Elegant Beans and Beyond is a family-owned business that brings heirloom and exotic dry beans "grower direct to you." Chip and Bobbie Morris, owners of Elegant Beans and Beyond, both come from farming families which have been involved in agriculture in the Sac-Joaquin Valley area for generations. We grow all of our beans in the heart of California's fertile Central Valley
Kenneth "Chip" Morris, the farmer, graduated with a B.S. degree from California State University, Chico in Agricultural Business and Management. His family homesteaded in Yolo County just north of Woodland, California over 125 years ago. Chip has been involved in farming all of his life and had grown commodity crops for many years. About 20 years ago, while doing some consulting work he stumbled upon some unusual beans. After doing some serious research, test plots, consulting with several universities and developing some special equipment for the task, he decided to try farming some of these beans. He started out with 54 varieties on 180 acres and has been successfully growing them ever since. Today he farms several hundred acres of the very best and most popular heirloom bean varieties with his first cousin Jerry Fry, on a 2500-acre sixth-generation family-owned and operated ranch. Chip has also worked on dry bean research at University of California, Davis for the past 9 years.
Bobbie Morris graduated from University of California, Davis and handles the marketing and promotions of the beans. She works on educating people about the unique heirloom and exotic varieties. It's a long process...beans have been known as a poor man's food yet they have been an important part of the human diet for thousands of years. Their high protein content makes them an excellent low-fat alternative and when combined with rice they have been quoted as "the world's most perfect food." Beans are high in soluble fiber and gluten-free which is especially important to many health-conscious consumers today...especially vegetarians and those who are Celiac. More and more people are beginning to realize that beans are so much more than the few generic varieties on the supermarket shelves. Elegant Beans and Beyond distribution is growing by leaps and bounds.
We have hosted a number of tours of our growing seasons for student chefs from the Culinary Institute in New York at Hyde Park where they have cooked with our beans; we have been featured on American Heartland PBC KVIE Channel 6; we have been featured on several segments of Good Morning Sacramento by Michael Marks "the produce man" on local TV Channels 31 and 13; our beans were used exclusively for a Pillsbury Chili Cook Off contest in Florida with 127 food editors in attendance from the east coast; articles have been written about us in over 40 newspapers around the country such as The New York Times, Sacramento Bee, Oakland Tribune; we hosted one of the most successful bean tasting promotions ever at Whole Foods in Sacramento, CA; we have been contacted and interviewed by many authors such as Lorna Sass, Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure, Lisa Hebner, Calypso Bean Soup and noted as a source of heirloom beans; and contacted by magazines such as Vegetarian Times, Health and Walking Magazines.
The bottom line...as quoted from an article out of California Country magazine, July/August 2008 issue published by the California Farm Bureau Federation who did a cover story on Mohr-Fry Ranches, "we try to be a company of integrity by treating our employees fairly, by using sustainable growing practices and by treating whomever we do business with fairly. We learned that from our heritage, our family. The secret of our success can be defined in one word, integrity. Everything we do we try to do with integrity and fairness."