Just before Christmas, the Captain and I went on a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield.
It was a very interesting and informative trip.
The picture above is of the back of our tour guide's shirt.
He was a young man, attending college while working at the Factory.
He was very well informed and able to keep our interest with all of the facts that he shared.
He had only been working there since May, so we got the impression that he loved and cared about his job.
A refreshing sight to see.
It is a very colorful place and
was all dressed up for Christmas
as you might imagine.
The lobby is where you line up for the tours
along with all the beans that you can sample and buy.
This picture of Santa Claus is made up of all colorful Jelly Belly beans.
There are many such pictures throughout the tour of famous celebrities,
but this gentleman was the star of the moment here
on this side of the lobby, but...
...just across the way
was the portrait of President Ronald Reagan,
who put Jelly Belly candies on the map,
so to speak.
I don't know how many beans it took to form this likeness,
but in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California,
there is a portrait of the president made
from 10,000 Jelly Belly beans.
I was very disappointed
that we weren't allowed to take photos beyond
the outside entrance
or the lobby.
This was such an interesting tour,
from the way it was laid out
to all the pieces of machinery and ideas used to make it work.
it will be hard to describe to it's full potential,
but I will try.
Imagine you are on a catwalk
high above the scenes taking place below.
It really reminded me of an animated cartoon show.
There are quite a number of "elves" moving around and
doing all sorts of busy work with each having specific jobs to do, but
minus the tinkling bells and pointy shoes.
Besides the human element,
there are a number of robots, with long arms,
moving the beans from one spot to another and
locating them within the same color family that they belong to.
As you look down you see a long line of moving belts
crisscrossing the entire building.
It reminds you of a tiny village full of little miniature escalators
moving tiny product from one place to another in the village.
At one station
there will be a man hand picking out the beans that are not matching up to their high standards.
These are labeled and sold as Belly Flops.
At another station
the robots will be picking up trays full of beans and
separating them into stacks that are then put on different conveyor belts to take them to the next process.
There are also round tubs
that the trays get dumped into
to be polished.
There are many rooms where the beans are left in trays to cure
until they are ready for the next procedure.
One of the last procedures is the folding and stacking of the boxes and
then the beans being dumped into the containers
for shipping and selling.
The beans are shipped all over the world.
At the end of the tour,
after returning to the lobby area,
I felt like whistling,
"Hi, Ho, Hi, Ho, it's off to work we go"!
Here are some interesting facts about Jelly Belly beans that I researched on Google:
Very Cherry remained the most popular flavor of Jelly Belly beans for two decades
when Buttered Popcorn moved into first place.
In 2003, Very Cherry moved back into top position
by a mere 8 million beans.
This season two new flavors were added, Draft Beer and Champagne.
Blueberry flavor was created for Ronald Reagan's presidential inauguration
when over three tons of Jelly Belly beans were consumed during the festivities.
During the presidency of Ronald Reagan,
Jelly Belly beans were served in the oval office and on Air Force One.
A holder was designed for the plane
so the jar of Jelly Belly beans would not spill
It takes 7 to 21 days
to make a single Jelly Belly
Gustav Goelitz, 24,
opens a candy business in Belleville, Illinois,
and set the family on its sweet destiny in 1860.
An 1861 advertisement
recommended sending jelly beans
to soldiers fighting
in the Civil War.
Enough Jelly Belly beans were eaten in the last year
to circle the earth more than
The original eight flavors of Jelly Belly beans
introduced in 1976 were
Very Cherry, Root Beer, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Lemon, Licorice and Grape.
Jelly Belly beans were the first jelly beans in outer space
when President Reagan sent them on the 1983 flight
of the space shuttle
Jelly Belly donated 288,000 jelly beans in 47 different flavors
for the world's first jelly bean stop-motion animation music video,
"In Your Arms" by Kina Grannis; released November 2011.
Like I said,
I wish I could have shown more photos
but if you ever have an occasion to visit a jelly bean factory,
I really hope you do.
It is really an exciting and enjoyable experience.
I'm so happy that Fixer Upper returns tonight for its new season on HGTV. I admire Joanna and Chip's style of decorating and I'm hoping to work a few of her wonderful ideas into projects that are ongoing throughout the Cottage.
FYI: The jelly beans shown in some pictures are not Jelly Belly beans.
I bought four boxes when at the factory
and gave two to Jake and Jacenda for Christmas
and two to our neighbors for feeding the cats.
I didn't want any laying around so I could OD on them.
BUT, since I needed some for the photo shoot I had to send the Captain to the store.
Had I just bought an extra box
at least I could have OD'd on something good!
Know what I mean, Jelly Bean?
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