Grist Urban Stone Mill Flour Shoppe & Grainery opening in downtown Centralia


Whether you’re an artisan baker looking for a custom flour blend or just someone looking for healthier options and regionally grown grains, there’s a new store in downtown Centralia that has what you’re looking for.

Local chef Jay Ryan is preparing to hold the grand opening of Grist Urban Stone Mill Flour Shoppe & Grainery this Friday, May 10, to provide all of that and more.

“You can walk in here and get fresh milled flour in the morning and bake with it that day. You cannot do that anywhere else here that I know of,” Ryan said.

Grist is located inside The Shady Lady at 216 N. Tower Ave., which is owned by Ryan’s wife, Holly Phelps. The Chronicle met with Ryan on Tuesday to talk about the new grainery after holding its soft opening earlier this month.

“I like the idea of being able to be close to the farmers and be in the food business, and this allows me to be super picky about what I have around me and get to sell,” Ryan said.

And being a grainery with a production-sized stone mill, grist — which is grain that has been separated from the chaff in preparation for mill grinding — seemed like the perfect name for his new business.

“You can take wheat berries out of the field, but you need to get it cleaned to make it grist,” Ryan said.

Before Grist, Ryan was working in the Northwest Sports Hub, where he owned and ran Hub City Grub. He ended up with 60 employees and provided meals to local preschool children, but Ryan wasn’t happy with the way the business ran.

“Having to sell all the red 40, high fructose corn syrup and hot dogs, that spurred this on, where I can be super picky,” said Ryan.

Everything Grist offers is regional, seasonal and responsibly sourced and grown.

“I consider organic practices to be paramount as well,” Ryan added.

Not only can you purchase whole wheat and rye berries along with fresh ground flour, but lentils, beans, rice, corn, quinoa and even teff.

“The variety here is cool. Teff is another grass just like wheat is a grass. Traditional bread from Ethiopia called injera, is made from teff,” Ryan said.

The teff Grist sells come from a farmer in Idaho, he added.

Grist has traditional South American, Native American and Chinese style stone mills, along with a new electric granite stone mill made by New American Stone Mills out of Vermont.

With the electric mill, he can grind grist into flour to order for customers. Currently, Ryan has bins full of several grist varieties — all grown in Chehalis — available to grind.

“I’m calling this a custom flour shop,” Ryan said. “People are gonna be able to come here and get their 80/20, which is 80% whole wheat, 20% sifted, or they can come here and get just whole wheat, or just sifted.”

Along with producing fresh flour, the electric stone mill also produces cream of wheat, which has a variety of uses.

Grist also features a small demonstration kitchen, which Ryan hopes to use to help local farmers educate each other and anyone else who might be interested.

“I’ll teach anybody how to cook, but I want farmers to come here and talk about their CSA (community supported agriculture) programs,” Ryan said. “Or maybe they’ll teach other farmers about tilth (topsoil condition).”

Once he gets Grist more established, Ryan hopes to have local farmers bring him fresh wheat harvest to be processed with a seed cleaner for storage and sale.

Following Friday’s opening, Ryan added Grist will be open during the regular hours of The Shady Lady, which is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To learn more about Grist Urban Stone Mill Flour Shoppe & Grainery, email Ryan at or follow Grist on Facebook here