If you have young kids in the house, there’s a good chance you also have stickers. Maybe even a few where they don’t belong. But have you ever stopped to think how they’re made? Well, in an unassuming office park, on the outskirts of Petaluma lies a Willy Wonka-esque world that holds all the answers—and you don’t even need to find a golden ticket to get in.
On a Roll
Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory started churning out colorful stickers of all shapes and sizes in 1979. And for years, they’ve been quietly letting families get a behind-the-scenes look at the process. Four days a week, they offer guided factory tours, showing how a sticker gets made from start to finish.
First, you’ll meet your guide and watch a 5-minute video about the factory. Then you’ll be whisked onto the factory floor, where you’ll make several stops. You’ll learn how stickers are printed, cut, and packaged. You will also get to wander among giant rolls of stickers- stacked to the warehouse ceiling. At each stop, your guide will generously hand out samples (you might want to bring a little bag, it’s a lot of loot!) The tour concludes with a special sticker activity in the gift shop. There you can also purchase any and all the stickers and sticker paraphernalia your heart desires!
The Fine Print
You’ll need to call ahead to book your tour. They do not accept walk-ins, as they try to limit the amount of people on each tour to about 15 people. Tours are offered Monday through Thursday each week, and you’ll want to plan to spend at least an hour at the factory (the tour itself is about 50 minutes.)
Make a Day of It
Known as the hometown of Winona Ryder, the filming of American Graffiti, and its annual Butter & Egg Days Parade, historic riverside Petaluma is such a fun place to explore with your family. The relaxing drive there on US 101 past fields of grazing cattle will get you and the kiddos in just the right relaxed mindset for the mellow, yet friendly downtown vibe. And who knows, if you hail from a small town, a trip up to Petaluma might just make you nostalgic for that charming hometown of your childhood. Find out where to eat, play and stay right here.
Did you have a favorite sticker growing up?