Blue Bell returns to East Texas stores

Blue Bell returns to East Texas stores
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It was a day described as heaven on earth by one customer who arrived early to get some of the first Blue Bell Ice Cream to be in East Texas since the product was pulled in April.

The sight of a freezer full of Blue Bell was a welcome sight to Officer Cory Clemens who just finished a 12 hour shift with the DIboll Police Department.

"This makes my night worth it," Clemens said as he walked away with two cartons of Cookies and Cream.

"I just don't buy [other kinds]," Garin Ashby said. "I have been tracking the return on the Blue Bell Website. It has been a long wait."

Ashby came to the store with his mom and brother before the two were dropped off at school for the day.

Ashby was one of just hundreds to visit Brookshire Brothers stores across East Texas to get the ice cream on the first day of the local roll out.

"The problem we had here is that some of our stores had it while others did not," Brookshire Brothers Communications Director Sally Alvis said. "We are glad it is back. Right now we are doing other promotions with the ice cream to make it a fun event."

Trey Ainswroth arrived at the store prepared. Ainsworth brought a small cooler on wheels that would let him put his whole order in at one time.

"I've got some from Houston already, so I have had my fair share, but it is great to have it back here at home,"  Ainsworth said. "From the outside looking in, it's hard to understand, but from the inside looking out it is hard to explain. There is a lot of brands close to it but no one does what Blue Bell does."

HEB also stayed busy with customers grabbing up to the maximum of four half-gallon cartons.

"We have been told we are getting a couple of deliveries a week from the company, and we put out all that we have so once it is gone, it is gone," HEB  Unit Director Adam Richey said. "We have a limit, so we can make sure everybody gets some. We hope to have an increase in deliveries in the coming weeks."

The product was pulled off the shelves and Blue Bell shut down completely after Listeria was found in Blue Bell products.

"We hated to see them empty but we wanted to take the time to get everything just right for people and bring it out with a product that is safe for everybody and what they expect from us," said Blue Bell Territorial Manager Casey Johnson.

Stores in Louisiana are expected to begin getting Blue Bell products next Monday.

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