Weaverville – Just outside Asheville, nestled in the rolling hills of Western North Carolina, a modern family with deep ties to the area is taking a decidedly non-modern approach to producing grits.
From seed to bagged Barkley’s Mill “Stoned Happy Grits”, utmost care is taken to ensure the very best grits available. That sounds like a “line” right? If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I might agree with you.
Spending a recent afternoon with the Barkleys, watching “by hand” harvesting, sorting, and storing of their gourmet quality, heirloom “Hickory King Dent White Corn” was inspiring and just a little overwhelming. Overwhelming in the sense that the principles and dedication required to do what they’re doing are pretty darned amazing.
The process is extremely labor-intensive – as you can see from the gallery below. Producing 40 bushels takes four people eight hours each. They say each ear of corn is touched four to five times during their grit-making process. Their motto? “Quality over Quantity”
Although just in their first year of production, the Barkley’s have already gone through the rigorous process of gaining both non-gmo and gluten free certifications. They’re currently working on Organic certification, another long and costly process. And by the way, there are no preservatives or pesticides in their grits.
I was honored to be welcomed into the Barkley home for lunch with the family and a visiting video-journalist. My first bite explained why their Stoned Happy Grits are getting rave reviews from chefs and the public.
Oh. My. Goodness. Topped with roasted Brussels Sprouts, bacon bits, sauteed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, or nothing – delicious! I’m talking hearty, full-bodied, flavorful grits. See some of the Barkley’s family recipes here.
I can honestly say these grits are the best I’ve had to date.
Want to try them for yourself? Stop in for a grits dish at Asheville’s Cúrate or Nightbell, where Executive Chef and Co-owner Katie Button uses Barkley’s Mill grits exclusively. You can also purchase “Stoned Happy Grits” to make at home and other merchandise here.
Barkley’s Mill is open online 24 hours a day. Their Customer Support office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM EST (Eastern Standard Time). They are closed weekends and all major US holidays.
6 Barkley Place
Weaverville, NC 28787
Customer Support: (828) 620-1067