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Nut Goodie Creators Give ‘Willy Wonka’ Factory Tours

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Pearson’s Candy Company in St. Paul, Minn., is opening its doors to customers for the first time in decades.

It’s all part of a contest for the 100 year anniversary of the Nut Goodie bar.

Those who will be seeing the candy factory matched a bar code on the wrapper of the popular candy bar. The tours are slated for the next two weeks, and the first fans toured the building on Monday.

“I thought it was really cool, because I’ve never been in a factory before,” said Jess Pilon, who toured the Pearson’s factory.

Web Extra: Photo Gallery: Inside The Nut Goodie Factory

Pilon and her friends were the first, in 40 years, to get a look inside the Pearson’s Candy Company.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s kind of like Willy Wonka,” said Adam Hunt, who also toured the factory.

The tour allowed the kids to see the candy making process from start to finish.

In the kitchen, they watched nougat and caramel cooked in industrial equipment, and they even got the chance to sample the candy in the early stages of the process.

“I thought it was great. I like getting to taste the caramel and stuff,” Hunt said.

No area seemed off limits. The tour gave access to see thousands of candy pieces as they were pressed, covered in chocolate, and then packaged and prepared for shipping.

At any given time, there are 10,000 cases of candy in Pearson’s warehouse. For 104 years, Pearson’s has produced popular treats, such as the Nut Goodie bar, Salted Nut Roll and Mint Patties.

And the company has plans to add more.

This year, four new items will be on store shelves. The Peanut Butter Nut Roll and Salted Almond Nut Roll will be released this spring. Near the holidays, customers will be able to try the Mint Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Elf and the Toffee Salted Nut Roll.

“We hope they’re all successful, and that consumers love them and buy them,” said Michael Keller, CEO of Pearson’s Candy Company.

Pilon, one of the tourists, got a chance to try the new treats.

“I thought they were really good,” she said.

The additions to the Pearson brand are among the first after several decades where the company offered few new items. Last year, the company introduced the Sea Salt Caramel Nut Goodie, marking the start of its push for new treats.

“These are exciting times for Pearson’s,” Keller said.

Although the contest is over, Pearson’s may consider opening up a public tour if this promotion goes smoothly.

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