At Mornflake we've been milling oats in the South Cheshire countryside since 1675, making us the longest established miller of oats and cereal in the UK! 15 generations later, we are still independently owned and managed by the direct descendants of the original miller, William Lea.
Although William Lea began milling at the Swettenham Mill in 1675, the family connection with agriculture appears to date back even further. 'Lea' is the Saxon word for 'Meadow', suggesting an involvement in agriculture since parts of North Wales were in the ancient Kingdom of 'Mercea'.
Originally Mornflake milled oats for farmers, but now we contract supplies from them and sell the milled product directly. Most of our grain is 'contract grown' on specially selected farms throughout the United Kingdom. By placing these contracts we are helping to conserve this important crop as an essential part of the agricultural economy.
Our Story Mill
At the start of the Second World War Britain was largely reliant on the supply of foodstuffs from beyond its shores. The outbreak of war meant that this had to be rethought and the Ministry of Food turned its attention to home grown supplies. Philip Lea, father of current Managing Director John Lea, was already in the RAF when he was ordered home to 'feed the nation'.
The Ministry of Food wanted him to mill oats due to the sustainable nature of this resilient crop and because oats were believed to be the healthiest of all cereals. The family mills were too small to cope with the task that Philip Lea had been set and so the company moved to a derelict flour mill in Crewe.
The country's need became so great that a new mill and factory were built, making it one of the very few non-munitions developments to take place during the war. Rationing meant home grown oats became a staple part of British diet, and as new products and technologies have become available, the Mornflake product range has developed into what it is today.
With expertise and skills handed down from fathers to sons and over 330 years of milling experience, it is no wonder that Mornflake are able to produce what is probably the finest range of oat cereals available today, winning international gold medals for the quality, purity and consistency of our oats year after year.
Crewe, United Kingdom