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As of November 2004, all “JIFFY” Mix products will have a “Best If Used By” date printed on the top of each package. This is based on a twelve month shelf life from the day it was manufactured. We feel the product is at its best if used by this date.

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If you have questions about “JIFFY” Mix products, you may find your answer quicker by visiting our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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“Jiffy Mix” book hot off the presses

Click HERE to open the PDF version of this article in a new browser tab.

 

Originally posted by: The Chelsea Standard — July 10, 2008

By Janet Ogle-Mater

Special Writer

Howard S. “Howdy” Holmes Jr. will be the guest speaker at the upcoming Chelsea Area Historical Society’s Dinner and Lecture fund-raiser.

Holmes will talk about his successful 20-year racing career and about the Chelsea Milling Company, the more than century-old family business of which he is president and CEO.

Holmes will also be sharing aspects, and signing copies, of the new book, “JIFFY: A Family Tradition, Mixing Business and Old-Fashioned Values,” by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds.

The book explores the early years of the mill, the beginnings of Jiffy baking mixes, and the changes that have taken the company into the 21st century. Through it all, four generations of Holmes family history is revealed.

“I wanted to honor my family before me and I felt a need to record our history,” said Howdy. “It has been a heartwarming experience for me.”

The idea for the book began in 1990, but was put on hold for several years after the unexpected death of the original author, Joseph Clayton.

“In 2001, I was moved to start the project again after the death of my father and the release of Reynolds’ book, ’Our Hometown,’” Holmes recalled.

The inside jacket of the book reads like a recipe with ingredients including such attributes as courage, consideration, consistency, values, respect, and honor. It is easy to see how this mix of ingredients has combined to make a successful family-owned business for four generations.

Chelsea Milling was founded in 1887 by E.K. White and incorporated in 1901. Harmon S. Holmes, a Chelsea businessman with a number of flourishing ventures, including H.S. Holmes Mercantile, bought the mill in 1908.

Early on he turned the management of the mill over to his son, Howard, who would marry E.K. White’s daughter Mabel in 1912. Mabel White Holmes went on to create Jiffy Baking Mix in 1930. Then, tragedy struck the family when Howard Samuel Holmes fell to his death from a grain elevator inside a silo in 1936.

Mabel and her 23-year-old twin sons, Howard and Dudley Holmes, took over running the company. In 1940, Howard Sumner Holmes became president, a position he held for 55 years. “He never planned on being in the family business, but he did what he had to do, and without complaints,” Howdy said of his father.

Unlike his father, Howdy knew he wanted to be in the family business. “I grew up in the mill; I’ve done every job in the place at least once,” he said.

But before joining the team at Jiffy, he was given the freedom and encouragement to pursue his childhood dream of auto racing.

Holmes had a successful career, competing in six Indy 500 events and claiming “Rookie of the Year” in 1979. He also gained a wealth of experience in business management, marketing, and public relations.

He brought this business experience back to Chelsea Milling in 1987, and has been President and CEO since his father retired in 1995.

“When I returned, I saw a great brand, and principles, but knew there had to be some changes.”

Howdy began to the move the company away from a proprietorship and toward a professionally managed company. He also invested more into the employees and invited their collaboration.

“When you ask someone their opinion, you get different feedback from your own and you learn new things,” Holmes said. “My management system is not too complicated treat people the way you would like to be treated.”

Howdy left unchanged the basic principles on which the company was founded, including a commitment to quality and value for a fair price.

“Our choice is to give consumers the best value,” Holmes said. “We define ’value’ as being the highest-quality ingredients at the best price.”

One way they keep their prices low is not to spend money on advertising. In the nearly 80 years since the brand was founded, the company has never advertised. It prefers to rely on consumer loyalty to the little blue-and-white box for quality and value.

It seems to be working: Chelsea Milling produces 1.6 million boxes of Jiffy mixes each day during the peak winter season, Holmes said, and claims 57 percent of the nation’s total muffin mix market share. Its corn muffin mix, introduced in 1950, continues to be its top seller.

