You’re very lucky that I did not attempt to make this post my first video blog because you’d have to witness me eating the last of my delicious stash of Mixed Berry Smoothie flavored Jelly Bellies. I’m not proud of how many I have stuffed in my face, but they’re too delicious to be ashamed!
Last week I took my bored little girls who had been trapped at home with me most of the summer to the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA. This was the best move I have made all summer. They were like kids in a candy store (…had to say it!) Had I known that they’d have this much fun, I would have taken them years ago!
The factory gives free tours to their visitors. They even provide you with a great hat to wear throughout the tour….and no, you sadly won’t see a picture of me wearing it. I was really torn up when my daughter
was handed stole my hat and ripped it up. Anywho, here are two of my cutie pie daughters in their hats while enjoying the tour. Let’s face it, they can rock just about anything.
On the tour they explain all about the history of the company. Did you know that President Ronald Reagan was a huge fan of Jelly Belly? They are actually credited with helping him quit smoking. Do you know what sets Jelly Belly apart from other jelly beans? They actually flavor the gummy center as well as the candy coating. I’ll admit that the history lesson and fun facts were really interesting to me, but the kiddos, understandably, not so much. Lucky for them, the rest of the tour included looking at delicious, bite sized candies being made…and tasting them!
The tour showed the bean in all different stages of production. It is pretty cool to see how small they start and how each stage makes them a little bigger until they are the bean we all know and love. After tasting the beans at all the different stages, let me tell you, the stage right before they put on the shiny finish, is possibly more delicious than the finished bean. At the end of the tour, we were handed our very own bag of assorted Jelly Belly jelly beans. I should tell you that we took them home and ate them over a couple of days in small portions…so I won’t tell you that they didn’t make it out of the factory and were eaten with lunch.
There were all of these great portraits hanging around the building. It isn’t until you get closer that you see that they are all made of, you guessed it, Jelly Bellies! These portraits are absolutely incredible! So much detail goes into finding the perfectly shaded bean for every nook and cranny. If I wasn’t a grown adult, I’d be licking each painting to see which flavors were used….I have always wanted to know what George Clooney’s face tastes like.
After our tour, we swung down to the shop to taste test some more beans (as if we hadn’t tried enough during the tour!) Watch out for the ones that are flavored like barf and skunk spray…the little boys around there were going crazy for them. It was at that moment that I was happy I had girls who only wanted to try the pretty pink ones.
The enormous selection of jelly beans makes it so hard to pick just one flavor to buy! Thank goodness for the assorted packages! Oh, and don’t forget the “Belly Flops!” These are the beans that weren’t quite perfect in shape, so they got the boot out of the Jelly Belly line and have been bagged up for sale, at a reduced price yet with the same great flavor! Of course, being the chocolate lover I am, I had to go and try their fudge. I wasn’t expecting much from the company that mainly makes jelly beans, but oh wow, I showed great restraint in not going home with a huge chunk of that deliciousness! Not to mention the cute merchandise and Jelly Belly flavored sodas!
We hit the food court before heading home, because a car ride home with 3 starving kids was not an option. Would you believe that they even had Jelly Belly shaped hamburgers and pizza? No joke folks, they take their jelly beans seriously here.
We had a great day and the Jelly Belly factory is well worth a visit if you live in Northern California or if you’re visiting the bay area.
What is that you say? I am a Disney blogger? Jelly Belly isn’t Disney? Let me tie it all together folks: Jelly Belly is a sponsor of the 2013 D23 Expo! They will be at the expo with samples to share and they will have their artist, Kristen Cumings, there making live Jelly Belly art!
Not only that, but just to add more Disney, they have these great Disney gift line packages that have different, character inspired Jelly Belly flavor mixes. They have everyone’s favorites (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald) in unique flavor packages ready for gifting (or eating!) Not to be left out, the Disney Villains have their own mixes as well! (Great for Halloween!) My favorite was the Treasure Chest Mix featuring Captain Hook and the Jelly Belly flavors Berry Blue, Mixed Berry Smoothie, Orange Sherbet, Tutti-Frutti and Very Cherry.
And if you have princesses at home, you’ll need to get the ones you see above. They have made Jelly Belly’s inspired by the Disney princesses that are made to look like gems! The five different flavors of Jelly Belly in this pack have this shimmer to them that just gives them that royal touch….however it makes you want to eat them that much quicker!
Be sure to visit Jelly Belly at booth 1017 in Hall B at the D23 Expo!
Has this post made your mouth water? Today is your lucky day because you have the chance to win some Jelly Belly Disney deliciousness! Just enter in the rafflecopter below for your chance to win the yummy selection of Jelly Belly products pictured here! Good luck!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a private tour and Jelly Belly product during my visit to the factory. The thoughts and words in this post are entirely my own…well, they might be slightly sugar induced. 😉