Momma Told Me: Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California

Blog Archive

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California

Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
Momma Told Me: Plan less, do more.

As many of you know a girlfriend, JoJo, and I recently made the 6 hour drive up North to participate in the 6 miles mud-run-obstacle-course, Mudderella. For anyone who's ever taken the I-5 up through California you know it's a treacherous 1,300 mile stretch of pretty much straight. Thankfully we were only driving about half of it, each way, but I highly suggest taking a co-pilot because staring at a straight road with nothing but flat land around you for hundreds of miles can take a tole on even the most caffeinated drivers.
So there we were, not-do bright eyed and bushy tailed, at 6:30 in the morning, having just arrived at our hotel at 1 AM, headed to the Solano County Fairgrounds for our event. I'll admit, we were both dreading the trails that lay ahead of us and anticipating the exhausting drive home after. Spirits were low. Then, on the left side of the highway we spot "Jelly Belly Factory 1.5 Miles Ahead." I don't care how old you are, when you drive past a jelly bean factory you best stop and visit! So we resolved to make the 10 minute drive, in a direction opposite from home, after the Mudderella event, to visit this one of a kind tourist attraction.
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
I kid you not, every half mile of that mud covered obstacle course either JoJo or I could be hear chanting, 'jelly bean factory, got to make it to the jelly bean factory.' It was our sole motivation through 11 obstacles and 3 hours of rugged hay strewn, muddy, terrain. Of course the one sight event showers were timed to 2 minutes, hardly enough time to properly wash- and we'd already checked out of our hotel hours before, so we arrived at Jelly Belly lane looking like we'd fallen into Willy Wonka's chocolate fountain. But the Jelly Belly Factory just isn't something you miss, folks!
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
For those wondering, or may those who just aren't a Jelly Belly fan (gasp) the Jelly Belly Factory is open 7 days a week with locations in Fairfield, CA and Wisconsin, offering free tastings and guided tours during limited hours. And let's not forget the epic selection of colorful sweets- there's even a chocolate confection counter where over a dozen unique flavors of fudge is fresh made daily, and chocolate honeycomb and bacon calls from behind shiny glass counters! The factories are also home to many large local events such as a classic Hot Rod show and High Five Tour Wounded Warriors stop, on the day of our visit.
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.

 You don't have to have children, or even a true sweet tooth, to appreciate this free attraction. Stop in to the Jelly Belly diner and grab a bite to refuel on your road trip and take in the marvelous sights such as life-like Jelly Bean portraits of famous American actors and presidents. If you're like my you'll try and guess which flavors were used in the color palette to create these masterpieces, then wonder just how many little candy beans went into 3 x 4 portrait of Ronald Reagan.
Jelly Bean artwork was just the beginning of the sights this candy playground was lined with. We spent about 20 minutes in line for the free tour- though the line was very long and to the door it moved quite fast. Unfortunately, on the weekends the factory is not in operation (something to note if you're planning to take the tour on a weekend) so it didn't feel as thrilling as walking through a factory in motion.
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
Neon lights, Jelly Bean wallpaper, and jumbo Jelly Beans suspended from the ceiling made visitors gawk and marvel. Feel free to bring your camera, photography is welcome in the lobby, gift shop, grounds, and tour! Upstairs the factory offers wine and Jelly Belly pairings, private rooms for celebrations (apparently baby showers are quite popular at the factory,) and smaller exhibits containing company and product history.
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
Adjacent to the gift shop you'll find the Sample Bar, which is open to all guests, free of charge. Visitors can stand in line and sample 3 flavors at a time, and unlimited number of times (so long as they are patient enough to stand in line again.) It's a job I think would drive me mad, as each guest gets one bean of each requested flavor, and portioning all those beans must be a real pain! Not all items in the Sample Bar are Jelly Beans, in fact, you'll find all of the bulk candies available for sample including Jordan Almonds, Candy Corn, and (perfect for April Fools) Peas and Carrots.
Pancakes and Maple Syrup Jelly Beans at the Fairfield Jelly Belly Factory.
Naturally one of the best things about visiting the Jelly Belly Factory is trying all the newest, and lesser found, flavors. I bypassed many of the Harry Potter Bertie Bott's flavors- I'm not sure why someone would want a 1/4lb of Vomit flavored beans? Sure the flavors are fun when there's a single mixed into a box at random, but truly, who buys these devious creations? Yes, I was more excited to grab the new Pancakes and Maple Syrup Jelly Beans with adorable syrup jar packaging. Also newer to the flavor lineup were Champagne and Draft Beer.
Speaking of champagne, there were several showcases of styling and inspiration for celebration planning. The wedding case above showed the elegant use of colors to theme and accent everything from candy bars to wedding favors. At the Factory you can hold a party in house or order custom made favors in everything from wine glasses and candy pails to mint tins and tulle. Somehow all I could do was wonder if they had any in house artists that could make a portrait of the bride and groom out of Jelly Beans!
Jelly Belly Factory- Fairfield, Northern California- Free tours, open 7 days a week.
Of course there is plenty of Jelly Belly merchandise to explore too. From jumbo jelly bean throw pillows to Popsicle molds and keychains, this stop has all your typical tourist gags and more. My suggestion? Skip the merchandise and grab yourself a pound of fresh fudge for just $15- they'll even gift wrap each 1/4lb individually for you! Or you could do like JoJo and just stand there and sample all 12 of the day's varieties. It's okay, at the Jelly Belly Factory, they don't judge! So, with our goodie bags hanging off our arms, and on a newly inspired sugar high, we got back in the car and made the trip home. We may have been stiff and sore, and sunburnt, but we were heroes walking into our homes with those Jelly Belly treats! Have you ever been to a candy or food factory? If so, tell us where we should head next!

