Mrs. Grimes originated in Grimes, Iowa in 1902. Produced by Grimes Canning and Preserving Company, it was originally known as “Old Grimes”, with cans bearing the image of an old man. Grimes Canning and Preserving Company originated as a sweet corn canner and persevered during hard times, including a fire on Christmas Day, 1926. The factory was rebuilt, but fell on hard times during the Great Depression. It reopened as Beaver Valley Canning Company in 1937 and added beans, fruit juices and hominy to its production, allowing it to operate year-round rather than only during the corn packing season. Around that time, the Old Grimes label was changed to feature a smiling Mrs. Grimes.
Well known for its pork and beans, Mrs. Grimes also sold kidney, red, pinto, great northern, navy and butter beans, along with white and yellow hominy, asparagus and sweet corn. Mrs. Grimes Chili Style Beans were introduced in the 1980s, and were thought to be the spiciest canned bean on the market. In fact, the chili beans were originally given an orange label, instead of the traditional blue Mrs. Grimes label, to give consumers a feel for the spicy contents.
In 1975, Beaver Valley Canning Co. was rescued from bankruptcy court by American National Corporation. In six years’ time, the plant became profitable again, and showed $12 million in sales, and produced 240,000 cans a day.
In 1987, Faribault Foods bought Beaver Valley Canning Co. Today, the Mrs. Grimes brand specializes in beans, no longer selling vegetables or hominy. The strategic focus on premium quality beans has elevated Mrs. Grimes to the #1 brand of canned beans throughout Iowa and Nebraska.