforts and contributions - not only from those who work here, but also those with whom we work.
  2. Second, we have honest enthusiasm that spills over to those with whom we do business - from current and prospective employees, to customers and suppliers.
  3. Third, we have a culture of inclusiveness. We communicate just about everything to everyone in our organization, empowering them as partners in our endeavor. Strategies, plans, ambitions, and challenges aren't restricted to small circles behind closed doors - they're known, understood, and appreciated throughout our company.
  4. Fourth, making money in itself is not our highest priority. We view profit and wealth-creation as inevitable byproducts of doing things well.

KING ARTHUR FLOUR America’s Oldest Flour CompanyOur Employees

We had five employees in 1990. Today, King Arthur Flour has over 160. We are an employee-owned, open-book, team-managed company, with profit sharing and an employee stock ownership program. Our employees have a stake in what we do, and it shows in every bag of flour.

Our Customers

From Maine to Hawaii, our customers feel that they have a personal relationship with King Arthur Flour. They have incredible loyalty to us and to our products, not to mention a sincere enthusiasm that is constantly generating additional customers. Many bakers consider a visit to The Baker’s Store in Vermont a veritable pilgrimage.

Our Products And Services

Whether it's King Arthur Flour or other items in the supermarket, on our online shopping site, or in our mail-order catalogue or retail store, our products are of the highest quality. We stand behind everything we sell with a money-back satisfaction guarantee. In 1993 King Arthur Flour was sold in 11 states. Today, it can be found in all 50 states. Not only is King Arthur Flour the number-one selling flour in New England, it is the number-one selling unbleached flour in every market where we have full distribution. King Arthur Flour is also proud to offer the nation's top-selling whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, unbleached bread flour, organic all-purpose flour, organic whole wheat flour, and organic white whole wheat flour.

Our Resources

King Arthur Flour, its catalogue, and kingarthurflour.com are recognized as essential baking resources by food writers, cookbook authors, top chefs, and culinary personalities alike. We always make ourselves available to members of the culinary community to give information, ingredients, products, recipes, and interviews.

We stay up to date on current trends and issues affecting our field through participation in organizations such as The Bread Bakers Guild of America, the Retail Bakers of America, and the Home Baking Association. We further add to our consumer recognition as a home-baking authority with regular media coverage, advertising in national magazines, and support of PBS programs like Ciao Italia and Sara's Weeknight Meals.

KING ARTHUR FLOUR America’s Oldest Flour CompanyOur Website

Is a robust resource for home and professional bakers, offering everything from products to recipes to online baking tutorials.

Visitors can enjoy easy online shopping for thousands of new, classic, and hard-to-find ingredients, baking mixes, and kitchen tools; a free archive of more than 1,200 tested and trusted recipes; a blog that offers regular peeks into the King Arthur test kitchen and recipes with step-by-step instructions and photos; a wealth of basic baking tips and ingredient information; free online baking classes; signup for a free email newsletter, and more.

Mail-Order Catalogue

In 1990, black & white, digest-size catalogues were mailed to approximately 250,000 households. This year, over 6 million full-color, full-sized catalogues will be mailed. King Arthur Flour - the Baker's Catalogue is the largest-circulation catalogue for home bakers.

Baking Education

Here at King Arthur Flour we strive to offer not only the best baking ingredients and tools but also the knowledge and inspiration to help you do your best baking ever. Our on-site and traveling education programs are critical in this effort.

We offer hundreds of classes each year at our Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vermont.

With hands-on classes on a wide range of topics for kids to professionals, bakers of all skills and interests will find what they need to take their craft to the next level. Our Traveling Baking Demos bring King Arthur experts to cities nationwide each fall and winter to share tips and tricks for baking pies and yeast breads. And through our Life Skills Bread Baking Program we teach thousands of schoolchildren each year how to bake bread and for donation to local food pantries.

These classes round out the home baking experience that makes King Arthur Flour America’s premier baking resource.

Beyond The States

King Arthur Flour can ship flour internationally. You can email customercare@kingarthurflou­r.com  or call  call 800.827.6836 for shipping quotes.

KING ARTHUR FLOUR America’s Oldest Flour Company

www.kingarthurflour.com

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