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After 100 years here, Jelly Belly brand is bouncing

Jelly Belly candy President Ronald Reagan made famous has operated plant North Chicago for 100 years. Vice Chairman Bill Kelley

Jelly Belly, the candy President Ronald Reagan made famous, has operated a plant in North Chicago for 100 years. Vice Chairman Bill Kelley, a descendent of the founders German immigrants Gustav and Albert Goelitz, who founded the company in 1869. | Joe Cyganowski-For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 12, 2014 10:01AM



Jelly Belly announced Monday that it will stop making jelly beans at the North Chicago factory where it’s been producing candy for roughly 100 years.

The maker of Ronald Reagan’s favorite jelly bean will lay off about 66 people as it moves production to the company’s headquarters in California’s Bay Area.

“Eliminating positions is a difficult decision to make,” Jelly Belly President Bob Simpson said in a statement, calling the decision part of a realignment and best for the “company overall.”

The North Chicago facility will not entirely cease making candy. But future production will be limited to private label confections and other contract work undertaken by the company, according to the statement.

On July 2, Jelly Belly told the state that it intended to lay off 66 people.

Layoffs will begin Aug. 31 and continue until Oct. 17, according to state filings.

Company officials said they will provide “outplacement” services to help laid-off workers find new work. And workers could apply to transfer to other jobs with the company.



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