Blue Bell is continuing its comeback. The Brenham company announced Monday it will start selling its ice cream in selected stores once again.
The first batches will be distributed starting Aug. 31 -- and parts of Texas will get the first shipments. Blue Bell will re-enter parts of 15 states in five phases.
In April, Blue Bell recalled its products and suspended production because of a listeria outbreak. Ten listeria illnesses were reported, including three deaths in Kansas.
In July, Fort Worth businessman Sid Bass reportedly invested up to $125 million in the company, becoming a partner. Earlier this month, Blue Bell resumed ice cream shipments.
The first areas to get the ice cream? Brenham, where the company started in 1907, as well as Houston and Austin. Ice cream will also be sent to stores in Alabama (Birmingham and Montgomery), where the ice cream is being produced.
North Texas and southern Oklahoma will be next, followed by stores in southwest Texas and central Oklahoma.
When will we start seeing Blue Bell in North Texas? We don't know yet. Blue Bell says once it can "properly service" customers in an area, it will expand to the next.
Eventually, most of Texas and southern Louisiana will get ice cream. Finally, sales will spread to Arkansas, Florida, northern Louisiana and Mississippi. Other states will also see ice cream in stores, including parts of Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
“Over the past several months we have been working to make our facilities even better, and to ensure that everything we produce is safe, wholesome and of the highest quality for you to enjoy,” said Ricky Dickson, Blue Bell’s vice president of sales and marketing. “This is an exciting time for us as we are back to doing what we love…making ice cream!”
Video: Watch Blue Bell’s announcement