I’m a manufacturing geek so I was really excited to learn that we were not too far from the only sticker factory in the USA. Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory is about an hour drive from Berkeley, so I’d suggest pairing it up with another fun reason to head to Petaluma or Santa Rosa. For me, a stop at In-N-Out usually does the trick.
Make advance reservations to tour the sticker factory because walk-ins are not welcome. As of this writing, tours leave Monday through Thursday at 10:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 2:00 (Sorry, no weekends). The tour is just shy of an hour including the art activity.
Each tour includes a short video narrated by John Ratzenberger (who your kids might know — or not — as a character in every Pixar film) and a short walk around the factory floor. Guests get to see some really cool big machines and learn neat facts about company history and the way thousands of stickers (and wine labels!) are created. Nerd out as you see them printed, die-cut and perforated.
Your tour guide will tell you little-known sticker facts as you visit the various work stations trying hard not to touch anything:
- Printing (making the mold, shooting the ink)
- Rewinding and finishing onto rolls
- History wall of designs
- Hot foil stamping to get extra sparkly bits
- Fancy-cutting Laserweb (the highlight for my kids)
At each different stop along the tour, you’ll also get some more stickers. After the tour, we got dropped off in the gift shop with a few more stickers to make a souvenir and the option to purchase MANY more. The factory store has some bargains if you are in the mood. Overall, the vibe is low-key.
Pricing and logistics:
- Reservations Required (800) 429-4549
- Admission $7 for 12 years-old and up; $5 kids under 12 years-old; Under 3 is FREE; Parking is free
- WEB: mrsgrossmans.com
- Address: 3810 Cypress Drive Petaluma, CA 94954
Bottom line: a ton of fun for sticker and factory enthusiasts. Energetic and handsy guests may get bored.
Did you have a great time? The Jelly Belly Factory Tour is fun and even more of a production.
[All photos by Heather Flett]