Wilsonville-based Better Bean Co. is taking its once farmer's market booth beans to stores nationwide.
For now, Better Bean appears to have a niche market to itself. While everyone else packs beans into cans, Better Bean sells its five bean dishes in refrigerated plastic tubs that are resealable and recyclable. Consumers snatch them up at $3.99 apiece, and in three short years Better Bean has jumped from booths at farmer’s markets to cooler space in about 250 stores in a total of 15 American states and Canadian provinces. Keith Kullberg, who developed the recipes in his college days, has a goal of selling in 4,000 stores — the approximate number of natural and organic food stores nationwide.
One of the company’s early supporters, Whole Foods Regional Vice President Bruce Silverman, says Better Bean’s products are unique. When Silverman tried some of the Kullberg refried beans at a farmer’s market, his first thought was, “How can other people not be doing this?”
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