The Heckers Flour Story

The Heckers Flour Story

During my bread week, I introduced a flour in my Honey White Bread called Heckers that some people have never used.  I wanted to describe my personal experience using Heckers, and how it came about that I discovered flour love at the point of discovery.

Quite frankly, the discovery was by accident.  I had seen the bag of Heckers at our local A&P store and had passed it up in favor of something cheaper having no idea what a difference it could make in my baking.  NEVER again will I let that happen.  Heckers was on sale that day.  It was unbleached.  That was good enough for me at that moment.

When I brought the flour home, I didn’t realize how much it would change the way I baked.  I used to have separate containers for bread flour and regular flour, but now, I have ONE flour for both my regular baking and bread baking.  Cookies I have baked have turned out fabulous.  Bread rises high and looks beautiful.  I never realized there was a difference in flour until that day.

Not everyone may have Heckers at their store right now, but if you happen to spot a bag, bring it home with you and give it a try!  Although, you could always take a trip to New York, and ship it back home for a great baking experience.

I spoke with Wes Feshenfeld of Heckers wanting to know why this flour made such a difference in my baking, and was stunned to find out that this flour that’s distributed to major cities is a family operated business.  Even more exciting was that the first mill was built near where I live in the Hudson Valley!  I foresee great things to come with Heckers, so make sure you follow them on Facebook so you don’t miss out.  Here’s the rundown that Wes shared, and I hope you enjoy the Heckers’ story:

First, the Heckers brand has been around since 1843 making it one of the oldest grocery brands in the US.  This brand was started by two brothers from England; George and John Hecker.  They built their first mill in Croton, on the Hudson River, just north of New York City.  George Hecker was actually the first to create a Self-Rising flour and he was awarded the “First Premium” medal for outstanding advancement in food technology at the 1851 at World’s Fair in London.


Through decades of industry consolidation the Heckers brand was acquired by Standard Milling Company which eventually became known as the Uhlmann Company.  The Uhlmann Company is a third generation family owned business located in Kansas City that prides itself on their unique flour brands.  The Uhlmann Company also owns the Ceresota brand of flour in the Chicago market.  Ceresota’ s history is much like that of the Heckers brand.  It started in 1891 and was eventually acquired by the Uhlmann Company.  It is as uniquely sought after in the Chicago market as Heckers is in New York.


The Uhlmann Company has dedicated itself to using the best grains and milling practices available.  Our loyal consumers have consistently told us that our flour is the best for baking because of  its high protein content and it’s unbleached qualities.  When it comes to milling the best flour, we believe that less is more.  This means no chemicals, bleaching agents and absolutely no bromates.  The resulting flour maintains the ideal baking characteristics that George and John Hecker set out to produce in the mid 1840’s.  Our flour is milled in Kansas where a good portion of the US’s Hard Winter Wheat is grown.  Our flour is milled with this wheat variety because of its high protein content.  Although its costs carry a premium, our consumers can readily appreciate the difference in their baking activities.


A large portion of our consumers grew up with Heckers in the cupboard and they can vividly remember their grandmother or mother baking with it at a very early age.  Consequently, they have indicated that when it comes to baking for their family, they will only use Heckers flour.  We pride ourselves on being able to provide this heritage to the current and upcoming baking generations.  We like to think that our flour provides more than just high quality baking results.

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5 thoughts on “The Heckers Flour Story

  1. Devan Norris

    Thank you for the story! My family found an original Hecker’s Self-Raising Griddle Cake Flour crate in our things, and we’re curious about the origins. Thank you for your insights, we are happy to have found out the answer!

    1. Donna

      What a great find! I’d love to see a picture of it!

  2. Dennis Dolan

    Actually, the Heckers were native New Yorkers of German extraction. The youngest brother Isaac Thomas Hecker is in the process of being declared a Saint by the Catholic Church.

  3. Terra Hecker-Buhman

    I love to read this…. I am a multi- generation Hecker and the last off our family line as and only child. Yet to see these lifts my heart beyond belief. I hope we keep the Hecker name going end after end- Happy Thanksgiving, Terra Hecker

  4. Lucia Terrizzi

    I have been using Heckers Flour since the early 1970s and never turned back to use any other flour. My 3 sons grew up with the little boy on the package flour who they can relate to. All my boys were born in the 1970s and in my kitchen the little boy on the package cutting the bread was with us during our baking sessions. All bread making was done with unbleached flour and Heckers provided all that. Baking could not be more nourishing and happy. Without this flour memories my memories would not sustain. Now that I am a senior and live alone Becker’s is still with me whatever size package 5lb or 2 lb. To use in all my baking needs. Thank you Heckers for your high quality flour.

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