Beans have famously been called the musical fruit.
If that’s the case, then The N.K. Hurst Company, a family business on the near south side of Indianapolis, is a concertmaster, broadcasting a constant bean symphony to a grateful nation for nearly three-quarters of a century. The food distributor, run by the third and fourth Hurst generations, started in 1938 as a sugar wholesaler, but got into dried beans around ’48. Today, Hurst annually sends out 20 million packages of beans, peas and lentils nationwide from a 1906 workhorse of a brick warehouse at 230 West McCarty Street in the shadow of Lucas Oil Stadium
In fact, the three-year-old Lucas Oil Stadium almost eclipsed Hurst entirely. In the early 2000s, businesses in the planned footprint of the stadium and its outlots were rather strongly encouraged to scram by the stick of eminent domain and the carrot of relocation funding. All accepted but one: Hurst, who thought the family’s historic facility worked just fine, thank you very much. The victorious battle to retain their heritage was music to Indiana Landmarks’ ears, and we gave them a stewardship award in 2007.
You can tour the historic factory by appointment; call 800-HAMBEEN. Check out the website, http://www.hurstbeans.com/, for recipes and information about the company’s products.
About Hidden Gems Indiana
Each week Indiana Landmarks uses insider knowledge to highlight historic places worth a visit, from the quirky to the sublime: small towns, neighborhoods, restaurants, shops, parks, cemeteries, scenic drives, museums—you get the idea. Learn more about Indiana Landmarks at www.indianalandmarks.org.