Centuries-old Castle Valley Mill milling grains the old fashioned way

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Thursday, February 3, 2022
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Castle Valley Mill sits over the Neshaminy Creek-built-in 1798 on a property where millers were turning grains into flour and grits before the United States was even a nation.

Doylestown Twp., PA -- Doylestown Twp-Castle Valley Mill sits over the Neshaminy Creek-a mill built in 1798 on a property where millers were turning grains into flour and grits as far back as 1730-before George Washington was born, before the United States was a nation.

It's now owned by the Fischer family-Mark and his wife Fran and their kids Curran and Deming.

The place was bought in 1946 by Mark's grandfather, who'd been a master miller in Germany. But here in the United States, he had a moving company.

So every time an old mill in the area would shut down, he'd buy up the machinery, take it apart and then put it haphazardly across the three floors of his mill.

He never ended up milling on the property but 15 years ago, his grandson, Mark, decided to make a hobby of trying to put the milling machines back together again and restore the mill to its original purpose of milling ancient grains.

When he got a mill back up and running, bought some wheat and milled his first batch of flour, it was the first time the mill had produced grain in a century.

He gave the flour to his wife, Fran, and she made her grandmother's banana bread with it.

The taste, they all agreed, was mind-blowing.

So they started milling and selling to top chefs in Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, DC.

Then COVID happened. Fine dining was decimated and their business, they thought, was all but dead.

Until Food & Wine ran an article on small mills across the country that could ship flour. Remember, there was a shortage on flour in the early days of the pandemic.

The Fischers were soon inundated with orders from all over the country and as far away as Denmark and Puerto Rico.

They joke that they drew the line at the sea but they quickly pivoted to producing smaller, 2lb packages, and say the online retail store has been their salvation.

They mill on demand to maximize freshness and promise that, whether you're trying their oatmeal, grits and pasta or baking with their flours, the taste difference is "mind blowing."

Valley Mill | Online Store | Instagram