CommunitySpotlight Series


Six generations of tradition at Weisenberger Mill

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Posted at 8:12 AM, Feb 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-23 08:12:12-05

MIDWAY, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you've ever had treats at a local restaurant like Midway Bakery, you know how delicious they are. What you might not realize: the flour in all of their scones, cookies, and biscuits comes from a mill down the road that's been in the same family for six generations.

As the Civil War was ending in 1865, the history of Weisenberger Mill was just beginning along the banks of South Elkhorn Creek. That was the year German-born Augustus Weisenberger purchased the mill.

Nearly 160 years later it remains in the same location and in the same family.

"We're just focused on our business, and sometimes you stop and pause and look at all the groundwork that the guys before us have done, all the hard work from my grandfather, his grandfather," said Phil Weisenberger. "It's quite unique."

Phil and his father Mac now run the family business along with eight employees. They both grew up around the mill.

"I've always been here," Mac told LEX 18. "I don't know if I was meant to, but I'm here, and I've enjoyed every day."

Mac inherited the business from his dad, whose name was also Phil.

Now, the mill and building hold more than a century's worth of history, but the family has modernized the business through the years. They've added a generator, new machines and specialty products.

"All kinds of different mixes to bake with," Phil said. "Pancake mixes, biscuit mix, pizza crust. That's a big seller."

"I like the grits awfully well, and I do like biscuits and cornbread," Mac said.

From their warehouse, they ship flours and mixes across the country. In fact, Phil estimates 85 to 90% of today's business is wholesale.

Synonymous with delicious grits, you'll also spot the Weisenberger name on many of chef Ouita Michel's menus. Her bakery in Midway has a long-standing relationship with the mill.

"When we opened Midway Bakery, it was a no-brainer to get all of our flour from Weisenberger Mill," said Mike Hilton, the director of marketing for Holly Hill. "Everything you see around you from the scones from the cookies to this loaf of bread, was all made with Weisenberger flour."

"It's great when you go to a restaurant, and you see your name on the menu, and you try it, and it's an outstanding dish," Phil said. "It's really neat."

But no matter where the Kentucky-made products end up, they're still shipped from the same building where the historic flour business began.

"It's interesting, you wonder what it was like 100 years ago, but it was all right here," Mac said.