When I started The Grain Mill Cooperative, it began as a small, family owned business in my mother-in-law apartment. The goal is to provide the freshest possible ingredients to home bakers, with a wide variety of the highest quality bulk grains to choose from.
Then something unusual began. As word of mouth spread about the store's customer service, quality products, and great prices, customers began asking if they could purchase dry food and bulk grains by the 50 lb bag. When I asked, "What are you going to do with all that grain?" The answer was typically, "We'd like to have it for the mountain house, you know. Do you have any more of those screw-top food-grade buckets?"
Momma told me that there were two things that polite people should never talk about in mixed company; politics and religion. I guess I'm not polite, because these topics are brought up regularly by our customers at The Grain Mill Co-op. There are many, many people concerned about the recent actions of the Federal Reserve Bank and Ben Bernanke. The terms "Quantitative easing" and "Weimer republic" often come up in the same sentence as "emergency preparedness" and "long term food storage".
In my mayoral bid in 2008, I cautioned the people of Wake Forest to begin developing long term plans and processes to prepare for the upcoming resurgence of the very-local economy and the demise of the Federal Reserve fiat note. And while I did not win the election, my campaign's bully pulpit raised awareness of these keen economic issues in our town.
I've advised many of my college-aged friends to take some vo-tech classes and learn a barterable trade like welding or engine repair. And I recommend them to put aside some basic food staples to get them from here to there.
Because of The Grain Mill Co-op's association with the distributor that provides bulk food for the Amish stores in Ohio and Pennsylvania, I can offer my customers in central and eastern North Carolina the opportunity to purchase the same types of food in bulk at a substantial cost savings over our already low, buy-by-the-pound prices.
We own our store location outright without a mortgage and have minimal monthly fixed costs. As such, we are able to discount our profit margins significantly. We pass that savings on to you so you can buy more food with less money.
Unlike some radio talk show hosts, I don't think the world is going to end. I do think that it's going to become very different as we, a nation of problem-solvers, attempt to find ingenuitive solutions to issues that we have typically shored up by throwing fistfuls of fiat dollars at the target.
Your community will go in one of two directions; either it will band together into a cohesive nearly self supporting entity, or it will fall apart.
Likeminded people are out there. I talked to them everyday in my store. Right now many of them feel isolated since they've been conditioned not to talk about religion and politics.
My hope is that people like ourselves will find each other and pull our local communities back from the brink of financial ruination by applying the same ethos that made America the great country it was: individual responsibility, true self-governance on a local level, and free enterprise unshackled from the bonds of petty bureaucracy.
But just as an army moves on its stomach, the very-local economy cannot renew itself when its residents are hungry. I've read that the country is nine meals away from anarchy. We have a responsibility to prepare for this transition period.
I highly recommend you come to Wake Forest to pick-up your large orders. Freight shipping can become very expensive. I requested a quote for 150 pounds of grain the other week. It was $86 to ship to a commercial account and an additional $65 on top of that for residential delivery. UPS wanted nearly $300 to ship it. That's $2.00 a pound! My distributor manages their own trucking fleet and ships for $0.06 a pound to our store. This $0.06/lb shipping fee is intentionally not built in to our product price, and will be added to your order during checkout. That way, you're not having to pay tax on the shipping. It's my perfectly legal way of sticking it to "The Man".
Secondly, we order much more often than food co-ops, who may only order once every three months. I will request a shipment after receiving a total of $800 worth of bulk orders. Bulk orders are placed on Fridays and are delivered the following Tuesday or Wednesday. Please have your order placed by 9PM that Thursday.
An order can be any combination of my store order and your bulk orders. I generally make two or three orders a month. Your order many be available next week or in three weeks. I'll call or email you to let you know when it is available. You do not have to be present at the truck unloading. We will hold your order until it is convenient for you. A little patience will save you a lot of money.
230-B South Main Street
Wake Forest, NC 27587
Open Mon & Wed 9-5
Thurs & Fri 12-5
Saturdays by appointment