Thursday, August 21, 2008
Jelly Belly Warehouse
In Kenosha, Wisconsin there is a Jelly Belly warehouse, and they give free tours. You're supposed to get to ride on this cute little Jelly Belly train, but the day I went it was in for repairs. So we walked. They wouldn't allow photos on the tour, but suffice it to say there were boxes and boxes of Jelly Bellys (Bellies?) as far as the eye could see, stacked up to the very, very tall ceiling. They had some cool Jelly Belly mosaics we could take pictures of. The tour guide said they can take up to several weeks to complete! I uploaded them full size so if you click on the photo you can see close up.
We got to see how Jelly Bellys are made (on a video--the factory is in CA, which you can tour as well, like Nicole did), as well as hear about the most popular flavor (of all time: Very Cherry; of late: Buttered Popcorn--if that doesn't speak to why America has an obesity epidemic, I don't know what does). After the tour we got to go to the store, which sold--wait for it--Jelly Belly products ranging from the beans to t-shirts to dispensers, etc. I contemplated buying a bag of "belly flops," the ones that don't pass inspection because they're too big, too small, stuck together, or what have you. Although it was a good price for Jelly Bellys, it was more than anyone should ever spend on a bag of jelly beans. One of the coolest parts of the store was the Sample Bar, where you can try any one of the 50 flavors for free.
They had the Harry Potter beans, which include such nasty flavors as black pepper and vomit. What I purchased, though, was the "Bean Boozled" box, where they have the icky flavors disguised among exact twins of good flavors--i.e. Booger looks just like Juicy Pear, and Pencil Shavings looks just like Top Banana. I haven't dared to try them yet...Rotten Egg, anyone? They are fun enough in theory.
There's even a Jelly Belly car parked outside, complete with Asian tourists posing in front of it.