As transportation costs continue to rise, entrepreneur Charles Brodie aims to take Kansas wheat to grocery stores around Kansas and, eventually, across state lines.
Cimarron Trails Products, LLC, plans to work with Amish farmers and other local producers to purchase their wheat, transport it to two flour mills, Stafford County Flour Mills and Farmers Direct Stone Ground Mill, and put the product in stores across Kansas.
Brodie said Stafford County Flour Mills in Hudson is one of the top flour mills in the United States, while Farmers Direct in New Cambria produces stone-ground flour for specialty products.
Brodie plans to utilize his already established trucking company Red River Transport of Arlington, Texas, to transport the Kansas-made flour in and around the state.
“You have to have edges in business to survive,” Brodie said. “There are three edges that I’ve got — one is that this qualifies me as a local producer with the grocery chains like Dillons and Hy-Vee, which they call me.”
Cimarron Trails Products began with stationery items, but after witnessing flour shortages on Kansas’ grocery shelves, Brodie aimed to find a profitable solution.
“I want everybody at the table happy,” Brodie said. “Everybody needs to walk away making money, feeling good about what they’re doing.”
He planned to purchase the local wheat at a premium price, about $4 per bushel this year and said the production in Reno County and surrounding rural areas could support his planned operations.
Brodie then contacted the two flour mills, Stafford County and Farmers Direct, to mill the flour and transport it back to his warehouse at 1302 N. Grand St., Hutchinson, for bagging.
At the warehouse, Brodie plans to employ 10 to 15 individuals, which he first offered employment opportunities to the Amish community in Yoder.
“Everybody wants in,” Brodie said. “When I offered, there were a lot of young women interested in working at the warehouse, which I plan to let them set their schedules and help with transportation from Yoder to Hutch.”
Today, Brodie has everything from producers to transport ready to go with the business but plans to search for more interest at a Startup Party on Aug. 18 at his warehouse in Hutchinson.
“I want to keep my price competitive on the shelf at the grocery store, but I want it to be the best flour you can buy in the Midwest, and it will,” Brodie said.