Bellegarde now sells its flour nationwide

By Todd A. Price, | The Times-Picayune

The Times-Picayune

When Graison Gill launched Bellegarde Bakery five years ago, he wasn't satisfied with the flour he could buy for his crusty, artisan loaves.

“We realized we would have to be the ones making our flour, if we wanted to ensure that quality and integrity,” said Gill, who sells his bread to more than 100 stores and restaurants around the city.

Gill purchased a stone mill from Vermont and started grinding his own flours with grains carefully sourced from farms around the country. His corn, for example, comes from a family farm south of Mobile, Ala., that has grown the same variety since 1875.

On Tuesday (Dec. 11), Bellegarde launched an online store that offers seven freshly milled grains: buckwheat flour, durum flour, organic wheat, white wheat, rye flour, corn meal and grits.

Bellegarde sells about a quarter of the 1,500 pounds of flour it mills each week to other New Orleans bakeries and restaurants, like Saba, Coquette and Compère Lapin. This is the first time, however, its milled grains have been available retail.

All the flours and grits are sold in 2 1/2-pound bags and cost $10 each. Larger 25-pound bags will be available for wholesale customers. Initially, the flours will be shipped out once a week on Thursdays.

The online store also has aprons, T-shirts and bread knives.

In May, Bellegarde will move to 8300 Apple St., where it will have a retail shop attached to its bakery. At the new location, Bellegarde will also add a second oven and a second mill, doubling its capacity to make bread and flour.

Gill estimates that only six commercial stone mills are operating in the United States and none in our region of the South. As a baker, he believes he is uniquely qualified to mill flour.

"We're using it everyday. We're baking with it," he said. "For that reason, we're making incredible flour."

Find the online Bellegarde store at

Correction: The original version of this story said the online story had five varieties of milled grains. It actually carries seven varieties.

Emily Diament