So apparently I'm pretty close to the Jelly Belly factory, which is not something I planned in advance, so when a couple of friends asked if I wanted to go there was only one acceptable answer.
I find factories interesting in general. The moment-to-moment perfection of interlocking processes appeals to the part of my brain that likes space operas and video games about driving trucks across the American southwest. It doesn't seem like human beings should be able to build anything at that level of complexity, with that level of tolerance, and have it work. But we do. And it does. Somehow!
Unfortunately I was there on the weekend, and the factory floor wasn't running. Which is amazing in and of itself. Many factory processes can't be easily stopped or started, so the fact that the whole Jelly Belly assembly line shuts down on weekends is kind of impressive in and of itself. I can only imagine the company as a whole takes a very real hit to their bottom line so that the employees can have a weekend, and that's something you don't see a lot of in a modern industrialized operation.
Of course, with a backlog like they have, maybe they really don't need to keep running 24/7 to maximize output. I've certainly never heard of the Great Jelly Belly Shortage of 2019. I did my even best to relieve them of their entire stock of citrus flavors. No dice. The beans were too powerful.
After a tour through the walkways above the factory floor there's nothing left to do but exit through the gift shop. I wasn't even mad. I discovered a new Harry Potter-branded candy product that I now know I really like, the Candy Slugs, and I got too many pounds of citrus flavored jelly beans.
I'm glad that it's just far enough away that I probably won't make a second trip. I don't need that kind of sugar in my life.