Ten years in the making and it was so big it had to delivered by truck from California.
To celebrate National Jelly Bean Day, there was a special unveiling of a very large jelly bean portrait of owner “Jungle Jim” Bonamino in the candy department of Jungle Jim’s International Market on Ohio 4 in Fairfield.
After it was unveiled, Bonaminio exclaimed, “it’s beautiful.”
Customers in the store were encouraged to figure out how many Jelly Belly jelly beans are in the unique portrait, one of about 50 in the world. Lizz Jungkunz, the store’s candy manager and buyer, knows how many jelly beans are in the portrait but wasn’t spilling the beans on that number until Monday when winners will be announced.
“It’s so unique,” she said. “It captures “Jungle’s” personality in an amazing way.”
On Saturday there were a number of family activities held as part of the event including a Jelly Belly Beanboozled Challenge, where brave participants will spin a flavor wheel to win coupons and prizes. The store also had Jelly Belly sample giveaways in addition to the “guess how many” contest that will feature prizes.
“Weekends in the candy department is the place to be,” she said. “It’s a fun place on the weekend.”
Jungkunz said the portrait arrived in December and had to be trucked from California. She said the portrait has been under wraps and hanging in the candy department since it arrived, but will be on permanent display at the international grocery.
“We’re happy that this will reside amongst all the other wild things to see at Jungle Jim’s,” said Lizz Jungkunz, the Fairfield store’s candy manager and buyer. “It’s a gift to the Jungle, but we also feel like it’s a gift to the community because of its uniqueness and how special it is to Jungle Jim, personally.”
According to the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Candy Company’s website, the company has made large scale portraits of famous personalities and classic American subjects in mosaics of thousands of Jelly Belly jelly beans. Some of those personalities include President Ronald Reagan, Laurel & Hardy, Marilyn Monroe, Saint Pope John Paul II, President Abraham Lincoln, James Dean, Elvis Presley, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Princess Kate, and the Beatles. Other icons include the Statue of Liberty, a California grizzly bear, the Mona Lisa, and Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.
The company also set a Guinness World Record for largest candy art in 2010 by using 629,000 jelly beans for a 39-foot art piece that was on display at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, according to its website.
This story contains information previously reported by Staff Writer Eric Schwartzberg.