In the 1984 movie Footloose, which was filmed in Utah County, the main character, Ren McCormack, was played by Kevin Bacon, who became famous for his role. But the real star of the show was the Lehi Roller Mills, located at 833 E. Main in Lehi, where much of the movie was filmed.
WTF is a roller mill, you ask? Think of the steam roller that you curse at while you wait in a long line of traffic as it flattens asphalt during road construction. Now, take that image and picture metal or stone rollers crushing grain instead.
Lehi Mill and Elevator Co. crushed its first grain into flour in 1906 after shareholders got together to put up funds and invested $20,000 to build the mill and grain elevator. They've been rolling ever since, despite weathering financial ups and downs in grain prices as well as fluctuations in demand locally and nationally.
In 2009, the FDIC closed the mill owner's bank, but still, they kept rolling. Their philosophy is, "Only the best wheat makes the best flour," and it's guided the company and benefited Utah farmers for over 100 years.
When COVID-19 first hit Utah, it was hard to find toilet paper, Lysol, hand sanitizer, pasta and flour. Lehi Roller Mill did not stop grinding wheat at all. In fact, they were so overwhelmed that they had to close their retail store because they couldn't sustain both retail and wholesale demand.
That's OK, though, because the supply line was not interrupted. It gave the mill time to update its amazing retail store inside and out. The famous logo and mural outside the building—which you can see driving south on Interstate 15 on the west side of the freeway—have been repainted along with the interior and exterior of the building.
Why not stop in sometime and see the manufacturing plant with its movie history plus peruse all products and doodads they sell at the retail store?
Lehi Roller Mills takes in wheat from farmers who grow both spring and summer white and red wheats within a 300-mile radius of Lehi. With all the concrete, glass and steel structures sprouting up and the growing sprawl along the Wasatch tri-city area, it's hard to see wheat being grown anywhere. But drive to Utah's more rural areas, and you'll see acres and acres of our fine wheat. All of Lehi Roller Mills' products are a blend of the two colors of grain.
You want to support local? Then reach a little farther on the shelf from your usual Bob's Red Mill selection and look for local containers of Utah flour, cereals, waffle and pancake mixes, muffin mixes and now, even vegan mixes sans animal products.