Flour Power at Greenfield Mills

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Greenfield Mills

There have been a few changes at Greenfield Mills over the past 100 years, but for the most part, Indiana’s oldest commercial water-powered flour mill has stayed true to its beginnings.

“Our company is still very focused on service, which you don’t see too much anymore,” says owner Dave Rinkel. “When you call us, you’re talking directly to the owner. That’s almost unheard of. And if a customer has a problem with the product, we replace it on the spot with no questions asked, because that’s our name on the package.”

Dave is part of the fourth generation of Rinkels who own and manage the mill. His son represents the fifth generation. The pair oversees all production and deliveries, while Dave’s daughter, who is in college, helps out with computer issues. Greenfield Mills runs with only four full-time employees – all family – and one part-time employee.

Greenfield Mills

A Rich History

In 1904, Dave’s great-grandfather Henry Rinkel bought the mill, which at the time was being used as a dance hall because the water source behind the building’s old dam had dried up. It took two years to fix it up. After reconstruction, Henry Rinkel began producing “New Rinkel” flour in 1906. Though the spelling of the name has changed to “New Wrinkle,” the family-owned mill still produces the same old-fashioned, high-quality flour today, more than a century later.

“We make great pastry flour for pie crusts,” Rinkel says. “The New Wrinkle Pastry Flour is probably our most popular product. The second most popular is our pancake mix.”

The mill produces 11 different flavors of pancake mix, including buckwheat and buttermilk mix, made from regular flour, and blueberry, blackberry, buttermilk, cherry, chocolate chip, pumpkin and spice, raspberry, whole wheat and vanilla mix, all made from its whole-wheat flour. It also makes several types of regular and whole-wheat flour for baking. The Rinkels taste-test every batch to make sure it meets their well-known high standards.

New Wrinkle pancake mix has made a mark in the community as well, being served at local fundraisers and events for years.

“My parents and grandparents didn’t have a lot of money for advertising,” Rinkel says. “So they would make pancakes at churches and rallies, and advertise their products that way.”

Rinkel says Greenfield Mills sources its wheat from local farmers as much as they can. They bring in the wheat, clean it, put it through storage bins, then run it through a conventional roller mill or stone mill to grind it into flour. The family sifts, packages and delivers it to grocery stores or straight to customers. At grocery stores, they even go the extra step and unload it onto shelves.

They also offer gift boxes and baskets containing several varieties of their flours, plus other delicious local goodies including Amish country popcorn, cornmeal and batter mixes, whipped honey and handmade Amish candies.

Greenfield Mills

Water Works

More than just producing quality products, Greenfield Mills is unique in that it is a water-powered mill. This means the mill generates its own electricity by using a water wheel or turbine to drive the mechanical process of flour-making. Not only does this work very well for producing the Rinkel’s product, but it’s extremely energy efficient.

“The rest of the community benefits because they can use the electricity from the mill, and that is few and far between anymore,” Rinkel says. Greenfield Mills is one of Indiana’s smallest electric utility companies, serving two mills and 11 homes.

Community Engagement

From 4-H clubs to high school classes to the general public, Rinkel says Greenfield Mills is happy to open its doors and teach about their hard work.

“We have schools that use our products for fundraisers. One class always sells it for an economics project,” he says. “It’s a very educational thing, as there aren’t many places where you can see a true farm-to-table product anymore.”

Greenfield Mills

If You Go …

Greenfield Mills is located in Howe, but if you visit, the mill is actually a little northeast of Howe, close to the Michigan line. It’s open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 1 to 5 p.m. For tours, please call ahead at (260) 367-2394 to make an appointment. You can learn more about Greenfield Mills and its products at newrinkelflour.com.

** Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, since this story was printed, Greenfield Mills has closed.**

7 Comments

  1. Jim papa

    December 27, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Where in Elkhart Indiana can I buy your pastry flour

  2. Linda Siple

    June 7, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    PLEASE !!! PLEASE TELL ME Where can I buy your flour ? I can’t find it anywhere up here in Michigan or in the usual places I used to get it in Shipshewana ,, Indiana . I’m desperate to have some ! I will come and pick it up myself , what ever I need to do to get That flour !!!! It is simply the very best I have EVER used . Even my 45 year old rolling pin has had enough of other pastry flours ! I have not been able to bake an edible pie since I ran out of my New Rinkle flour ! I just threw out a new bag of Con Agras pastry flour , not worth baking with AND I PITY MY BROTHER THAT IS GOING TO EAT THE RHUBARB PIE I JUST MADE HIM !! My reputation is on the line here , I’m known for making the BEST pie crust and I can’t do it with out my New Rinkle pastry flour !!!! Please help !!!

  3. Sarah

    July 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I haven’t bought it for a while – I’ve seen it at the Goshen Kroger and Aldi’s stores and Rite Choice in Nappanee, IN.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Loyd Frisbie

    August 27, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Can I get the buckwheat pancake mix here in michigan. I love it.

  5. Shelly

    October 31, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    PLEASE! I am writing in hopes, in actual desperation, like Linda (above)- PLEASE tell me where I can buy your flour!!! I too, had solely bought your unbleached pastry flour for 15 or more years back when I bought my first 25 pound bag! It is the best!! I used to bake a lot more when the kids were little, but I still do, and I am known for my baked goods. I had looked for it last summer, as I had run out- even in Shipshewana- now nearly an hour and a half away,I couldn’t find it!! I am so disappointed! I have bought several other flours & they taste terrible! I made muffins and was almost ashamed to give them away- cause I couldn’t eat them- the taste was nasty! I tried to give away the 25 pound bag of another brand to my neighbor in a barter- NOTHING IS AS GOOD AS YOUR FLOUR! It must have been non-GMO? Something much better than any other. PLEASE- I need this before Thanksgiving!!!! Is there any way possible???

  6. Rick Liebespach (Don Depue's son-in-law)

    March 16, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Is the mill still in operation? I had heard it closed. If it is still open I need to order some buckwheat pancake mix.

  7. Dianne Dziubla

    June 22, 2018 at 10:39 am

    I heard the mill has closed. Are there any plans on reopening the mill in the future?

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