Friday, June 5, 2009

Jelly Belly Factory

When I checked into the Flag City RV Resort in Lodi, I saw in their "Things to do" while at the campground list, to take a tour of the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield. I thought that would be a good thing to do. So, this morning I drove over there and found myself standing by their logo in front of their factory.

I arrived early enough to be in the first tour group of the day. There must have been around fifty or so of us. The first thing they do is have everyone in the tour put on an official tour hat.

They do not allow people to take pictures while on tour, so I will give a brief description of what we saw. Millions of jelly beans. How is that for brief? You will have to come take the tour and find out for yourself what process they use to create them. It does take about three (3) weeks to make a batch, however. How would you like to have the job of stamping Jelly Belly on every bean that comes off the line? They have 50 official flavors and a bunch of un-official flavors as well. After the tour we were all given a small bag of Jelly Bellies and were able to sample any and all the flavors and also pick up the factory seconds, known as Belly Flops, in the gift shop.

The Jelly Belly first came out in 1976 and Ronald Reagan gave them a lot of publicity, both as California Governor and as U.S. President. I did not hear how many jelly beans they produce in a year, but it has to be in the trillions. The picture below was made with over 10,000 Jelly Bellies.

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