Skip to main content

Here in Hanover

King Arthur Flour Celebrates 225 Years: A History in the Baking

Nov 09, 2015 04:00PM ● Published by Kirsten Gehlbach

Gallery: King Arthur Flour [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

In 1790, Henry Wood began importing European flour to Long Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. His goal was to provide pure, high-quality flour for residents of the newly formed United States. Now, 225 years later, King Arthur Flour is a baking resource offering top-quality baking products as well as inspiring educational programs backed by the passion and commitment of its dedicated employee–owners.

A Little History

More than 100 years later in 1896, the company Wood founded gave its product a new brand name—King Arthur Flour. The Sands, Taylor & Wood Company proudly displayed mentions of King Arthur Flour and other products everywhere possible, including on company vehicles, as seen in a 1957 photograph at the company’s Massachusetts headquarters. In1984, then-owners Frank and Brinna Sands moved the company from Massachusetts to Norwich, Vermont, where the company is headquartered today.

In 1990, King Arthur Flour established a mail order Baker’s Catalogue, published The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook, and mailed its subscription newsletter, called The Baking Sheet, to 126 readers. In 1992, King Arthur Flour opened The Baker’s Store in Norwich for local catalog customers and its ambassadors started visiting schools to share the joys of baking and giving. As the baker base grew, in 1995, King Arthur Flour built a new store in Norwich, a 12-sided post-and-beam building appropriately named Camelot to house The Baker’s Store and a studio for Vermont Public Radio.

100% Employee-Owned

With thoughts of retiring, Frank and Brinna Sands decided to sell the company to their employees and began an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1996. The company also launched its first website. As the company and its following grew, in 1998 King Arthur Flour established a second location, Avalon, in nearby Hartford, Vermont, for customer service, fulfillment, and product development. Avalon underwent an expansion in 2004 to accommodate the company’s growing workforce. In 2000, the Bakery and Baking Education Center opened next door to Camelot.

Tom Payne, Marketing Director, shares, “One of the most important milestones in our history is becoming 100% employee-owned and more recently becoming a B-Corp and later a Vermont Benefit Corporation.”

He continues, “The primary advantage of being a Benefit Corporation is that we can legally protect our desire that ‘maximum value for stakeholders’ should include things like culture, environmental protection, and employee-ownership status. Employee-ownership means we all literally have a stake in the business. It creates a culture where employees care about strategy and mission and have a voice in how the company is run.”

Kudos for the King

In 2004, The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion won the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook of the Year Award and King Arthur Flour completed ownership transfer to become 100% employee-owned. Three years later, in 2007, King Arthur Flour became a founding B (Beneficial) Corporation, changing its bylaws to reflect its commitment to all stakeholders—including shareholders, business partners, the community, and the environment.

In 2010, King Arthur Flour launched its award-winning line of gluten-free baking mixes; its Life Skills Bread Baking Program taught its 120,000th student; and Baking Education Center classes reached more than 4,600 bakers.

“We’ve become a leading brand in the gluten-free market, having launched new baking mixes and new ingredients for health-conscious consumers looking for flax meal and seed, almond flour, and coconut flour,” explains Tom.

Going forward, Tom says, “After 2011, we have continued to have tremendous growth, adding nearly 100 employees with expanded operations at our Norwich location, and we opened a satellite café on the Dartmouth campus in Hanover.”

What’s next? Tom says the plan is for continued growth, expanding the number of households that use King Arthur Flour, introducing more products in more categories, increasing its online reach through social media, email, and video and creating more opportunities for education with the opening of a second school in 2016. “Plus doing more to improve our B Corp score by giving back and doing more to build community through baking.”

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Here in Hanover's free newsletter to catch every headline

Today, Community Local Businesses
  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/17/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/18/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Discover the Difference for Prospective Families

    10/19/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Please join us for a Discover the Difference Open House on Thursday October 19, 2017 from 9:00-11...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/19/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/19/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/19/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/19/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/20/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • Buns & Rolls, Sweet & Savory

    10/21/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    You’ll make two different doughs to swirl up a sweet roll, then master a dough that’s perfect for...


  • A Doll's House

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • CHaD Hero Fundraiser

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM

    Register to run, walk, hike, bike, and raise money at CHaD HERO. You can even register for a Virt...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/22/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/23/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Buns & Rolls, Sweet & Savory

    10/21/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    You’ll make two different doughs to swirl up a sweet roll, then master a dough that’s perfect for...


  • CHaD Hero Fundraiser

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM

    Register to run, walk, hike, bike, and raise money at CHaD HERO. You can even register for a Virt...


  • 40 Years in Business

    10/27/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Come celebrate 40 years of business at Designer Gold in Hanover Party and Recpetion!


  • Celebrat 40 Years in Business

    10/27/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Celebrate 40 years in business with party and reception!


  • Halloween: Baking with Kids

    10/29/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Spend a spooky day with someone you love and let us clean up the mess! You and your favorite bake...


  • Pumpkin Fest in Norwich!

    10/30/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Kids, bring your parents! Come to the Norwich Green and carve a pumpkin to be displayed at downto...


  • Easy as Pie

    11/04/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    This class will banish even the worst case of crust anxiety! Come make and roll out pastry for a ...


 

 


PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS


Northcape Design Build
Hanover Inn at Dartmouth
Ultimate Bath Store

Sean's Lawn N' Garden Services
Cabinetry Concepts
New London Inn & Coach House Restaurant