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The InHarvest Story
From Humble Beginnings to Leading Innovation
The InHarvest story began in the pastoral northern Minnesota town of Bemidji. Surrounded by pristine lakes and pine forests, a local couple started the little company in 1978 under the name “Consolidated Wild Rice”. That first major product, wild rice – often called “The Caviar of Grains” – grows abundantly in the shallow lakes and rivers of northern Minnesota. One year later, the company changed its name to Indian Harvest to better reflect the spirit and heritage involved in the harvest of the wild rice grain, the company’s primary focus in those early years. In 2013, after several years of rapid growth and expansion, the company shortened its name to InHarvest, to better reflect the evolving product line and capabilities.
Over the years, as wild rice grew as an increasingly popular delicacy food, the company grew along with it. Recognizing the potential of the product and quality of the organization, a portion of InHarvest was bought out in 1987 by Duininck Brothers, a third-generation family owned company of Prinsburg, Minnesota, who quickly expanded the focus of the company to include a variety of grains and legumes.
Quality, Innovation, and Sustainability became the rallying cry of InHarvest. The wild rice industry was quickly evolving as the popularity of the product grew. In the 1950‘s farmers first found success cultivating wild rice in shallow paddies, making the process of growing and harvesting the product more efficient. Minnesota, a primary source of wild rice to the world, was soon joined by California as a major producer of the product. Today, approximately 95% of all the wild rice on the market is cultivated paddy rice grown in Minnesota or California.
Packaging and processing were the logical next steps and a number of growers had banded together to begin researching a processing plant associated with the company as early as 1976. It took 10 years for those plans to become a reality. Footings were placed originally in Bemidji, but it became clear that California was where wild rice processing would see the growth and “Colusa Multi Milling” was begun in 1987. Investment from the Duininck Family helped finish the plant and a symbiotic relationship with many of those growers that continues today resulted in the Duininck Family’s full ownership of InHarvest in the early ‘90s.
The plant became a focal point for the business, enabling InHarvest to build on the foundation established by Food Safety Standards to create some of the strictest quality control found in the industry. Products go through three separate cleaning methods; density, size and, recently added, an Optical-Infrared Color Sorter that ensures not only that the product is clean, but also that any broken or imperfect pieces are removed, resulting in the cleanest, most appealing presentation possible.
InHarvest brought innovation to the “front end” of the operation as well, pioneering the commercial use of heirloom seeds. The company began working with seed banks in the early 1980s to find varieties of grains from days gone past that hold the flavor and nutritional profile lost in many of today’s modified versions. Careful research, experimentation and cooperation with growers and growing communities have resulted in great success. InHarvest’s own Colusari Red Rice grown in the Sacramento Valley for some 15 years now, and a complete Heirloom Bean Blend that offers an elemental uniqueness to traditional dishes are two examples. InHarvest continues to pursue their commitment to agro-diversity in seeking heritage items that bring the superior nutrition and flavor to its customers.
Today, InHarvest’s efforts focus largely on unique rice blends developed by our renowned corporate chef, Michael Holleman. and packaged at their plant in Woodland, California. As part of the company’s mission to provide innovative products, InHarvest searches the globe for new rice, grains and beans to introduce to customers. Stories relating this dedicated pursuit of InHarvest’s employees are many, including one plant manager’s climb to the highest reaches of the Andes to personally purchase quinoa from the growers’ market there.
InHarvest has become the company of choice for rice, grains, and legumes by many of the nation’s top restaurants, caterers, and culinary institutions because of the quality and uniqueness of their products. Personal investment in each of the varieties, relationships with growers; locally and across the globe; and the commitment to people all along the way makes the journey of each InHarvest product to you something we are very proud of, and is something we know carries through to your creations. As InHarvest’s products evolve and expand, quality, customer service, and dedication to the planet remain the top priority. With this in mind, InHarvest will endeavor to remain the premium supplier of signature blended rice, grain, and legume products.