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Jelly Belly Production Leaving Chicago

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 12, 2014 9:35PM

Photo credit: Anthony Todd/Chicagoist

In what amounts to the end of another confectionery era in the Chicago area, Jelly Belly Candy Co. announced they were ceasing production of the popular jelly bean line in their North Chicago plant and moving operations to Fairfield, Calif. Seventy jobs will be eliminated in the move.

Jelly Belly got its start as the Goelitz Confectionary Company in 1913, originally specializing in candy corn before expanding to a host of other candies including chocolate malt balls and, eventually, jelly beans. Goelitz changed its name to Jelly Belly in 2001. The company is now based out of California and still run by members of the Goelitz family.

Former Chicagoist food and drink editor Anthony Todd noted over 10,000,000 jelly beans could be produced at the North Chicago factory during a standard shift. The plant is not completely closing, however. A statement from Jelly Belly president Bob Simpson said the plant will move to contract manufacturing and private label food products, which they identified as an area of the food production industry with room for aggressive growth.

“Eliminating positions is a difficult decision to make. This move to private label manufacturing is a forward thinking step for the best deployment of the Illinois facility and the company overall.”

Behind the Scenes at Jelly Belly Candy Company - Part 1
Behind the Scenes at Jelly Belly Candy Company - Part 2