Bush’s Beans Company History Timeline


Founded in 1908 by A.J. Bush, Bush Brothers & Company is based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

His cannery proved so profitable that, by 1908, he was able to buy out the Stokelys' interest and establish his own independent business.


Bush Brothers & Company was incorporated in June 1922, and Fred Bush (A.J.'s oldest son) was named president. (Fred was also a Director of the National Canners Association, the primary industry trade group for canning companies.)


Bush Brothers Provision Company, the oldest business in Pleasant City, West Palm Beach, Florida, originally opened in 1925 as a neighborhood grocery store and meat market as Bush’s Market.


1928: A second plant, located in Oak Grove, Tennessee, is acquired.

The year 1928 saw the company's expansion into corn and hominy, as well as the lease of the Smith Brothers & Company's Oak Grove corn processing plant just outside Dandridge, Tennessee.


Bush Brothers constructed a new building nearby in 1929, which would become the company's main canning facilities for many years.


And in 1930, Bush Brothers opened a new plant in LaFollette, Tennessee, where it processed blueberries in addition to tomatoes.


A third facility, located in Clinton, Tennessee, joined the fold three years later, in 1931.


In 1933, Bush Brothers began offering pork and beans, canned under its Chestnut Hill label.


By 1935, Bush Brothers were seeing significant expansion and were highlighted in newspaper articles for canning ten million cans of vegetables a year, operating two-thousand acres of company owned farmland, and contracting with five-hundred farmers to supply vegetables.


In 1942, the Tennessee Valley Authority announced the closing of the Douglas Dam floodgates within the year.


In October 1944, Bush Brothers attempted to offset some of their farmland loss by purchasing the Blytheville Canning Company in Arkansas.


Following A.J. Bush's death in 1946, Bush Brothers & Company made the move from private label to branded presence.


In 1948, the company developed the Bush's Best brand, a label that would soon appear on a variety of Bush Brothers' products.

1948: Bush's Best Brand first appears.

Claude Bush moved to Arkansas in 1948 to oversee the facilities and eventually managed to turn it into a profitable business.


In 1952, the company introduced their Great Northern Beans with Plain Sauce.


One year later, the company introduced Showboat Pork & Beans, followed by the development of canned southern peas in 1955.


In 1958, Buck and Buddy realized that local grocery stores were losing market share to supermarkets and changed the business name to Bush Brothers Provision Company.


Claude Bush became president of the company in 1959, following the death of his older brother Fred.


Bush Brothers & Company also created its own truck line, Tennessee Truck Lines, in 1962.


In 1965, Claude became Chairman of the Board, and brother-in-law C.J. Ethier succeeded him as President.


Fred Bush and Ethier, with the help of A.J. Bush's grandson, a young Condon Bush, put the Bush family recipe for baked beans on the market in 1969.

The year 1969 proved to be a tough one for the canning industry due to overproduction and low prices.


In 1970 they expanded upon the original building, doubling capacity.


In 1975, Buck’s oldest son, Harry D. Bush joined Bush Brothers.


In 1978, Buddy Bush retired and Buck’s second son, John W. “Billy” Bush also joined the family business.

In 1978, Claude stepped down as Chairman of the Board, and C.J. Ethier replaced him.


In 1979, Bush Brothers acquired the Dubon brand of canned foods when that company was sold, following bankruptcy.


The decade of historic change began in 1991, when Bush Brothers' board of directors, for the first time, included a majority of directors outside the Bush family.


1992: Company headquarters are moved from Chestnut Hill to Knoxville.

In 1992, Jim Ethier was elected president and COO of Bush Brothers & Company.


According to Bush Brothers' estimates, the company nearly tripled its market share in the baked beans category by 1994, taking command of a market that generated an estimated $400 million in sales annually.


In 1995, the company introduced Bush's Boston Baked Beans in the New England market, the same year Duke, a golden retriever, first appeared as Jay Bush's on-air sidekick.


In 1999, in fact, Campbell Soup chose not to advertise its baked beans at all.

In 1999, the company began planning for an expansion to its production capacity.


The company controlled 50 percent of the $470-million-in-sales baked beans market in 2001.

2001: Expansion of the company's Chestnut Hill plant begins.


The business continued to grow and expand under Harry and Billy, and in May of 2002, Harry and Bill acquired the former D&D Marine building adjacent to Bush Brothers, as well as two additional lots.


The expansion, to be completed by mid-2003, was expected to triple the company's production capacity.


In 2006 Harry’s oldest son, Harry “Doug” Bush Jr., joined Bush Brothers.

As a result of the ad campaign, the duo became celebrities, and sales of the company's beans increased from a 48% national market share to 80%. The popularity of the commercial inspired the company to publish a children's book, Duke Finds a Home, published in 2006.


In 2012, comedian Julie Klausner tweeted a suggestion that Bush Brothers offer a poetry contest, allowing the winner to pet Duke, who she had seen in a television commercial.

Work At Bush’s Beans?
Share Your Experience
Company Founded
Knoxville, TN
Company Headquarter
A.j. Bush,Andrew Bush
Company Founders
Get Updates for Jobs and News

Bush’s Beans Jobs Nearby

Bush’s Beans Jobs

Bush’s Beans Similar Companies

Find Jobs from Similar Companies
Personalize your job search. Where would you like to work?

Bush’s Beans Similar Companies Jobs

Bush’s Beans History FAQs

How Old Is Bush’s Beans?

Bush’s Beans is 115 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Bush’s Beans?

A.j. Bush, Andrew Bush and Bill Gates founded Bush’s Beans.

Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of Bush’s Beans, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about Bush’s Beans. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at Bush’s Beans. The data on this page is also based on data sources collected from public and open data sources on the Internet and other locations, as well as proprietary data we licensed from other companies. Sources of data may include, but are not limited to, the BLS, company filings, estimates based on those filings, H1B filings, and other public and private datasets. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of this information. None of the information on this page has been provided or approved by Bush’s Beans. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of Bush’s Beans and its employees or that of Zippia.

Bush’s Beans may also be known as or be related to Bush Brothers and Company, Bush's Beans, Bush Brothers & Co., Bush Brothers & Company and Bush’s Beans.