Jelly Bean Inventor David Klein Launches Nationwide 'Willie Wonka' Golden Ticket Treasure Hunt
September 8, 2020 By: Ben Abrams
David Klein's Golden Ticket Grand Prize Winner Wins Their Very Own Candy Factory!
David Klein, the inventor of the original Jelly Belly in 1979, is launching a "Willie Wonka" like nationwide golden ticket treasure hunt at his new Candyman Kitchen factory in Clearwater, Florida.
Candyman David Klein, who invented Jelly Belly in 1976, has launched a ‘Willie Wonka’ like “Golden Ticket” treasure hunt nationwide at Candyman Kitchens in Clearwater, Florida.
To take part in the hunt, participants will need a Facebook account. The cost to enter is $50 to receive a gold dog tag (the golden ticket) with a verified code and a riddle that will lead to the prize. The treasure hunt will take place in all 50 states. Each state will have a “gold-ticket” winner with a prize of $5000. Only 1,000 tickets are sold per state. All Treasure Hunt players will be eligible to join in on The Ultimate Treasure Hunt where Klein will give away one Candyman Kitchen location along with candy making course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Photo of Candyman Kitchen - David Klein's Golden Ticket Dog Tag
The 73-year-old rhinestone clad candymaker created this video to further explain the “Golden Ticket” treasure hunt:
Klein started out by working for candy distributor Garvey Nut in Temple City, Calif. Selling pecans to Famous Amos. In 1976, with credit and $800 to his name, he persuaded candy manufacturer Herman Goelitz Candy Co. to make mini jelly beans in flavors no one had ever seen before.
His first Jelly Belly flavor was watermelon, it was also the first two-tone jelly bean ever produced. Flavors, licorice root beer, cherry and green apple soon followed. According to a Tampa Bay Times article, Klein called them Jelly Belly, because the musician Lead Belly inspired Klein.
After his success with Jelly Belly, Klein left Jelly Belly and started other candy concepts, including the world’s first sour candy and yogurt-toppings in the mid 90’s. In 1998 he launched “Sandy Candy,” in 88 flavors, invented by his daughter, Roxy.
Klein eventually moved his operations in October to Clearwater. In 2016, Klein launched Candyman Kitchens at 314 S Belcher Road. Jelly Belly is currently run by descendents of famed candymaker Gustav Goelitz. Jelly Belly Candy’s annual revenues are estimated at $100-$500 million in this 2020 report. Today the Jelly Belly Candy Co. and currently brings in between $100 -$500 million.