Retro Roadsis was telling me recently that she’s thinking of Shuffling off to Buffalo with the Retro Roadkids this summer. She’s as into wacky roadtrips and random stops as I am, so I have a couple of suggestions for her, like the Jello Museum in Le Roy, NY, just minutes off of the New York State Thruway.
I visited the Jello museum last fall en route to Niagara Falls, and while the museum itself is quite small, it was worth the stop. I mean c’mon, can you think of any other dessert item that has it’s own museum? It’s a foodstuff that has weathered the changing times, from delicacy to mocked “salad ring” to college shot drinking rite of passage. And it’s so danged colorful!
Retro Roadmappers take note! It’s hard to see the museum from the road, even though there’s a sandwich board on the sidewalk with Jello Museum written in big letters.
Yep, I found out the hard way that this was not the museum, as I opened the grand front door to find myself in the middle of a tour of the historic Le Roy House. Dying on the inside but smiling on the outside, I nonchalantly made my way down the hall to the back door – pretending that was my destination all along. As I opened the door I was greeted by a gajillion swarming cub scouts, also en route to the stone building out back housing the Jello Museum, so I knew I was headed in the right direction.
Now that I’ve saved you the embarrassment of going to the wrong house, I’ll also hep you to the fact that all you need to do is “Follow the Jello Brick Road” from the sidewalk to the museum.
If you’re lucky like I was you’ll be able to sneak yourself in as the school groups try to gather up all of their students that have quickly scattered to the basement bathrooms or antique car exhibits.
The sweet ladies behind the counter took pity on me, a single gal, in the midst of all the urchins, and I got my very own private tour with my own tour guide!
Now I’m not about to give YOU the history of this gelatinous foodstuff, because that’s what the tour is for. And while the display area is small, they’ve packed in a lot of items, from original paintings used in advertisements, to molds, to “Gelatin Around The World”. And believe it or not the history of Jello gelatin was really quite fascinating!
Those of us from a certain era will get a kick out of the Bill Cosby corner, as he was one of the most recognized celebrity spokespeople to celebrate Jello gelatin and pudding, ya see.
Want to find out where all those giant spoons come from? It’s an interesting story, but you’ll have to wait for your tour!
In my book one of the most fun things about going to a museum like this is you’ve now earned the right to buy a truly wacky and tacky souvenir in the gift shop.
It was hard to decide what to choose from from all the “Jello-a-bilia” but I finally settled on a Jello tee shirt, pot holder and charm for my ever growing Retro Roadside related charm bracelet.
So if you need a break from the drudgery of driving across New York State on the Thruway, take a break and check out the Jello Museum!