Bush Beans: 'A Family Tradition'
March 30, 2007
Attendees of Bean Day were given a virtual tour, so to speak, of Bush Brothers & Company, a family-owned corporation whose roots go back to 1908. Just eight years into the 20th century, Henry Ford developed the first Model T automobile, the Chicago Cubs won their second (and last) World Series, and A.J. (Andrew Jackson) Bush, along with his oldest sons Fred and Claude, started Bush Brothers & Company as a tomato cannery in Tennessee. The company today has plants in Augusta, Wisc., and Chestnut Hill, Tenn.
The Bushs Best brand was developed in 1948, and in 1953, Claude Bush developed Showboat Pork & Beans, with Bushs Original Baked Beans debuting in 1969. In 1994, Bushs Baked Beans distribution expanded into the Northwest, making Bushs products available nationally, and the brand became Americas number-one baked bean.
Perhaps the most recognizable face of the company is Jay and Duke, who have been telling America about Bushs Baked Beans in TV ads since 1995. Duke is a professionally trained canine star patterned after the familys own golden retriever. As the son of Condon Bush, grandson of founder A.J. Bush, Jay Bush has been working for the family business since he was knee high to a pinto bean.
Bush Brothers & Company today makes a variety of flavors of baked beans, along with other varieties of beans, homestyle chili, and canned vegetables aimed primarily at the Southern market, such as hominy, and turnip greens.
The site of the Bush Brothers first cannery in Tennessee and the Bush family. That's Jay Bush and Duke, above.