ORANGE, Connecticut — This morning for our Connecticut Winter Bucket List, Keith McGilvery headed to the PEZ factory in Orange!
Shawn Peterson’s lifetime love for the iconic candy brought him from Kansas City to Connecticut where today his vision for a visitor center, largely made of his own private collection, is a reality.
“I have been a PEZ collector for 30 years, I love the brand, I love what the product is, and basically if you can do what you love you never work a day in your life,” Peterson said.
Tens of thousands of people from around the world are visiting every year eager to try the top flavors.
“The time tested flavors are what we call the core six, grape, lemon, cherry, strawberry, orange, and raspberry. You just can’t go wrong with those,” explained Peterson.
Here you can have a sample, go on a PEZ scavenger hunt, or roll up your sleeves and try making it yourself all with an open view of the production floor where the professionals are pumping out about 12 million pieces a day.
“We mix all of the product for 55 minutes in some very sophisticated equipment, from there we bring it to a tablet press, which is basically a pharmaceutical tablet press,” says PEZ Operations Vice President, Pat Early.
The team working in Orange is pretty darn quick.
“From the time it was mixed, pressed, and wrapped, it is well within 24 hours, so it is a fresh product we are sending out to all of our customers,” says Early.
Customers and fans Peterson hopes will have people giving PEZ a new look after visiting.
“Maybe it will inspire them to start a collection of their own.".
The PEZ visitors center is open seven days a week. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for kids.