LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, U.S. — How is it that Central Milling Co., a small flour miller based in Utah, U.S., has established itself as a flour miller of choice to West coast artisan bakers? Keith (Nicky) Giusto, director of new product development thinks the answer is simple.

“We were bakers before we were millers,” said Giusto, an executive with Central Milling.

Giusto and company president Lynn Perry spoke with World Grain’s sister publication Milling & Baking News at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the 2013 International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), Oct. 8-11, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.

Central Milling operates three small flour mills in Utah, with an aggregate capacity of about 5,000 cwts of flour per day.

“We listen to the bakers,” Giusto said. “We listen to the Steve Sullivans (founder of Acme Bread Co.) of the world. We listen to the Chad Robertsons (of Tartine Bakery) of the world.”

He said the company spent years fine tuning their milling processes and wheat origination trying to provide artisan bakers with flour with the functional qualities, the flavor and the color they needed.

During the interview, the Central Milling executives discuss what artisan bakers seek in a flour miller and offers background on the company’s involvement with La Boulange, the artisan baking business acquired last year by Starbucks.

At Baking Expo, Central Milling promoted its flour and other baking supplies. As part of its display, the company baked artisan bread each day.