Our Lab

A customer told me recently that she drove all over the place looking for our store. Apparently, our address is listed somewhere on the internet, and one of those random Internet indexes told her it was a retail outlet. She couldn’t find it–all she found was a large building full of laboratories, catering kitchens, and art studios. Yup, that’s us–it’s our lab! (We don’t have a store here, sorry.)

Like most laboratories, our lab isn’t open to the public. But we are in a cool building, and we thought this would be a good opportunity to show you where we do our work.

This building used to be the General Mills Research Laboratories, from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. It was purchased and turned into a business incubator by physical chemist Larry Homstad, owner of American Thin Films. Larry’s laboratory is down the hall from mine, where young scientists operate strange machines late into the night. I know that, because I’m often here late into the night, operating strange machines of my own.

Back in the day (c. 1930)

So, what’s so special about this place? Well, for starters, Cheerios were invented here (originally called “Cheerioats.”) This was a revolutionary process that involved shooting the cereal through a specialized cannon. I wish I could find a picture of the Cheerio cannon, but I think it might be lost to time.

The original Cheerios ("Cheerioats")

Another legendary fact about this building is that it was the birthplace of America’s Favorite Homemaker, Betty Crocker. Betty was apparently dreamed up in an office here, and her test kitchens were the stuff of legend. The test kitchens are now home to catering companies.

Betty's public image...


...Betty's lovely test kitchen...
...and Betty behind the scenes

Now, this building is the proud home of many small, indie brands you might have seen in your hometown:

Artisan Chocolatier BT McElrath

Visit BT McElrath to shop for handmade artisan chocolates

Chronic for cats. For real. Yeowww!

Visit DuckyWorld to shop for handmade catnip toys (our cats fight over them)

Lucille's Kitchen Garden - Cooking Light Winner!

Visit Lucille’s Kitchen Garden to shop for delicious handmade jams

So if you’re looking for unique, indie handmade products, these people are awesome. Check them out!