If you live in the US, I’ll bet you have a Jiffy Mix in your kitchen cabinet right now. I have three. I counted. Even if you don’t, surely you recognize the iconic blue boxes with their simple branding, even though Chelsea Milling Company doesn’t spend a dime to advertise them.
Chelsea, Michigan, is a city under 5,000 people. In 1901, locals started a traditional milling company, the kind of flour mill every small town used to have. Today, Chelsea Milling is still locally owned, still thriving and still producing dozens of kinds of mixes that are found on store shelves and in commercial kitchens all over the country, generating revenues of $100 million per year.
Chelsea Milling Company takes pride in paying decent wages, supporting their community, and caring about everything they do. Just like you’d expect a good small town company to do. They routinely get press attention for these “outdated” values that are suddenly back in fashion in business today. Read “7 Reasons This Muffin Mix Can Save America” as an example. (It’s really good.)
And make some Jiffy corn muffins. They’re really good, too.
This article is part of our new series, Small Town, Big Company, where we profile companies that have started and stayed in small towns even while they’ve grown far beyond their local market. If you know a company we should include, hit reply or mention it in the comments below.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.