As mentioned earlier, we stopped at the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield on the way home from Napa. We were without a camera, so this will be purely narrative.
The kids started to get excited when the GPS told us to turn onto “Jelly Belly Way”. Outside of the factory, there were various vehicles wrapped in bright Jelly Belly ads. The first tour started at 9 a.m., and we were able to join the first group of the day. The tour was free, and quite interesting. I always like to see how things are made. Our tour guide Brianna was quite energetic and added fun to the experience. At the different stops we were handed various samples of jelly bellies in different stages, and watched informational videos. No pictures were allowed during the tour, so at least I didn’t miss out on that picture taking opportunity. They have quite a few Jelly Belly portraits, which are mosaics made of Jelly Bellies, including the famous one of Ronald Reagan. At the end, we were each given a mini bag of Jelly Bellies, which was a nice treat!
After the tour, the gift shop is a must stop. There is a tasting station where you can ask for three different flavors at a time (and get back in line if you want to try more). They had a lot of unusual flavors, including the Harry Potter ones, which included Barf, Pencil Shavings, and Canned Dog Food. (We weren’t curious enough to try them). We did however, buy some bags of Belly Flops, which are the jelly beans that do not meet the uniform standard. (Whoever thought of bagging them and selling them as Belly Flops is a marketing genius!) They also had a promotion of Buy 3, Get 2 Free. We could not pass up this deal, so we ended up buying some to give away as presents.
All in all, I am glad we made the stop. It was a little out of our way, and forced us to deal with rush hour traffic on the way home in LA, but it was worth it. Again, k and n said it was “more fun than they thought it would be”, which either means it was lots of fun, or they just do not have high expectations of our outings.