End of an era? Not so fast: Arva Flour Mill saved after sale to local businessman

The Arva Flour Mill north of London, Ont. is seen Friday, July 30, 2021. (Marek Sutherland / CTV News)

The historic Arva Flour Mill will continue to operate after the 202-year-old mill was purchased by a local businessman.

In a release issued early Wednesday morning it was announced that local businessman Mark Rinker had purchased the Mill with a plan to keep it operating while looking at new ways to grow the business.

“It’s simple really, being at the Mill gives me joy. From a very young age I formed a bond with the property, the people and processes that make the Mill special,” said Mark Rinker in a statement sent to media.

Rinker says he is recently retired as a VP of Sale with a pharmacy automation company and that the timing was right for his new venture.

“Keeping the rich history and traditions of the Mill intact are as important to me as any commercial success,” said Rinker in his statement.

According to the media release Rinker intends to work closely with the Matthews family which has owned the Mill for the last century.

When the property went up for sale there was interest from as far away as China, but in the end local won out.

“We had a lot of interest from multiple parties all over the world who wanted to re-develop the land, but ultimately, Mark’s vision to respect and continue the legacy of what our family has built

over the last 100 years was most important to us,” said former owner Mike Matthews in a statement.

A vision for the future  

With roughly 100 individual customers visiting the Mill every day Rinker says he will continue to honour and serve those customers while increasing retail distribution and a plan to grow the brand.

Among the ideas is updating equipment and new infrastructure for new projects.

One such project would be to mill gluten free flours in a separate building with dedicated equipment to prevent cross contamination.

Rinker says he also has a vision to partner long-term with a winery or distillery onsite.

Another plan is to have the property become a net zero carbon producer by utilizing the hydroelectric power from the dam to power the property.