Food museums can be a tough sell. Eating a delicious slice of pizza is a lot different than learning about a delicious slice of pizza. But one of America’s oldest and best-selling baked bean brands, Bush’s, has just spent over five months remodeling a destination they think will really get people excited… a museum about beans.
The Bush’s Visitor Center in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee, has recently renovated and reopened its Visitor Center Museum, billed as “a one-stop destination for all things beans” and “the world’s most beautiful bean museum!” The museum originally opened in 2010, housed at the site of the original Bush’s general store which dates back to the early 1900s. But Bush’s made the call to temporarily shutter the museum on January 31 of this year for a refurb. As of July 12, it’s back, promising “the familiar, historical feel — now with new innovative, digital experiences.”
“Whether you want to explore Bush’s wide range of products on the digital shelf set, take a deep dive into Bush’s history, or get a close look at how these beautiful beans are made, all your foodie questions will be answered at the Bush’s Beans Visitor Center Museum,” the brand wrote. And, bonus, it’s all free!
Among the upgrades, Bush’s says visitors can now use a “reimagined bean scale” where they’re able to “get their weight in beans alongside equality examples such as Duke’s weight in beans.” (If haven’t seen a commercial in decades, Duke is the brand’s canine mascot.) The theater experience has been “refreshed” including a new “virtual plant tour highlighting the manufacturing process.” And the aforementioned “interactive digital shelf” gives customers a chance to view “the vast array of Bush’s products” by simply “clicking on a product of their choosing to learn more about the ingredients, delicious recipes and more.”
And that’s not all. Bush’s points out that the Visitor Center still includes the General Store, featuring all sorts of Bush’s swag and products, and the Bush Family Cafe, both of which remained open while the museum got its makeover. Pro tip: If you eat in the cafe, you will be served a complimentary sample of “the bean of the day” prior to your meal.
Okay, but honestly, do you really want to visit a bean museum? I’ve never been myself, but the Bush’s Visitor Center has a 4.8-star rating on Google Maps across over 4,500 reviews, the vast majority of which came from before the makeover. I haven’t searched any other bean museums on Google Maps, but I doubt you’ll find that level of acclaim.
The Bush’s Visitor Center Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bush’s suggests most people spend about an hour to 90 minutes in the Museum and General Store — though your experience may vary depending on your love of baked beans.