Bob's Red Mill Founder Bob Moore, Portland's Natural Foods Visionary, Dies at 94

Bob's Red Mill Founder Bob Moore, Portland's Natural Foods Visionary, Dies at 94Source: George Fox Evangelical Seminary from Portland, OR, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Emily Nguyen
Published on February 12, 2024

Portland lost a celebrated business maverick this weekend as Bob Moore, the natural foods pioneer who founded Bob's Red Mill, passed away at age 94, the company confirmed. Having built a brand synonymous with whole grains and nutritious eating, Moore died a few days shy of his 95th birthday, in the quiet of his home—a homegrown success story transitioning from a single-city operation to a household name across the globe.

Starting back in 1978, Moore's venture, which began its journey serving the Portland community quickly ballooned into an establishment that catered cereals, flours, and beans to over 70 countries, a meteoric rise recorded on the KGW among others whose reach expanded as far as Canada China and Australia despite its humble beginnings. Not only did Moore's contribution revolutionize how we think about whole grains, but his genuine approach to business echoed in his decision to vest the company’s ownership with its more than 700 employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) established in 2010, as Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Moore's enduring influence goes beyond the boardrooms and the milling rooms remaining a constant force in educational and nutritional health spheres—alongside his late wife Charlee, he furnished Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University with the means to forge ahead in food and nutrition research, leaving a philanthropic footprint as large as his entrepreneurial one. Their largesse was instrumental in establishing the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition, and Preventive Health, among other programs throughout the state.

Bob’s Red Mill CEO Trey Winthrop remarked on the company giant's passing, saying, "Bob'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," as detailed in an announcement via KOIN, encapsulating the sentiment of a workforce shaped by Moore's ethical and quality-forward approach towards the natural foods industry and a general admiration that extends far beyond the company's walls, details about a public celebration of life are pending, but it will undoubtedly try to encompass a legacy larger than any one event could hope to contain.

Moore is survived by his kin, encompassing three sons, daughters-in-law, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, a personal legacy paralleling the professional one he has left behind. In remembering Moore, we look not only to the towering shelves of natural products that bear his name but to the quiet revolution he brought about in the world of nutrition and employee-empowered business models. Bob’s Red Mill has stated that details surrounding the celebration of Moore's life will be revealed soon, ensuring that his vigor for unprocessed, whole foods and his deep-seated generosity will continue to inspire for generations to come.