club fugazi

The Jelly Belly Factory Tour in Fairfield

Jelly Belly StoreIt is possible for a Sacramento real estate agent to have too much fun? From champagne and lobster at Rue Lepic, to Van Morrison in Nob Hill, to the Grace Cathedral, to the Jelly Belly factory, to Thomas Dolby at the Crest, I’m pretty much exhausted. That’s not counting Thursday night at the Club Fugazi to catch Beach Blanket Babylon. Which means I am happy it’s Sunday, and I have a day to catch my breath before jumping with both feet into Monday.

Usually, I go nowhere. I do nothing really exciting. I am not one of these let’s go out and party guys. Way too old for that. My idea of a good time is to list a home for the maximum a seller can realistically expect to receive and to exceed my seller’s expectations. My passion is real estate. After that, I’d just as soon curl up on the sofa with a purring cat and watch Boardwalk Empire, as my husband occasionally massages my feet.

Jelly Belly BalloonAs a result of the past couple of days, though, I managed to receive an offer for a home in Elk Grove from a very motivated buyer, complete most of my holiday shopping in Haight Ashbury and shove an entire bag of Jelly Bellies down my throat. OK, we picked up some fudge, too.

If you’ve never done the Jelly Belly Factory Tour on your way back to Sacramento from the City, you owe it to stop in Fairfield. An agent at another real estate brokerage called and asked me what I was doing. “I’m putting on my Jelly Belly hat,” I responded, which was indeed my activity when I answered my phone. Oh, says he, you must be in Fairfield. This is a favorite activity for families with kids, but you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the tour.

Jelly Belly Inside storeBeing a Saturday, we didn’t get to see a lot of production in the factory, but you could smell the bubble gum scent wafting in the parking lot, which was being processed in a small part of the factory. Not really my favorite. President Reagan’s favorite, they remind you, was licorice. Seems sort of boring, especially since you can get licorice in other forms. I lean more toward cherry or cinnamon flavors. An added bonus was the fact we received samples of Jelly Bellies along the tour and a free bag at the end. The tour itself involved gazing mostly at production lines and conveyor belts that were not moving or staring at a video screen showing a variety of brightly polished Jelly Bellies rolling along.

An astonishing part of the tour was the number of robots in production. Real, actual robots. They wouldn’t let us take photos, and I wasn’t about to risk my free bag of Jelly Bellies to violate that policy, or I would show you. We watched robots picking up crates of Jelly Bellies from one conveyor belt and setting them on another conveyor belt. I wondered how many jobs were replaced by those robots. It was like something out of The Jetsons. And don’t you hate it when the only futuristic thing we can ever compare anything to is the Jetsons? A goofy cartoon from the 1960s?

I believe you would like the Jelly Belly Factory Tour. But go during the week, when there is more to see and probably fewer crowds. You’ll find the Jelly Belly Factory at 1 Jelly Belly Lane in Fairfield, just off Interstate 80. Reduced hours on the weekends from now until the end of 2013, due to the holidays.


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