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Lehi Roller Mills files for bankruptcy

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LEHI — Lehi Roller Mills has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following a series of financial troubles in recent years.

The Roller Mills is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Utah County, but the owners are in financial trouble. They filed for bankruptcy Dec. 6 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, company spokesperson Rick Brown confirmed Tuesday.

The company has been in financial trouble since 2009, when its accounts were frozen and a line of credit withdrawn to prevent budget shortages. A lawsuit was filed earlier this year after the company failed to pay employees, but the suit was dropped after employees were paid.

The mill, located at 850 East and Main Street in Lehi, will be able to remain in business while it reorganizes its finances.

"Now with a new financial plan to give us a good financial basis, we can go forward," said Rick Brown, spokesman for Lehi Roller Mills.

Lynn and Sharon Blake hope that's true. While they live in Washington County, they never miss a chance to stop at the Lehi Roller Mills.

"It's been an institution here as long as we can remember," Lynn Blake said. "We went to BYU 50 years ago, and we still pass Lehi Roller Mills."

Max Parker Dahl, another longtime customer, heard about the bankruptcy Tuesday morning and came to support the Roller Mills by buying a few brownie and pancake mixes.

"I don't want them to go away," Dahl said. "There are four generations here. The community views it as their place to go for flour."

Dahl said he also sees value in the Mills as a symbol of Lehi.

"It is iconic," he said. "My uncle was also in Footloose, so looking back and seeing it every time I pass in and out of town ... something iconic like this is pretty cool."

But it is not just about movie history and seeing a famous place that has Dahl concerned, it's keeping a hometown business alive.

"I like that it is a local place. They put out a constantly good product that tastes really good too," he said.

It's unclear how long it could be until the Lehi Roller Mills emerges from bankruptcy. In the meantime, the retail store remains open, although the company is making fewer retail products, such as the mixes, due to the layoffs.

Still, company officials said they expect a better year in 2013.


Sam Penrod


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