Skandia farmers turn hobby into business

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SKANDIA, Mich. (WLUC) - What started off as a hobby, has now turned into an up-and-coming business for the Wilson family.

Liberty Farms' Freedom Flour is in more than 50 stores from Munising to Calumet.

"Here at Liberty Farms, we like to say that we grow freedom, so when you're out in the grocery store, don't forget to get your Freedom Flour today,” said Paul Wilson Jr., owner of Liberty Farms and Flour Mills.

As a child, Paul Wilson Jr. grew up and farmed with his grandparents for fun. It never crossed his mind to start a business, until one day, someone mentioned there was a lack of flour producers in the area.

Wilson admits it wasn't an interest at first, but he thought about it for some time, purchased a mill and began producing.

"In 2017, we actually turned it into a business,” he explained. “In the fall of 2018, we actually put some of our first products on the shelves and it's just been great. The community seems to love what we're doing. They love our product."

Currently, Freedom Flour is in more than 50 stores from Munising to Calumet. Wilson says he's proud to serve fresh, pure flour to U.P. communities and to keep local farmers in business.

"To be able to buy from local farmers and help them out and put a great fresh product on people's tables it's amazing,” said Wilson.

He's even happier to have received a Food and Agriculture Investment grant from state government leaders.

"State government really needs local partners and investment, and Paul and his family have invested their lives, resources and time into building up this business and the state was very pleased to be a part of the progress he is making here,” said Mike Prusi, who is the Director of the Governor’s Northern Michigan office.

From here, the Wilson family plans to expand their product line to serve even more communities.

Recently, they purchased screens to make pastry and pizza crust flour, which they say communities can look for in restaurants very soon.

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