Sanford Milling Company, Inc., which has been owned and operated by the Hartness family for four generations, began in Sanford NC, but fire destroyed the mill in September 1947. The name remained after the move to Henderson NC in October of that year.
The company moved to Henderson because there was an existing mill, Vanco Milling Company, and its owners leased their mill to Blanton Alvin Hartness as a temporary site to continue flour production. At the time, the mill itself was considered state-of-the art in its construction with new improvements in sanitation, wheat receiving, and flour processing. Through Blanton’s knowledge and skills as a miller, partly learned from his father, William Rufus, he was able to gain popularity and success at the new location. After a short time, he purchased the mill in Henderson. Subsequent family members have continued improving, upgrading, and refining the mill to ensure the quality of our products that customers demand. Despite these upgrades and changes, the heart of today’s mill is still the original backbone of roll stands and sifters. This equipment’s gradual reduction system is instrumental to the consistent quality of Sanford Milling’s flour.
Sanford Milling Co. is currently owned by the fourth generation of the Hartness family. Brothers Scott and Hunter took over ownership from their father, William Blanton Hartness, and together, they proudly operate the mill in the tradition that was established by their great-grandfather. Their flour brands have graced the shelves of grocery stores throughout eastern North Carolina and southern Virginia for over 75 years. In addition to the grocery store business, Sanford Milling’s flour is sold to bulk, restaurant, commercial, and institutional customers throughout the southeast. The proud traditions and history of Sanford Milling Company have kept the business operating today and into the future.