We took Route 80 which led us all the way to Reno. Reno will be our last stop where we will be spending just a couple of days and then head home.
Along Route 80, in Fairfield CA, we made a stop at the Jelly Belly factory which made the world famous Jelly Belly. We wanted to make a stop here too because the Jelly Belly factory tour is known as the Best Factory Tour in America by Readers Digest.
We had our brunch in Jelly Belly. It was quite a nice restaurant they have there — bright and cheery.
And the food there are quite cheap too. Got ourselves some sandwiches and even a pizza which is shaped like a jelly belly.
Perhaps it was a weekend and the fact that it is still the school holidays. The queue to get on the factory tour took almost 1 hr!
At least there were things to see and do while waiting. We took turns holding our position on the queue while the others go around the place.
Ronald Reagan is a huge fan of jelly belly. The ex-president always had a jar of jelly bellies with him. There were pictures of the jelly belly jars in the white house, and the Air Force One. He was such a fan of jelly bellies that he wrote to Jelly Belly thanking the company for all the supplies during his presidency … on a White House letterhead. What an endorsement.
There were also a number of jelly belly art and of course Ronald Reagan’s portrait is the centrepiece.
Jelly Bellies are not just any jelly beans. They are the rolls royce of jelly beans … and they call it gourmet jelly beans. They are quite expensive.
There were a huge selection of flavours — 50 official flavours and a lot of other lesser known ones. The free sample counter is somewhat disappointing … they only allow you one miserable piece. If you want another sample, you gotta go to the back of the line and queue up again.
There were supposed to be no pictures allowed during the factory tour. I sneaked in a few shots. I think I heard that this production line is going to be closed down and moved to somewhere in Asia. That’s sad.
The best part of the tour … you get two bags of free samples.
We bought a few bags of Belly Flops … jelly beans that are imperfect, mostly out of shape or are stuck together during the mixing process. Those are so cheap. It was $8 for a 2 lb bag and you get 2 bags free for buying 2 bags. I thought I had too much when we bought 8 lbs of it. Guess what … I brought it to the office and my office mates gobbled up 4 lbs in 2 days. I should have bought more!
Now, I am a fan of Jelly Bellies.