Recipe for Creativity: Willy Wonka, Jelly Belly, and Avoiding the Freeways

“Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it in dew,      

cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two?”

“The candyman. The candyman can.
The candyman can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.”

Maybe I just love candy way too much, but those lyrics are brilliance. He ‘mixes it with love.’ Folks, he ‘makes the world taste good.’

Goodness. I’ve got to watch it. Thankfully, somebody took the time to put it on YouTube…

Grow down. Let’s take a few minutes and watch it together… (if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, at least watch around 1:58 when a little girl gets an unintentional uppercut by the countertop.)

Though most of us will never meet Mr. Wonka (or Gene Wilder), we may meet David Klein. He truly made the world taste good when he reinvented the jelly bean in the 1970’s with his famous brand Jelly Belly. Klein’s story is expertly told in the film of his life Candyman: The David Klein Story.

Quotes from Mr. Klein to feed your creativity…

“I always like to do things in new ways. Always.”

“I like to be as creative as possible in anything that I do.”

“I never like traveling freeways. I like going side streets because you’d see something different every time. You go on the freeway, you eliminate your choices.”

Quirky, childlike, and a bit of a salesman, Klein revolutionized a few simple ingredients and, yes I’m gonna say it, made the world taste good.

Isn’t that what we want as creatives? We want to take our creativity… our screenplays, our recipes, our sales presentations, our paintings, our teachings, our pottery, our books… we mix them with some passion and love, and we want to see a change in someone by what we do.

We want to enliven the senses of the world with our creativity.

For Wonka/Klein, they did it with candy through the five senses. They truly made the world taste good. I’m so glad they did. So glad, in fact, that I’ll most likely eat some candy in their honor today.

I’m curious. Why do you create? Why spend the time, the work, the energy?

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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • Andrew – Great post. I also enjoyed the documentary on Klein (just saw it last week on Netflix) and his joyous attitude towards creativity (rooted in love) was wonderful. To answer your question, I think there are two main reasons I create. Ever since I started blogging last February, I realized that I loved the 1) emotional release of ideas and questions through writing and 2) connection with other perceptive, creative people who were often thinking about these same ideas or experiences. -Alexandra

    • Andrew Zahn

      Those two points are stellar. I feel quite the same way.

      So glad you enjoyed it! It seems Mr. Klein commented below… just have to check into it to be sure.

  • Mr. Klein’s quote about never traveling freeways is funny and timely. This weekend I missed a freeway entrance but instead of turning around, I decided to take side streets. It was worth it.

    • He sold his company for almost 5 million.

      I’d say take the side streets right?! (Not that it’s all about the $… but it’s nice if it happens.)

  • donald zahn

    “Who can take tomorrow and dip it in a dream?” That’s another line I love!

    However, I’m still back on your last post as a geisha and Sarah as a cowgirl in the snow. I want/need to have a post on the “dance” the “loser” does to turn out the light. That REALLY is a must-see!

    Love You Guys,
    Mom

    • Another good line from Willy Wonka, Mom!

      And those dances, unfortunately, are highly confidential. . . . for now.

      Love you too!

  • Oh that post was fan-diddly-tastic.
    I’ll be keeping my eye out for Klein’s film. It sounds like something that I would enjoy.
    I love the way Jelly Belly’s took something we knew an turned it on it’s head. I think that is asked of writers all the time. And sometimes it might seem like there is nothing new under the sun, like the world has been turned on it’s head again and again, and you have nothing to add. But now when I feel that way I’m going to think about popcorn jelly beans.

    Totally watched that cute girl almost get clocked twice. So worth my time 🙂

    • So glad you got a kick out of this post, Shelly. Very good documentary. It’s on Netflix (if you get that).

      And that girl. What a little pro. I’m sure that someone told her ‘no matter what happens, just keep going unless the director yells CUT.’ Poor kiddo.

  • Goodness! Can’t believe I’ve never notice that poor girl get hit before… She seemed to recover pretty well, though.
    It’s probably the expectation to get candy that made her not notice the pain. Now there’s food for thought!

  • Thank you for a GREAT review….This is David Klein the Candyman..Yes it is really me…If anyone would like to ask me questions about our film it would be my pleasure to answer each and every question…..Since the film came out there has been much activity on my part. We are introducing a new line of jelly beans –David’s Signature Beyond Gourmet Jelly Beans…They are in my opinion the finest jelly bean ever made….I can be reached at sandycandydad@yahoo.com …ALL MY BEST

    • Mr. Klein! I’m quite honored that you dropped by the blog. I would love to profile your new jelly beans as I’m quite an aficionado.

      I’ll shoot you a personal e-mail. Many thanks for your creative genius and for sharing it with the world. You’re an inspiration.