As all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a resounding effect on the restaurant business and the food industry as a whole.  From food shortages, plant closures, and the complete shut-down of public restaurants country-wide, Castle Valley Mill’s future was uncertain.  Pre-pandemic, our main business flourished among large-scale distributors, restaurants, and the distilling industry. 

When the quarantine began snuffing out businesses, we braced ourselves and prepared for a hard fall both in income and work.  We watched as our shipments halted, product was returned, and our millstones silenced because they had no reason to spin.

Then, on day four or five, our online store began to pick up some weird, unexpected forecast.  The daily orders went from 3, to 5, to 15.  

Roughly a week and a half after our scariest moment, our shipping orders were printing in stack of 150.  That’s 150 people ordering our product. Whether this was to make cookies, bread, muffins, grits, oatmeal- real food, for real people, in a very real situation.  Stores are terrifying, and shelves are empty anyway.  Large mills aren’t fast enough to snap into a retail business model.

Castle Valley Mill had a staff of three: My father, my mother, and me.  Before this, I was studying abroad in Berlin.  I caught a last-minute ticket out on March 15th.  A day later, the U.S went into lockdown.  Nearly three months later, we are supplying distilleries for hand sanitizer, distributors for small grocery stores, and individual homes for their dinner plates.  We have been pleasantly blind-sided and thrown head-first into being a rock in a storm.  Rather, a castle.  

Welcome to our blog, and welcome to our castle.  Thanks to you, these stones gather no moss.  Our doors are open.

By Liesel Fischer