PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. - Jelly Belly Candy Company has announced it is making a strategic change in its retail operations. Jelly Belly has decided to close its Pleasant Prairie store and tour, the company announced on Tuesday, July 28.
From the iconic train ride tour, to the flavors, colors, history and more, Pleasant Prairie will miss its beloved Jelly Belly center -- a staple in the area since 2001.
"It was a nice place to go. It was fun to take the little train ride. It's fun to see all the different flavors they have here, so it'll be missed," said Pleasant Prairie resident Linda Lynch.
The store and tour have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers, like Linda and Valerie Lynch, are coming by the carload for one last trip to the center for curbside pickup.
"It's been a really nice play to go for tours, to stock up on jelly beans. I can get individual flavors," said Valerie Lynch. "Berry blue's my favorite. I get 'em all the time."
The Village of Pleasant Prairie's Visitors Bureau echoed the sentiment of others -- that the facility was an iconic staple of the community.
"That free little paper Jelly Belly hat and the sample that you get of Jelly Bellies at the end of the day...and I don't think I ever saw a family walk out empty-handed after even that," said Michelle Williamson with the Pleasant Prairie Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It definitely was an iconic staple of the community."
The bureau hopes visitors will soon come to support its other businesses. Pleasant Prairie won't be out of the candy business for long. Gummy bear maker Haribo plans to build its first North American plant in Pleasant Prairie this coming fall.
A news release indicates any current Pleasant Prairie employees impacted will be offered positions at the company's growing factory located in North Chicago, Illinois. A liquidation sale in Pleasant Prairie will begin on Aug. 3.
Consumers can still purchase their favorite Jelly Belly jelly beans or any of the company’s products online at JellyBelly.com.
Jelly Belly Vice President of Retail Operations, John Jamison, issued this statement:
"We are incredibly thankful to the millions of visitors, the City of Pleasant Prairie and the surrounding communities for their hospitality over the past 20 years."