To hear more about the Chelsea Milling Company and the new book, join the Chelsea Area Historical Society at 7 p.m. July 18 at Silver Maples of Chelsea.

Tickets are $30 per person or $50 for a ticket and copy of the book, and on sale at the Gourmet Chocolate Café, 312 N. Main St.

Color, sweets rule this bakery

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Originally posted by: Ann Arbor News — July 27, 2006

By Lisa Allmendinger

Billy’s world Famous Blue Raspberry Muffins were one of the most colorful concoctions entered in Wednesday’s Jiffy Mix baking contest at the Washtenaw County Youth Show.

Even more important, perhaps, was that Billy Poet, 11, of Bridgewater Township, had a blast concocting his unique, bright blue baked goods.

“I like raspberries and I like oatmeal, and to make it more funny, I added blue dye,” Poet said.

The member of the Country Sunrise 4-H Club said Wednesday’s competition was his first time participating in the fun contest, which attracted more than 40 entries to the Youth Show held at the Washtenaw County Farm Council Grounds near Saline.

Both Bill and his cousin, Kristen Meade of Livonia, had fun with food coloring. She made Country Surprise, ruby red corn muffins for the baking contest.

The rules stated that 4-Hers must use one of the many flavors of Jiffy Mix sold in grocery stores and then enhance it. The front panel from the box and the actual recipe were displayed with the baked goods that spanned two long tables.

Each participate took home a free box of fudge brownie mix as well.

The baking contest is in its third year at the d4-H show and was the culinary creation of the 4-H Still Exhibit Committee.

Chocolate chip cookies were baked the first year, and sugar cookies to the cake last year. The theme from the Chelsea-based Jiffy Mix was chosen for the 2006 contest, which was judged by Peggy Hines, a former Washtenaw County clerk and 4-Her, and by Peter di Lorenzi, from the MSU foods and nutrition department.

“I think every one of these deserves a blue ribbon,” said Haines a former 4-Her who entered muffins, flowers and photography in past 4-H fairs.

Said di Lorenzi: “There was a really good balance and use of fruits. Lots of thought went into them.”

Elaine Feldkamp, a 4-J program assistant, explained the recipes would be put to good use.

“We’re going to collect all the recipes and will make a cookbook out of them,” she said.

“We’re looking for seed money to help pay the printing costs, and then we’ll use it as a 4-H fundraiser.”

The Seto family of Chelsea will be well-represented in the cookbook. Both Christ Seto, 11, and his sister, Katy Seto, 14, will have their recipes included.

Chris, 11 entered Peppermint Mushroom Surprise, made of devil’s food Jiffy cake mix, crushed-up peppermints and coconut. But the secret to his cake was “the baking in” of the marshmallows, thus the mushroom shape.

“There really aren’t any real mushrooms in it,” he said.

Katy Seto, on the other hand, made an apple cinnamon cake and added apple sauce to the mix, topping the creation with giant meal-away mint-like candy.

Both brother and sister are members of the Poison Ivies 4-H Club of Ann Arbor, a new club that first entered the competition this year.

Melanie Burchett, 14, also of Chelsea and a member of the Double LL Llama club of Manchester, said she made Jiffy Cheesecake Breakfast Bars, utilizing a big box of Jiffy baking mix.

Six winners were chosen and given certificates for their baked creations. Best cake went to Melany Mioduszewski of Dexter. Best pie or pastry went to Luke Sowash of Whitmore Lake. Best cookie went to Catherine Ehnis; best bread to Korbyn Koerner of Saline. Ken Mallonen of Ypsilanti was awarded best fruit. The most creative presentation was given to Coty Bentley of Stockbridge.

The 4-h show continues through Friday night at the Washtenaw County Fair Council Grounds at 5055 Ann Arbor Saline Road from 8 am to 9 pm.