The best news of the summer came on Aug. 17, as KHOU.com confirmed what all ice cream lovers across the country had been awaiting: the return of Texas’ beloved Blue Bell ice cream to store shelves in Texas and parts of the country. As KHOU confirmed, Blue Bell “will begin distributing ice cream to select cities on Aug. 31.”
Investigative reporters have been searching everywhere for leads, as mysterious video of Blue Bell trucks driving in caravan style had been showing up on the Internet last week, getting everyone’s hopes up. Some of the ice cream trucks “arrived at a Houston-area distribution center last week.”
Just in time for Labor Day festivities, if not long before, consumers across Texas will be throwing parties if for no other reason than to celebrate the return of the product in so many flavors that developed their individual followings. The “little creamery in Brenham” started out making a great basic homemade vanilla flavor, and the outreach of popularity grew from Brenham and spread over Texas.
It’s not just legend or lore, but people were trying to get creative when they moved away from Texas to try and receive their very favorite ice cream in the years before distribution began on a national level. The earliest television commercials featured an amiable fellow in a white shirt, pants and tie saying, “We eat all we can and we sell the rest,” and any Texan knows the jingle by heart, “Blue Bell makes the best ice cream….in the country.” At first the country was just the rural scenery of Brenham, but as recently as 2014, a national market was going great for the creamery.
Sadly in its history, a tragic listeria outbreak had been linked to deaths resulting from consuming the ice cream, and Blue Bell production everywhere ceased immediately while government inspectors began locating the source of the problem. In the company’s first-ever disaster to happen, the leadership responded timely and, unfortunately, many key personnel had to be let go when production was suspended. The Brenham community was among those most greatly impacted.
To show faith in a Texas-owned, Texas-proud business with years of product excellence, Fort Worth investor Sid Bass made an unnamed substantial investment in Blue Bell in July, which signaled an outpouring of faith in the brand again, as well as appropriate anticipation of the return to operations. The Alabama plant is thought to be the source of production for now; KHOU noted that “production had not resumed yet in Brenham, where the headquarters are still receiving upgrades.”
Check out the Blue Bell corporate website to see their official announcement about the five phases by which statewide and national distribution will be completed. It also won’t be long before schoolchildren and tourists alike will enjoy being able to tour the production facilities in Brenham, Texas; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and Sylacauga, Alabama. It’s a great day for ice cream lovers everywhere. Blue Bell is back!