Sunday, September 2, 2018

Touring the Jelly Belly Factory

It's been years since we've toured the Jelly Belly factory. Ian was a toddler and Alli wasn't even born the last time we were here, so I was really happy there was time to visit on this trip.


The factory opens at 9am and on a Labor Day weekend I was certain it was going to get crowded. That's why we arrived just after opening. There's a bunch of kids here who are excited to eat some jelly beans.

Admiring the Jelly Belly artwork. Looks like the same idea as my Lego Mickey Mouse mosaic. Could be an interesting thing to try some day.

While we waited for the factory tour to begin, everyone enjoyed the Jelly Belly sample bar. Here you can sample every Jelly Belly bean currently made, up to three flavors at a time. After three samples, you can head back around and get in line again. This early, with hardly anyone else here, you just walked back to the front of the line and got 3 more.

Alli trying to decide which flavors she'd have. With all the colors here, it's no surprise she got the pink and purple beans.

An announcement was made that the next factory tour would be starting soon. We formed a line, received our hats, and were off for our self-guided tour.

First was a history of Jelly Belly. Wow, the company got started back in 1898 in the confectionary business, and got started with jelly beans in 1960.

At the beginning of the tour everyone got a sample of the inside of the bean without the outer shell. One of the things that makes Jelly Belly's different than normal jelly beans is that they flavor the insides as well as the shells. Most jelly beans only flavor the shells.

A look at the 50 flavors on normal rotation. What's your favorite?

Ian's into planets right now, so he liked seeing the jelly bean Earth.

Along the tour they've got more mosaics.

One of the many interactive areas. By pressing a button, a fan blows over a batch of jelly beans and you are supposed to smell and guess the flavor. Yep, that's buttered popcorn.

Quite a few jelly bean centers, waiting their turn to get coated.

Am I brave enough? Yes I am. Ian loves this game at home too. We'll revisit this later.

A factory floor full of flavors.

Since it's a Sunday and a Labor Day weekend on top of that, there weren't any workers on the floor and none of the machines were running. There were multiple TVs explaining what would have been going on. It was fun walking around and seeing everything though.

After the tour a treat awaits you. Today there's a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans plus a small sampler of all the other beans.

Ian loves the samples at the end.

Checking out some more artwork.


Afterwards the lobby and store were getting a bit more crowded. Time to visit the sampler bar again.

And this time I'm going to try some of the Bean Boozled flavors. I've tried everything from editions 1-4 and all the Bertie Bott's flavors as well. I was happy to see there's flavors from 2 new editions here. Minions edition and the brand new 5th edition. I started with Dirty Dishwater, Fart, and Stink Bug. The sampler bar worker gave me a extra toothpaste jelly bean to clean everything up afterwards.

Hmm. Dirty Dishwater wasn't too bad. I was getting a chocolate flavor from it. Not bad.

Minion Fart. Bleh.

I've tried some nasty flavors before. Skunk Spray, Rotten Egg, Sardine, and Dead Fish. All pretty bad.  This Stink Bug flavor though was worse than anything I've tasted before. I've had people ask why I would even taste it, knowing it's going to be bad. Well, it's fun to try them and even more fun to share them.

The store has everything you could want. All the Jelly Belly flavors of course.

And they don't just make jelly beans. There's plenty of other candies as well that Alli found tasty.

With lots of candy in hand, there's just one more thing left to do. Checking in via Facebook, we'll get a free gift.

Nice! A free 1/4 lb box of jelly beans! Once we figured out what the free gift was, all four of us checked in.

It was a really fun visit to the factory!

Alli enjoyed her candy for the entire car ride home.

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