Celebrating Local 6 Producers!
Owners: Francis and Lynda McHenry, Erich Burkhard
Crew size: 2
Region and area of operation: Linn, Lane, Benton Counties
How long have you been in the business? Since 2010
What do you produce? We contract with growers in the Willamette Valley, Colorado and abroad to grow the best quality gluten free grains and seeds. We have worked extensively with local growers to expand the availability of locally grown grains and are always working to expand in that area.
How long have you sold to the Co-op? Since 2010.
What sustainable practices does your business employ? We try to recycle everything, at the moment we have nearly ZERO waste. Hopefully in the future our crops will be organic. We have no GMO products. All our products are gluten free from the plow to the plate.
How did you get started? My oldest daughter was a freshman at OSU. She had been suffering from GI problems for several years. The doctors were unable to diagnose the cause. During her freshman year the problem became severe to the point that by summer she had her entire colon removed. The surgery was successful but other symptoms began appearing, Sarcodosis was diagnosed along with Arthritis. The doctors wanted to give her chemo and steroids. She shortly thereafter self diagnosed gluten as the culprit, followed up with testing and has been gluten free ever since. 6 years later she is fine and will begin her Medical School rotations this fall in Corvallis.
The story continued as we found our entire family to be gluten intolerant. Finding safe products was difficult. That is why we started Big River Grains and are now expanding into Corvallis’ first gluten free café: Eats & Treats Café, which will also serve as a test kitchen developing gluten free mixes. We want to show people that gluten free does not mean food and baked goods that are substandard. Instead, it is ‘just darn good food!’” – Sandy McHenry