PLEASANT PRAIRIE - The liquidation sale has already begun at the Jelly Belly center in Pleasant Prairie, following news of the company closing its store and tour there. But now, the man who founded the Jelly Belly brand tells FOX6 News that he is working to ensure that the store stays open.
Nearly 45 years ago, David Klein debuted a brand new gourmet jelly bean -- what you know today as the Jelly Belly.
For the last two decades, people have flocked to Pleasant Prairie for the train ride tour and gift shop at the Jelly Belly center.
"It means something to me, because I've been there. I saw the happiness," Klein said.
After watching FOX6's story about changes to the Pleasant Prairie facility last week, Klein said he felt a call to action. He wants to save the store that has been so pivotal to the brand he created, then sold a few years later.
David Klein, Jelly Belly founder
"I don't want to see anything associated with my creation close. Personally, it hurts me," said Klein.
It is the brand that made Klein the "Candyman." He always knew Jelly Belly would be successful, so he is now hoping that by replanting some magic beans, he can continue to grow business in Pleasant Prairie.
"We'll do a terrific job, and people could come still come and get everything that they could in the past," Klein said.
Jelly Belly facility in Pleasant Prairie
Klein said the idea isn't solely about the brand. Though Jelly Belly offered all impacted employees a position at a facility in Illinois, he wants to keep everyone on staff.
"If a man or a woman gives everything they've got to a place and it closes down, and it's not their fault, that hurts me," said Kelin. "That really, really hurts me. I care about people."
Klein added that, if possible, he's move here tomorrow to get started.
Klein said he is already working to get in touch with the realtor. The center, meanwhile, is now open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for those still interested in buying some Jelly Bellies.