Close up and personal with Very Cherry
A unique interview with the world's number one Jelly Belly jelly bean flavour
Everyone loves Jelly Belly jelly beans and nobody hates them - although Liquorice and Buttered Popcorn are controversial. Of the 100 plus Jelly Belly flavours created for our delectation, Very Cherry has been the worldwide favourite for 37 of its 40 year delicious existence. We get up close and personal with Very Cherry.
When were you first created and what was the reason behind it?
I was one of the first Jelly Belly jelly beans ever created, way back in 1976. There were 8 flavours to begin with and the others were Root Beer, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Lemon, Liquorice and Grape. The reason behind Jelly Belly was to create a gourmet jelly bean where the flavour went from the shell all the way through to the centre.
What’s your background?
My background is cherries. The most delicious, luscious cherries imaginable. Place a Very Cherry Jelly Belly jelly bean on your tongue and you are moved to a beautiful and better place.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Thousands of people make up the Jelly Belly family worldwide and their only role is to create and promote true to life, incredibly delicious flavours. That is all.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
As the number one Jelly Belly flavour of all time, I am predictably happy with things the way they are. I of course do not love every single flavour of jelly bean that the Jelly Belly Candy Co has ever created, but I do respect them. If it had been down to me, I would not have gone to the trouble of creating a Cherry Passion Fruit jelly bean or a Barbados Cherry jelly bean. Personally? That hurt.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced ?
Sourcing the very best cherries all year round is a big challenge. There’s always a cold snap somewhere in the world that will spoil a good harvest.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
It is very difficult to create a Jelly Belly jelly bean because each one has to be perfect. The whole process can take up to 21 days which is extraordinary.
Where do you plan on taking your flavour during 2016?
To the ends of the earth.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
The loveliness of Very Cherry just goes on and on and every day is a joy. However, I always get a huge kick out of being the RED bean in any Red, White and Blue flag waving event. That goes for the US, UK and France
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
The red carpet is rolled out for Very Cherry wherever I go but it’s no secret that I love London and London loves me.
Very Very Cherry
Best thing about London to you?
That it has become the number one taste adventure of the world. There is no taste that London is not prepared to explore.
Favourite love song?
Cherry, Cherry by Neil Diamond. Of course.
Best place for a coffee?
Jelly Belly does a Cappuccino and Café Latte jelly bean so I would recommend anyone to head over to the nearest Jelly Belly counter for their coffee fix.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
The poet Criss Jami spoke directly to me when he said “The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it.” That taught me humility.
Knowing I’m the most popular Jelly Belly jelly bean in the world
If you could spent 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Motuo in SE China is one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the world. When I discovered that bananas and pineapple grow there I vowed to instigate a cherry growing programme in Motuo. It may take more than 24 hours but that’s where I would like to go.
Where can people find out more?