Bay Area candy giant Jelly Belly has been acquired by a Chicago company

Bay Area candy giant Jelly Belly has been acquired by a Chicago company

FILE: A worker unloads jelly beans for packaging at a Jelly Belly factory on April 2, 2007, in Fairfield, California.

David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Bay Area candy giant Jelly Belly has been acquired by Ferrara Candy Company, a Chicago confectionery company.

Jelly Belly, headquartered in Fairfield, announced… Acquisition in a press release Wednesday. Once the deal is completed, approximately 800 Jelly Belly workers will become Ferrara employees. Ferrara already owns a number of popular candy brands, including Nerds, Laffy Taffy, SweeTarts and Trolli Gummies. Ferrara, a private company, did not disclose how much it would pay to buy Jelly Belly.

“As we contemplated the future of Jelly Belly Candy Company, we were steadfast in our commitment to creating a win-win situation for our employees, consumers and products,” Herman Rolland Sr., Jelly Belly Chairman of the Board of Directors, said in a statement. statement. “When I met the Ferrara team, I was introduced to a group of like-minded people who share our knowledge and passion for the candy industry.”

Jelly Belly has been owned by one family through six generations. In 1869, Gustav Goelitz opened his first candy store in Belleville, Illinois. In the 1920s, his son Hermann Goelitz moved the company to Oakland, and 40 years later, it became a California institution thanks to an unlikely celebrity backer: actor and politician Ronald Reagan.

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FILE: A family walks past the visitor center at 1 Jelly Belly Lane, at the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, California, June 7, 2017.

FILE: A family walks past the visitor center at 1 Jelly Belly Lane, at the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, California, June 7, 2017.

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

According to the Sacramento Bee, Reagan replaced his smoking habit by chewing Jelly Bellies. “For more than a decade, Reagan purchased 200 pounds of the company’s mini-jelly beans each year for his employees, guests and himself,” The Bee wrote in 1981. When he was president, he was famous for conservatism The Oval Office is full of beans. His favorite flavor was licorice.

In 1985, the company announced that it would move from Oakland to Fairfield. Its factory and headquarters have been in Fairfield ever since, and generations of Solano County kids have grown up touring the factory, getting free samples and seeing the giant Reagan portrait made of jelly beans. Rowlands is also popular throughout the city. Sometimes controversial. It is not clear whether this acquisition will ultimately lead to the end of the family’s involvement in the business or result in layoffs; For now, Jelly Belly has directed media inquiries to its press release.

FILE: A tourist takes a photo of images made from jelly beans of President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan at a Jelly Belly factory on June 10, 2004, in Fairfield, California.

FILE: A tourist takes a photo of images made from jelly beans of President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan at a Jelly Belly factory on June 10, 2004, in Fairfield, California.

David Paul Morris/Getty Images

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