Made in RVA: Morgan Dean tours Ashland Milling Company and Byrd Mill Company

HANOVER Co., Va. (WRIC) — A Hanover County business has had its nose to the grindstone for decades, at a location that’s been in business for centuries.

8News anchor Morgan Dean took a tour of the Ashland Milling Company and Byrd Mill Company.

Zachary Atkisson, vice president of Byrd Mill Company, says all of their wheat and corn comes for a 75-mile radius from all local family farmers.

“From there, we clean it, move it in our facility, grind it and pull it out in bags,” Atkisson said.

The daily grind dates back to the Colonial Era at the Ashland Milling Company.

“We do large scale orders for state of Virginia Food Service, PFG, Richmond Restaurant, Sysco’s,” Atkisson said.

The name on the building may have changed over the years, but the work has not.

Even after a fire in 1980 destroyed the original mill sitting on the South Anna River at Route 1, the family owned company rebuilt with historic equipment — some of it dating back 200 years — to continue grinding wheat and corn the old fashioned way, and much of the work is still done by hand.

“The reason why people like the stone ground grits over steel ground, is because it is the traditional way they used to do it hundreds of years ago,” Atkisson said. “Our equipment is over 200-years-old, and they like the better flavor and its got a better texture — makes it clump together.”

The mill is also home to Bryd Mill Company — a 260-year-old business they purchased back in 2005. It’s home to both the savory and the sweet, and known for its classic southern mixes for grits, hot rolls, garlic and herb bread, and buttermilk pancake and waffle mix. They are also known for its baking mixes that are especially popular as we get into the fall and holiday baking seasons.

“We have a lot of gourmet desserts, spoonbread, scones and pound cakes,” Atkisson said.

Spoonbread is the top seller for Byrd Mill Company. The mixes are sold at area Virginia Diner stores, some area grocery stores and Walmart.

You can also order them online here.

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