What Daughter Says: Always keep your eyes open for unexpected surprises!

25 comments:

  1. What an awesome trip with amazing sights! Jelly Belly make some of my favorite sweet treats! I like them all with the exception of those yucky ones that taste like ear wax and puke.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chocolate. Bacon. Fudge.

    I think I'm in love. This looks like a fabulous visit -- but the perks, like Pancakes and Maple Syrup jelly beans? Um. Yes, please.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That looks like so much fun! I never heard of some of the flavors. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my I'd be in Jelly Belly heaven! I would have stopped too. I've never been to a candy or food factory. If I saw one while I was out driving though, I'd go! I have a mega sweet tooth.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such a fun place to take the family! I LOVE jelly beans, so I would be in heaven!

    ReplyDelete
  6. A day of Jelly Belly? Yeehaw! Sign me up for that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Seriously that is such a cool place to visit! My kids would freak out if we went there! They Love Jelly Bellies! So cool!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love Jelly Belly! My kiddo and I would be all over this! What a fun day you had!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love Jelly Bellys!! What an amazing place to get to visit and see. I think sampling would be my favorite part of going there.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have been a huge Jelly Belly fan for ages and had no idea they had a factory located in California. Stopping here for a tour during our upcoming family vacation would be nothing short of epic!

    ReplyDelete
  11. My kids would get such a kick out of this place!!! maybe one day I can take them

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have a confession. I hoard Jelly Belly's. LOL... They are my secret treat! I had no clue they had a factory like this. So cool. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. If I were to find my way to this place, I would just dive in the jelly beans and swim! I love Jelly Belly jelly beans. I could eat my weight in them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love Jelly Beans they are my guilt free sweet. This place looks like so much fun. Thank you for sharing you sweet trip.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This would be an amazing trip to go on. I love Jelly Belly Beans. I really like the portraits made of jelly beans.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would love to go on this tour. I am in love with Jelly Belly. They have so many great flavors.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It looks like you had an amazing time. My kids would be so happy to go and see the plant.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh my gosh how fun! It's crazy how many flavors they have. I'd love to check out this factory!

    ReplyDelete
  19. We love Jelly Belly jelly beans. I want to go to the tasting part!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh MY goodness! How fun!! I would absolutely love to tour the Jelly Belly Factory--I've always loved them since I was a little girl. Great post and love all your pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  21. My kids love jelly beans! That place would be like heaven for them!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh now this looks like a dream come true! What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  23. wow! this place is amazing. I would like to go here myself. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've been to the Herr's Factory, but this looks like more fun!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm not a fan of driving through boring scenery either. But that would totally be worth it! I can't say I'm a Jelly Belly diehard but I like to eat them once in a while. The fudge would be more up my alley. That looks like such a fun place to visit.

    ReplyDelete