Jelly Belly's Candy man - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Jelly Belly's Candy man


PLEASANT PRAIRIE (WKOW)-- Chances are you had a jelly bean in the last couple of weeks.

Easter is the number one holiday for the little sweet treat.

But one man has Jelly Belly brand jelly beans around his house year round.

Bill Kelley really is "Someone You Should Know."

Candy runs through Bill Kelley's veins.

It should, but before we get to know Bill, let's learn a little about the self-proclaimed original gourmet jelly bean, Jelly Belly.

Jelly Belly first appeared in 1976 in California.

They have quite a celebrity past.

President Ronald Reagan was a big fan--he even had them at his inauguration in 1981.

Jelly Bellys were the first jelly bean to go to space, traveling in the Challenger in 1983.

Today-- two factories produce 1,680 beans per second-- one in Fairfield, California, the other in North Chicago.

The history of Jelly Belly runs deep for the company's vice chairman, Bill Kelley.

He says he eats Jelly Belly just about every day.

We met at the company's distribution center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.

Bill is the 4th generation to work for Jelly Belly.

"A man by the name of David Kline invented Jelly Belly," said Bill. "He took the product name to my cousin; the name, the concept. He was a marketing man and he took the idea to my cousin who made the candy in California."

Visitors get a glimpse into Jelly Belly's start through a montage of pictures.

It's like flipping through Bill's family photo album.

The creators invented a unique jelly bean.

As Bill puts it, the flavors taste like they are supposed to.

"Very cherry jelly belly tastes like cherries. It doesn't taste like cherry flavored candy," said Bill.

But not everyone can help find the next new flavor.

Bill is often asked if they can be a candy taster. His response:

"Yeah, but that candy taster has a degree in food science."

After the history lesson, Bill and I put on our hats and hopped a train.

We didn't go far, just into the warehouse for the Jelly Belly train.

On the tour, visitors learn about the history as you ride around the perimeter of all those boxes.

Boxes of Jelly Bellys just waiting to be sent to a store around the world.

The last stop on this train: The candy store.

So, as a candy man-- what's Bill's favorite flavor?

"I like pink grapefruit, fruit flavors, juicy pear, I like them all pretty much," said Bill.

And, sorry parents, but Bill is about to prove you can eat candy and still get a clean bill of health at the dentist.

"I think I went 25 years without a cavity and I eat candy every day," said Bill.

Now, I doubt Bill eats these every day

They're called Bean Boozled.

They look like a normal flavor--but are far from it.

Click on the video icon above to see Diana try bean boozled Jelly Belly's: from vomit, to pencil shavings, to baby wipes.

For more information on tours at the distribution center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin visit:

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