Friday, February 24, 2017
Field Trip Friday: Jelly Belly Factory
Yes, we've been to Jelly Belly before. Less than a year ago, even. But when the opportunity came to go again, with other homeschoolers, I signed us up. Because juicy pear and sizzling cinnamon.
This time, it was just my homeschool kids. In fact, Brianna was a little miffed, because we went on her birthday, while she was in school.
Hannah in the required hat.
And Katie in her hat. Yes, they wore their Jelly Belly t-shirts from last time.
And Jack in his hat.
There's lots to see on the factory floor.
And the jelly bean mosaics are amazing. I kind of wanted to buy a few bags of Belly Flops and let the kids try making their own, but thriftiness prevailed. They sell Belly Flops (slightly imperfect jelly beans) in the gift shop, and you can get 5 bags for $30. Somehow, with all the other sugar we've been consuming lately, I decided that would be about 4 bags too many, so we ended up getting one bag of Belly Flops ($10) and a bag of camo jelly beans for Sam.
Fortunately for Katie, there are short windows along the way. See more mosaics hanging in the the background?
They've added new features since last time we were there. These tubes emit smells!
There are about half a dozen of them, with different scents that correspond to flavors of popular beans.
More mosaics. I laughed a little at the Joe Montana one. My kids have no idea who that is, and I wonder how many people would recognize him. I mean, Elvis, Princess Di, the Pope, several presidents, and Joe Montana?
But the mosaics are super cool.
They actually send them out to art exhibits around the world now.
Looking down on shelves of dyes that give the jelly beans their pretty colors.
It's hard to capture how truly massive this operation is, but if you think about how high these flats of jelly beans are stacked, and how many stacks there are, just in this one little section, you realize... that's a lot of beans!
One of the other mamas took this picture for me. It used to be that you were not allowed to take pictures on the tour, but now they just ask you to turn off your flash.
Star Wars jelly bean dispenser. Jack thought that was pretty cool.
We got to see the guy adding big scoops of powdered sugar to the spinning tumblers of beans.
This robot was hefting and stacking the trays of beans.
Hannah looks out at oodles and oodles of yummy green beans.
Did you know it takes 7-14 days to make a jelly bean??
At intervals along the tour route, there are videos to watch, explaining the process.
Also new since the last time we were here, there are a couple of interactive video games. These were a huge hit with the kids.
Do you see how pretty this is?? All these different colors poured on a conveyor, passing by. They're being fed up into a drum that combines them together to create assortments, instead of single flavor packages.
When we took this picture, I laughed and said to another mom, "Proof of socialization!" That's homeschool humor. ;)
We looked at a few more mosaics up close in the gallery.
The process has evolved a bit over the years, and what used to take months now takes only 2 weeks for their current artist.
I love the Chinese dragon! They also had some Year of the ________ sculptures up, but I missed getting pictures of those.
Ronald Reagan, the first president that I remember, was a big fan of Jelly Belly jelly beans, and this fact was responsible for tremendous growth in the company. They have a display of Reagan memorabilia downstairs between the sample bar and the cafe.
One of the moms found a local park for us to go to after the tour so we could eat lunch and run around.
The kids burned off all their extra energy before getting back in the van for the hour + drive home, and I got to sit on a bench and relax for a while. Win win.
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