Bush’s Beans Visitor Center

Come For The History Stay For The Food: Bush Beans Visitor Center
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Bush understands that no other food can compare to the bean when it comes to the powerful combination of nutrition, flavor, and versatility. That is why this brand has committed to perfecting the art of serving beans and opened the Bush Beans Visitor Center where guests can learn all about their brand history as well as the significance of the bean itself. All this, along with a stop in the cafe and the museum make for a fun way to spend a few hours and maybe even get to meet Duke!

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Located within the foothills of the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains is the Bush Beans Visitor Center of Chestnut Hill, Tennessee. Here, you will discover the history of the brand, the beans themselves, and how the Bush family has effectively used the last 110 years to spread the good bean word. This free-to-visit facility is easy to get to and an interesting way to spend some time when in the area.

With the motto, “come for the history, stay for the food”, the Bush Beans Visitor Center features the Bush’s Family Cafe where you as a visitor can enjoy various Southern Specialties in addition to a slice of the brand’s famous Pinto Bean Pie.

The Bush Beans Museum located on-site features many incredibly tasteful exhibits. It showcases the Bush Bean’s story and its 110 years of history telling the beautiful bean story. When arriving at the Visitor’s Center, you can drop off anyone who cannot walk for long distances. There are plenty of benches inside and outside the facility to provide resting spots to ensure no guests get too tired walking. The center itself is wheelchair accessible as well.

While you will get to see lots of interesting bean-related exhibits, you will not be able to enter the actual plant where Bush Beans are made for safety and sanitary reasons. Instead, the museum includes a movie theater that highlights a behind-the-scenes tour of the manufacturing process. In most cases, you can expect to spend between one and 1 ½ hours exploring the museum and the general store. Of course, if you add a visit to the Family Cafe, you might want to give yourself a bit more time.

When visiting the Family Cafe on-site to have lunch, you will be served a sample of the bean of the day prior to your meal. Duke, the famous mascot of Bush Beans is occasionally on-site at the visitor center for a meet and greet. According to Bush Beans Visitor Center, when they know Duke is expected to make an appearance, they typically post on their Facebook page, so guests will know to stop in and see him.

Don’t forget to stop into the Bush’s General Store as part of your experience. Housed within this store is a wide range of Bush products including regional flavors that you might not have access to where you live. There are also several Bush-branded merchandises to take home including t-shirts, magnets, and hoodies, not to mention the houseware and kitchen items along with other unique products like cooking aprons and bean ties.

Located nearby the Bush Beans Visitor Center is the Bush Homeplace. While there aren’t tours taking place regularly on this site, the house is decorated for the holidays. During this time alone, guests can stop in for a tour, which is an added bonus to visiting the center during December.

Dedicated to beans and beans only for generations, the Bush family is making the world more beautiful one bean at a time. This successful company’s origin dates back to 1908 when A.J. Bush started his modest cannery in Chestnut Hill Tennessee. This started the obsession of the Bush family with the beautiful bean, a food unlike any other. In 1969, the Bush family discovered a better way to prepare beans, and their baked beans recipe would become world-famous thanks to Jay Bush, the great-grandson of founder A.J. Bush, and his pal Duke.

Insider Tips:
-Bush Beans Visitor Center welcomes service animals within the buildings as defined by the ADA.
-The merchandise and unique bean products are also available online. There is a charge of $5 flat for shipping. Orders $50 and over are free to ship.
-Bush Beans Visitor Center is located in the hometown of Chestnut Hill where the brand was founded.