Family owned since 1938.
The N.K. Hurst Company was founded in 1938 by Needham King Hurst. The company began as a distributor of coffee, tea, sugar and other food commodities. Mr. Hurst had previously worked with the C.D. Kenney Company as a sales representative, which gave him the experience and knowledge to go into the business on his own.
In 1947, Hurst began packaging edible dry beans into 1lb., 2lb., and 5lb. packages for groceries. His decision would lay the groundwork for the future of the company.
Hurst's® Brand "Fancy Grade" dry beans were soon in many regional retail customers, including the A&P Tea Company, Winn-Dixie, and Kroger. Hurst's® Brand became widely known as a top quality product.
In the early 1960’s, Mr. Hurst went to an acquaintance who was a food chemist and asked him to create a dry ham flavoring. When finished, Hurst used his new flavor packets to create the first seasoned dry bean products on the market, and in 1963 he trademarked the HamBeens® brand.
HamBeens® saw continued growth in regions throughout the U.S. until 1986, when (depending on who you ask!) the "test kitchen" created what would become the all-time top selling item, HamBeens® 15 BEAN SOUP®. The new product saw immediate success in grocery stores around the country, and in short order, 15 BEAN SOUP® was distributed to every state in the country, and U.S. military bases around the world.
Today, our HamBeens® products are sold in every region of the United States. We are distributed from Maine to California and from Alaska to Florida. Our seasoned dry beans have expanded to nearly 20 items including: Cajun 15 Bean Soup®, Spanish-American Black Bean Soup®, and Hurst's Slow Cooker Chili.
The N.K. Hurst Company is still proudly owned and operated by the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations of the family. HamBeens® products have grown to be the #1 selling brand of dry beans in the entire U.S. and Hurst still supplies sugar and other food ingredients to businesses across the region.
In 2017, the company built a new, modern production facility and has since moved all operations to the Zionsville, IN location. The Hurst family continues to push founder N.K.'s motto of "quality first" and hopes the new building will help grow the business for generations to come.