When you picture a flour mill, you probably picture a red barn and some shiny grain silos perched on a hill overlooking rolling fields of wheat — not an anonymous industrial tract at the end of the 110 freeway in Pasadena. Opened in 2012 by Nan Kohler and Marti Noxon, Grist & Toll's tiny storefront hides a massive stone flour mill on which are ground various grains from local growers — everything from wheat, rye and corn to more exotic products such as purple barley and Ethiopian teff. Much of Grist & Toll's product is sold wholesale to restaurants and professional bakers, but it's open to the public and more than happy to help newbie bakers struggling with their first sourdough starter or whole-grain quick bread recipe. It also sells proofing cloths and baskets, rolling pins, aprons and everything else you'll need to get baking. The one thing it doesn't sell is the finished product — that part's up to you.
Credit: Andy Hermann