Growing and producing delicious cornmeal from only heirloom varieties of 1870’s era Indian corn (whose stalks grow twelve feet tall) and heritage yellow corn is a labor of love for Bill Savage. He owns and operates Pungo Creek Mills where he plants, harvests, and grinds corn into cornmeal using only antique machinery.
In 2007 Bill Savage purchased Indian corn from a man whose grandfather had been growing it locally since 1870. He considered marketing it as an ornamental, then tried making chicken feed, but after grinding the corn realized that it made a unique, sweet-smelling cornmeal.
After harvest in the fall with a vintage corn picker, the corn is dried in a restored metal corn crib, shelled with an antique corn sheller, and stored in 25-pound sacks in a grain house. After grinding, the cornmeal is packaged and sold to gourmet stores like Machipongo Trading, and Gull Hummock.
“Every bite is a direct link to the past,” according to Bill Savage. In 2010, their premier Indian Corn product won Best New Food Product Diamond Award in the state capital. In 2016, they launched Pungo Creek’s Finest White Cornmeal.
Interestingly enough, Bill's brother Bob founded Old Dominion Pipe, which sells authentic corn-cob pipes fashioned from Pungo Creek Mills corn-cobs.