Take a Tour of the Jelly Belly Factory


Kasia Jackson, Editor

The Jelly Belly headquarters is located in Fairfield, California. The company was founded in 1976 in Illinois and was originally called Herman Goelitz Candy Company and Goelitz Confectionery Company.

I got the opportunity to take a tour of the factory at the Fairfield, California location. There is a $5 admission fee for adults and a $2 admission fee for ages 3-17, two years and under are free. The tour is self-guided with TVs placed throughout telling you the history of the company and how the jelly beans are perfected. The jelly bean-making process can take 7 to 14 days; to create the soft outer shell, large amounts of candy are placed into this giant bowl-shaped machine that rotates the beans for them to get their dented shape. All batches are shifted through to separate any faulty colored or shaped beans. You can have an opportunity to purchase these imperfect Jelly Beans called Belly Flops.

Visitors on the tour can look through glass windows to see the candy-making process in live-action: the adding of the sugar to the rotating beans, placing the candy onto the drying racks, the packing of the dried candy, and more. There are games and activities that can also be fun to participate in. There are sections where you can guess the smell of certain jelly beans, by pushing a button that shoots out the scent of the candies. You can play a virtual soccer game, you and a partner are goalies and you have to try to swipe away as many Jelly Beans as possible. Another game was about sorting Belly Flops from the beans that are perfectly shaped. There are lots of fun facts about Ronald Regan because apparently, he was a huge fan of Jelly Belly. His favorite flavor was black licorice.

There has been a lot of art submitted to the Jelly Belly factory of various movie characters, inspirational individuals, or remakes of famous paintings made with Jelly Beans. Some of these pieces took weeks, even months to make. The art section of the factory was one of the best parts of the experience besides the games. If you ever have a chance to tour the factory, I definitely recommend it. It’s a great place to take any family or friends to create lots of core memories.