By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Booger or pear, booger or pear. Wes Beeler had his fingers crossed that it would be pear.
“Ewww!” the 10-year-old Pendleton boy said after spitting the green, speckled Jelly Belly jelly bean from his mouth.
The Jelly Belly touring recreational vehicle made a stop at Good’s Candy Shop Sunday afternoon playing BeanBoozled, a game of chance to promote some of their wilder flavors and classics as well.
“So sad, too bad,” Jelly Belly traveling connoisseur Caren Baumfalk said to Wes as he was still reeling from the booger bean. It could have been worse. Some contestants left with the taste of canned dog food in their mouths instead of chocolate pudding.
“Oh my gosh, it was so fun,” Wes said excitedly. He’d tried his luck at several of the possible combinations. “On one of them I couldn’t even make it long enough to grab a napkin. I just spit it out. But it was fun. I loved it.”
Beth Beeler, Wes’ mom got lucky and picked a coconut jelly bean over the more ominous baby wipe bean. But she did taste the rotten egg bean too, although it wasn’t as terrible as she expected.
“This is a great activity to get people out and help support the local businesses like Good’s,” Beeler said. “It gives the kids something to do that’s free, and it is nice for families.”
Visitors spun to see what color they would try. The jelly beans look so similar one wouldn’t know if they would get the gross-out flavor like skunk spray or the classic licorice. There was a chance of getting a barf-flavored bean instead of peach and there were moldy-cheese jelly beans looking just like caramel corn.
The “I can’t handle it” bucket had gotten its fair share of half-chewed jelly beans during the event.
Baumfalk said they’d gotten a good turnout and enjoyed Jelly Belly’s first-ever visit to the area.
“One of the big reasons we do this is to thank the local businesses and to get out and have fun and meet Jelly Belly fans,” she said. “It is just so much fun to see the looks on their faces. As the kids watch that spinning wheel the anticipation and excitement is wonderful. And people really do not think they could be eating something that is really going to taste like dog food. But they do!”
Jelly Belly jelly beans are made with real fruit juices and natural flavors with the exception of just a few flavors, including the “gross-out” beans that are made with flavoring.
“No, it is not really booger, barf or dog food,” Baumfalk joked with one of the attendees.
Good’s Candy owner Randy Good said they’d seen a lot of new and old faces come to the event. He wanted to bring the Jelly Belly RV to Anderson because it is something the community had never seen before and he knew they’d enjoy it.
“There’s nothing more fun than candy,” he said.
Promotions like this one are tools Good said he hopes encourages people to come by Good’s to check out what they have but they also serve as a “thank you” to loyal customers.
“We want to provide free, family-friendly events for the community,” he said.
Good’s Candy, opened since 1981, now sells Jelly Belly jelly beans and has the BeanBoozled games for sale.
“For us, it is about spreading sweetness across the country,” Baumfalk said.
Although Caitlin Skipper’s jelly bean wasn’t so sweet — she got booger — she walked away a winner with samples of the beans and the pride of having downed the bean.
“It was fun. I like tasting all the flavors,” she said. “Coconut is my favorite. Booger, well, that tastes like gross.”
Contact Abbey Doyle, 640-4805, firstname.lastname@example.org.