The Kelley Bean Co. Timeline

We have come a long way. Here are some of the significant events that have shaped our company to become what it is today.

  • 1927 - Chester B. Brown Co. is founded. Robert L. Kelley Sr. is a key employee.
  • 1938 - Robert L. Kelley Sr. becomes General Manager of Chester B. Brown Company, and the company leases the first Electric Eyes from ESM (Electric Sorting Machine Company.) These were the first eyes in the bean industry West of the Mississippi. The technology was so advanced that ESM would not sell the eyes, only lease them.
  • 1941 - Robert L. Kelley Sr. was promoted to President (and General Manager) of Chester B. Brown Company
  • 1946 - First Cello-Pak retail packaging machine
  • 1952 - Acquisition of Scottsbluff Bean & Elevator
  • 1953 - Acquisition of seed facilities in Idaho
  • 1960 - Gary L. Kelley joined the Chester B. Brown Company
  • 1969 - Robert L. Kelley Sr. leaves Chester B. Brown Co. after 42 years
  • 1969 - Robert L. Kelley & Gary L. Kelley found Kelley Bean Co. in Henry, NE
  • 1971 - Gary L. Kelley becomes President of Kelley Bean Co.
  • 1972 - Robert L. Kelley Jr. joins Kelley Bean Co.
  • 1978-79 - Acquisition of Harpstreith plants in Mitchell, NE and Lyman, CO
  • 1982 - Acquisition of Chester B. Brown Co. and merge into Kelley Bean Co.
  • 1983 - Kelley Bean launches Employee Stock Ownership Program
  • 1986 - Acquisition of Farr, Wyoming Co and Farmers Elevator
  • 1989 - Acquisition of McBride Warehouse, Elmore Bean and Nebraska Elevator
  • 1992 - Acquisition of Deaver Grain
  • 1997 - Acquisition of Prairie Products Elevator
  • 2000 - Establish Michigan Sales Office
  • 2002 - Robert L. Kelley Jr. becomes President
  • 2005 - Acquisition of KBC Trading & Processing, a division of ConAgra Foods
  • 2006 - Kelley Bean makes first export sale to Cuba since the late 1950's
  • 2010 - Kelley Bean launches internally developed P.A.S.S. System - a GFSI certified food safety and quality system
  • 2011 - Kevin L. Kelley becomes President to lead the third generation into the future
  • 2015 - Acquisition of Yellowstone Bean Company

“Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili.”

Kit Carson (1809-1868) Frontiersman and Mountain Man