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 They routinely get press attention for these “outdated” values that are suddenly back in fashion in business today.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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Paul Gerst says
We have 2 mixes in our home, I had to go and check after reading it. This was an interesting article. But, most of all, I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to more in the series.
Tracy Brown says
Thanks for sharing such a neat story, Becky! While I don’t currently have a box in my pantry, I do use it. My mother typically had a box on hand in her kitchen when I was growing up.
Your post prompted me to go and check out the Jiffy site…. They have an article from a 1967 Detroit Free Press:
She Felt Sorry For Two Little Boys And the Sandwiches Daddy Made – So… She discovered how to help homemakers in a “JIFFY”
What a story! I wonder if they still have that “…old desk dating back to 1890, with its cash drawer where both money; and records were kept of farmers buying flour or bringing in their wheat in exchange for wheat and flour”?