ENID, Okla. — A new “farm-to-table” business is rising in Enid.
Brady Sidwell and Graison Gill partnered up to open Chisholm Trail Milling, which produces stone-milled flour from 100% local grain.
Gill, owner of Bellegarde Bakery in New Orleans, had been buying wheat from Oklahoma for several years when he and Sidwell met through Oklahoma Wheat Commission.
The two discussed opening a flour mill closer to where the ingredients originate.
“In a nutshell that’s what we did,” said Sidwell, who also co-owns Enid Brewing Co. and Eatery. “We think there’s a lot of opportunity to sell flour in Oklahoma. We’re near the grain source, so we have less transportation. I have Enterprise Grain Company that has all the supply chains set up with farmers and grain storage, so we thought it would be a good partnership. He’s the artisan baker and the craft side ... and I’m the grain side.”
Chisholm Trail Milling, which only opened recently, works with wheat breeders and grain companies in Oklahoma to supply the flour, which gives Gill and Sidwell more “control and dialogue in the bigger picture,” the former said.
“It’s unbelievable to have those relationships with people who can not only understand me but can execute what I want in the field,” Gill said, “and there’s nothing else like that in the country where people are able to bring all those different sides of the equation together. That’s the really unique thing we’re doing. There’s plenty of bakers, and there’s plenty of people making flour, and there are plenty of people growing wheat, but there’s nobody doing that all in the same kind of column, and that’s the most important thing.”
Throughout Gill’s years of buying Oklahoma wheat, he came to the realization that he shouldn’t be bringing the wheat to mills in Louisiana, an area he said can’t support the crop.
“If you look at places like France, where really good wine is made, the grapes are never sent to the city to make wine,” he said. “The incredible wine is made where the grapes are grown.”
Sidwell has been a member of Grand National Quail Club since 2016, and for this year’s 55th annual Grand National Quail Hunt, he invited Gill, who enjoys hunting, to be a new shooter.
The quail hunt, Sidwell said, is giving Gill, who’s been to Enid less than 10 times, a “proper introduction” to the Enid community where Chisholm Trail Milling is located.
“Enid is a lot smaller than New Orleans and doesn’t have what New Orleans has, but Enid has different things that are very unique, and being able to bring people here for the quail hunt really helps showcase Enid and the opportunities here,” he said.
Currently, Chisholm Trail Milling is located inside Autry Technology Center’s Strate Center small-business incubator, which Sidwell said will help them get the business off the ground.
Chisholm Trail Milling ships flour to Gill’s bakery — and can ship throughout the United States — and is sending samples and supplies to businesses in the Enid area. Weekly deliveries also are made to Oklahoma City, and in the future, to Stillwater and Tulsa. Orders can be made by emailing email@example.com.
Packages of the flour also are available at Enid Brewing Co. and Eatery, and Sidwell said that soon, flour will be the basis of all bread products served at Enid Brewing Co. and Eatery.