OAKLAND (KCBS)— An historic flour mill on Oakland’s waterfront celebrated the completion of a multi-million dollar expansion Thursday. The upgrades will allow the doubling of the amount of production for the flour producer.
The celebration at ConAgra Mill included a field trip for fourth graders from Oakland’s La Escuelita Elementary School who saw how wheat seeds are separated from plants and ground into flour.
ConAgra Mill President Bill Stoufer said they started making $21.5 million in improvements about two years ago to be more efficient and to meet increased demand for flour in Northern California.
“The milling process itself was expanded so we can meet production in the same footprint that we operate in the day. And that was really needed because people understand the nutritious value that wheat-based products bring,” Stoufer said.
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce President Joe Harriburta called the reinvestment by the 48-year-old mill an indication of its faith in the city.
“Unfortunately parts of Oakland have very, very high (higher than most areas of California) unemployment and this is a very good thing. I think we’re keeping jobs and possibly creating jobs,” he said.
The mill produces 1.4 million pounds of flour each day.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)