ELLICOTT CITY, MD. — Wilkins-Rogers Inc. plans to shutter its flour mill in Ellicott City in early 2020 and relocate the production somewhere in the Midwest, according to an article in the Baltimore Sun.
Sean Naron, a county spokesman, told the newspaper that he believed Wilkins-Rogers planned to move to be closer to grain suppliers. The newspaper said the company did not respond to repeated requests for comment. A call left by World Grain, a sister publication of Milling & Baking News, was not returned as of publishing.
The mill has a capacity of 4,500 cwts, according to Sosland Publishing Company’s 2019 Grain and Milling Annual. The company also has a 7,000-cwt mill in Mount Joy, Pa., and a 3,000-cwt mill in Palmyra, Pa.
With the closing of the Ellicott mill, Maryland will lose its last commercial grain mill.
The mill was established on the same site in 1774 by the Ellicott brothers, according to the Baltimore Sun. The Ellicott brothers were attracted to the site because of the Patapsco river, the newspaper said. The mill was operated by Donut Corp. of America before Wilkins-Rogers took over.
In 2018, the mill escaped devastating flooding that hit the city. Water rose to about a foot high in front of the company’s building for a few hours, but no water penetrated the building.
The parking lot was covered in several feet of mud, and the local road was shut to truck traffic.
The newspaper said officials in Baltimore County’s Economic and Workforce Development office were told the mill would close early next year.
Founded in 1913 in Washington, D.C., Wilkins-Rogers moved its operations to Ellicott City in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Ellicott City mill produced flour and started producing private label flours for retail grocers in the 1970s.
The Ellicott mill has numerous flour-packing lines and is capable of producing and delivering flours and corn meals for commercial businesses of all sizes all along the eastern seaboard.