It’s been a long, hot summer here in Texas without Blue Bell Ice Cream. In fact, this has been the first Blue Bell-less summer since the brand got it’s start in 1907 in Brenham. It was, at first, a dairy-farmers’ cooperative called the Brenham Creamery Company. The founders converted an abandoned cotton gin into a creamery and made butter with their excess supplies of cream. It wasn’t until 1911 that they began to make ice cream and changed the name to Blue Bell. The company produced two gallons of ice cream a day and delivered it in horse-drawn wagons.
By 1993 they were producing 15,000 gallons an hour.
Here in Dallas we’ve watched with jealous anticipation as Houston, Austin, and Brenham residents spooned that coveted frozen treat into bowls on the evening news. Since August we’ve waited impatiently for it to be our turn, and I’ll admit to contemplating a quick drive down I-45 to fulfill my Blue Bell cravings.
Finally our pleas to the Universe have been acknowledged and answered. Blue Bell will be back on the freezer shelves in Dallas November 2. They won’t be producing the full line of products, however. You’ll have to make do with a choice between:
- Dutch Chocolate
- Cookies ‘n Cream
- Homemade Vanilla
- The Great Divide
Three out of four of the flavors listed above contain chocolate — I can live with that. Blue Bell will be producing a limited amount of Butter Pecan ice cream as well.
Texas hasn’t given the company the OK to begin production in the Texas plant so limited quantities and varieties are going to be part of life for awhile. The company has implemented new quality and safety procedures to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. There was some concern that consumers would abandon the company during its lengthy hiatus but supermarket managers say that customers have asked about their favorite ice cream since it was removed from the shelves. Nothing else even comes close.
Residents of other states may not understand our penchant for our Texas companies but we’re a loyal bunch. When it comes to ice cream, for many of us it’s Blue Bell or nothing. Gelato is perfect when shopping uptown but no matter where in the Metroplex you live, when it comes time for college football there’s only a couple of things we want. Frito Pie, an ice cold Shiner, and a big bowl of Blue Bell Ice Cream.
North Texans, get out your calendars and your red pen. Just a couple more weeks until it’s back on the shelves.
Images courtesy of Blue Bell Creamery