Swany White Flour to rebuild after December fire

by Eric Schroeder
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FREEPORT, MINN. — Swany White Flour Mills will be rebuilt, according to the St. Cloud Times. A fire on Dec. 27, 2011, destroyed the flour mill, which is in Freeport and has been owned by the Thelen family since 1903. When the mill was destroyed, owner Gary Thelen told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that there were no plans to rebuild the mill, but plans have changed and the new business is expected to be called Swany White Specialties.

Mr. Thelen and his wife, Sharon, were granted a building permit on May 31. According to the building permit, the project will cost $150,000 and will include a one-story steel building, offices, a retail store, a manufacturing space and a warehouse.

The three-story wooden and brick structure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1897. The facility had used the same milling equipment for white flour since 1913, and it had daily milling capacity of 12,000 lbs (120 cwts).

The mill produced a variety of items, including regular bleached and unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, wild rice flour, buckwheat flour, cracked wheat flour, graham flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, steel cut oats, corn meal, coarse oat bran, nine grain mix, regular and quick oatmeal, cream of rye, farina, as well as a variety of organic products.

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