Jennifer Lapidus founded the Carolina Ground Flour Mill in 2012. Together with miller Kim Thompson, she mills up to 1000 pounds of local, organic grain each day.
Jennifer had been baking artisan breads at her bakery, Natural Bridge Bakery, for over a decade when the price of flour skyrocketed in 2008, not due to weather conditions or a bad harvest but because of manipulation by Wall Street. Jennifer realized the disconnect between bakers and the wheat farmers who produced their flour and wanted to change the situation. In January, 2009, she helped launch the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project, an initiative of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, that sought to locate local wheat growers and reconnect them with millers and bakers.
Carolina Ground mills rye, hard red wheat (for bread), soft red wheat (for pastries), and buckwheat. They source most of the grain from large-scale organic growers in North Carolina, farmers such as Billy Carter in Moore County. They also work with regional growers in Virginia and Georgia.
Sourcing local grain isn’t the only goal; Carolina Ground approaches milling as a craft. The millers use an Austrian-made mill; they adjust the stone grinders and monitor the process manually. Whole wheat flour comes straight through, while white flours are created with a series of filters. The company produces a range of flours with varying percentages of the whole wheat bran remaining. The mill grinds with cold stones, which preserve oils and nutrients in the grain that heat would degrade. The resulting flour is rich, with a new palette of flavors for bakers to work with.
Visit Carolina Ground online at http://carolinaground.com/. Watch a video of our visit below.