Tributes pour in for Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill, following his death

Bob's Red Mill was founded in 1978 and has since become a grocery store staple.

February 13, 2024, 11:37 AM
Bob Moore, the founder of   Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, poses for a portrait in his office at his manufacturing facility located in Milwaukie, OR. , April 11, 2011.
Bob Moore, the founder of Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, poses for a portrait in his office at his manufacturing facility located in Milwaukie, OR. , April 11, 2011.
Leah Nash/The Washington Post via Getty Images, FILE

Bob Moore, one of the most recognized figures in the natural foods industry and founder of the grocery store staple Bob's Red Mill, died Saturday at the age of 94.

The company first announced the news on social media, hailing its namesake founder as "full of the same love for wholesome foods as the day he founded Bob's Red Mill."

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that our Founder, Bob Moore, left this world today, Saturday, February 10, 2024," the company wrote in the caption of an Instagram post.

It added, "Bob's passion, ingenuity and respect for others will forever inspire the employee owners of Bob's Red Mill, and we will carry on his legacy by bringing wholesome foods to people around the world. We will truly miss his energy and larger-than-life personality."

Tributes for the Oregon native poured into the post's comments section over the weekend, including from Moore's peers and friends across the industry ranging from chefs, restaurant owners, farmers, food bloggers, home bakers and more.

PHOTO: Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill and Natural Foods, inspects grains at the company's facility in Milwaukie, Oregon, U.S., on Tuesday, April  8, 2014.
Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill and Natural Foods, inspects grains at the company's facility in Milwaukie, Oregon, U.S., on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
Natalie Behrin/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

"A local legend and national treasure. RIP Bob," wrote James Beard Award-winning chef Gregory Gourdet, restaurateur and owner of Haitian-meets-Pacific Northwest hotspot Kahn in Portland, Oregon.

"Condolences to his family and friends. His legacy lives on through his wonderful company," wrote Miro Uskokovic, the James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern.

The official account for the independent farmer-owned organic dairy cooperative Organic Valley also commented on the post, writing, "We're so sorry to hear of the loss of such a great individual!"

Bob's Red Mill CEO Trey Winthrop said in a statement over the weekend that Moore's legacy "will live on forever in all of us who had the opportunity to work with him and is infused into the Bob's Red Mill brand."

"He did everything in his power to leave us on a strong path forward," Winthrop said. "All of us feel responsible and motivated to preserve his old-world approach to unprocessed foods; his commitment to pure, high-quality ingredients; and his generosity to employee owners and educational organizations focused on nutritional health."

Bob Moore leaves lasting legacy with Bob's Red Mill

When Moore moved to Milwaukie, Oregon, with his wife Charlee in 1978, the pair purchased an abandoned mill and started their now employee-owned company and natural foods powerhouse.

What began as a company serving just the local Portland area exploded into a leading global food brand that now sells over 200 products from oats and cereals to whole grains and gluten-free packaged mixes in more than 70 countries.

The perennial entrepreneur established the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) on his 81st birthday in 2010, which transferred ownership to those who helped the couple build and grow the Bob's Red Mill brand, leaving a lasting legacy with over 700 employee owners today.

PHOTO: Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, sold at Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Store located in Milwaukie, OR., April 11, 2011.
Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, sold at Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Store located in Milwaukie, OR., April 11, 2011.
Leah Nash/The Washington Post via Getty Images

"Over the past decade, Moore and his wife Charlee, who passed away in 2018, looked to inspire future generations through substantial financial contributions to Oregon universities," the company wrote on its website. "The Moores were named honorary Beavers for their significant donations to Oregon State University, where they helped fund the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition, and Preventive Health in the College of Health and Human Sciences. Magnanimous contributions also helped establish the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness at Oregon Health & Science University, as well as many additional research programs throughout the state."

PHOTO: Bob Moore, the founder of   Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, poses for a portrait in his office at his manufacturing facility located in Milwaukie, OR. , April 11, 2011.
Bob Moore, the founder of Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, poses for a portrait in his office at his manufacturing facility located in Milwaukie, OR. , April 11, 2011.
Leah Nash/The Washington Post via Getty Images, FILE

Moore is survived by his sister Jeannie; his three sons Ken, Bob Jr. and David; his daughters-in-law Dora, Barbara, Ashleigh and Terry; and his nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, according to the company.

A celebration of life service is being planned for Saturday, Feb. 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time at the Whole Grain Store in Milwaukie.