Ardent Mills, North America’s leading flour supplier and grain innovator, has launched a new business unit, The Annex by Ardent Mills (The Annex), dedicated to exploring and providing food companies and foodservice operators with “next” grains and unique plant-based ingredients.
Driven by a team of experts, The Annex offers the nimbleness, flexibility and speed of a start-up, all supported with the resources, relationships and expertise of Ardent Mills. It operates as a company-within-a-company, cultivating deep and lasting ties with farmers, university and private research teams, customers and key vendors to identify, source, grow and pioneer everything from organic and heirloom grains to leading-edge ingredients.
The Annex offers a growing portfolio of heirloom wheats that include emmer, einkorn, spelt and White Sonora, as well as rye, barley, pulses and ancient grains that include Ardent Mills Great Plains quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, teff and sorghum. These ingredients are available in a variety of traditional forms like whole berry, flour and flakes, as well as in unique formats such as mixes, blends, individually quick-frozen and crisps. The Annex is also open to custom grain and ingredient programs that include exclusive cultivation of select grains that are not in commercial production.
“An annex is independent yet is part of something bigger,” The Annex by Ardent Mills general manager Shrene White said. “We’re excited to be empowered by Ardent Mills to be idea cultivators and solution providers. The Annex will support Ardent Mills' traditional flour customers and a wide spectrum of new customers by offering a one-of-a-kind product portfolio.”
White continued, “We love a challenge, and we bring to our work an earnest desire to collaborate with customers, farmers, universities and researchers, supporting their innovation and cultivating ideas to help build their businesses, whether it’s in fresh or packaged prepared foods, bakery or beverage.”
The Annex is backed by Ardent Mills’ network of services, resources and experts that includes everything from research and development to production, culinary support, consumer insights and risk management.
Innovative Bakery Resources (IBR), another business unit of Ardent Mills, along with its Arlington, Ore., mix facility, have now been integrated into The Annex. IBR is a state-of-the-art artisan bakery, where cutting-edge concepts and high-touch craftsmanship come together to help customers quickly take their ideas to market, according to the announcement.
“We’re excited about the possibilities The Annex opens up,” Ardent Mills chief executive officer Dan Dye said. “It’s a big step based on a simple, powerful idea: Good food matters to everyone, and it should be available to everyone. We look forward to working closely with our partners big and small as we dream together about where that idea is headed next.”