FRANKENMUTH, MICH. — Star of the West Milling Co. this year added organic ingredients to its portfolio by acquiring a 60% stake in Everbest Organics, which contracts with farmers to grow soybeans and dry edible beans, including garbanzo beans, and operates a processing facility in Munger, Mich. Plans call for Star of the West to eventually have a 100% stake, said Jim Howe, chief executive officer of Star of the West.
Mr. Howe said customers of Star of the West have inquired about organic items, which led to the investment in Everbest Organics. Mr. Howe said he has known Jim Sattelberg, owner of Everbest Organics, for years. Everbest Organics sources from farmers from Michigan to California, Mr. Howe said. The company also is involved in corn and wheat although it does not process wheat, he said.
The history of Frankenmuth-based Star of the West dates to the opening of a mill in 1870. The company now has a flour and wheat division and an edible bean division. Bean varieties include black, cranberry, dark red kidney, navy, pinto, small red and non-G.M.O. soybeans.