5 things you might not know about Blue Bell Creameries

A scene from Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham. Credit: Blue Bell

A scene from Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham.
Credit: Blue Bell

Following a listeria outbreak that led to a company-wide production shut down, Blue Bell has announced that they will resume ice cream distribution in Austin and select cities on Aug. 31.

The company recalled about 8 million gallons of its products in April after federal officials linked 10 cases of listeria, including three deaths, to their products.

It’s been an entire summer without Blue Bell, and in that time, fans have gotten antsy. In May, desperate ice cream aficionados took to Craigslist to get their Blue Bell fix. By August, KVUE reported that a group of middle schoolers were so tired of seeing Blue Bell-less shelves on the freezer aisle that they made a rap about it.

However, the long wait may have caused a few former Blue Bell-ers to forget the company that so many Texans hold dear. Out of sight, out of mind … or out of ice cream, as the case may be.

To refresh your memory, here are five fast facts about Blue Bell Creameries:

• It all began in 1907. According to Blue Bell’s website, the original factory in Brenham opened 108 years ago under the name “Brenham Creamery Company.” The location was used to make butter for many years, until the company decided to begin making ice cream, and later changed their name to “Blue Bell Creameries,” after the Texas flower, the website states.

• Some people are so vanilla. According to a survey conducted by Ranker.com, Homemade Vanilla is the most popular flavor of Blue Bell ice cream, with 648 votes. Cookies ‘n Cream came in second, and Strawberries and Homemade Vanilla placed third.

• Blue Bell knows how to party. For the company’s 100th birthday in 2007, the Houston Chronicle reported that Blue Bell loaded up a pair of 18-wheelers with ice cream and company history displays and hit the road to party in 66 cities within their 16-state market.

The creamery also concocted a special flavor to celebrate the occasion, debuting a mixture of Homemade Vanilla swirled with caramel, chocolate, whipped topping and maraschino cherries called Century Sundae.

• Brenham is “Cow Heaven.” In a 2012 interview with Hotel F&B magazine, Blue Bell representative Lacy Sodolak said, ” it takes almost 60,000 cows to supply milk for one day of production at Blue Bell, which is why we like to say that the cows think Brenham is heaven.”

• Decisions, decisions. Over the years, Blue Bell has grown their product selection by leaps and bounds. The Houston Chronicle reported in 2006 that the company then offered 250 different products, from Cookie Cones to Mooo Bars to classic pints and gallons.

While the company stated that production will be slow as factories begin the process of once again churning out product, it’s only a matter of time until ice cream lovers can once again deliberate over their many Blue Bell options in the freezer section.


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