In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. And what a perfect way to celebrate was to be invited to tour the Blue Bell Ice Cream plant here in Denver. Barb over at Creative Culinary, Karen at Savoury Table and I were pampered with a private tasting of products along with an education about the company which was founded in Brenham, Texas in 1907.
Starting out as a creamery, they then made their first gallon, or two, of ice cream, “ate all they could and sold the rest”. They packed it in a large wooden tub with salt and ice and delivered it to a few friends and neighbors by horse and wagon. The rest is history. Today Blue Bell Ice Cream is one of the top-selling brands in American, even though they only sell their products in the South. They hold the Number Three spot in National Market share behind Breyers and Dreyers, who sell their products Nationwide.
Join me on our Big as Texas Hospitality Tour where learned all about Blue Bell Ice Cream and their company.
This is the back of a Blue Bell truck backed up to the loading dock waiting to get filled with tubs of ice cream to distribute to our stores in Denver. I’m surprised the photo is in focus, it was bone shivering cold in that room. The ice cream is not made in Denver, but shipped from the main plant in Texas.
Nothing like ice cream for lunch. Our tour started in the board room with our gracious host, Kevin McDevitt, Denver Branch Manager serving samples. Here’s he’s scooping up samples of their Cotton Candy ice cream.
Next up was the Southern Blackberry Cobbler. Creamy ice cream with a luscious blackberry flavor combined with flaky pie crust pieces and a blackberry sauce swirl. What impressed me most about their ice cream is how true the flavors are to the descriptions on the carton. They use the finest milk, cream, sugar and other ingredients money can buy. Then, they mix in their secret homemade recipe. Added ingredients aren’t just added flavors, employees actually hand crumble pie crusts, or cookies, or candy bars into the mix.
Blue Bell offers a line of seasonal and regional ice creams. This Rocky Mountain Road was created to sell in Colorado and became so popular they’ve expanded it’s distribution to more states. So far, this has been my personal favorite flavor.
And just when the food industry has decided to decrease carton sizes and increase prices, Blue Bell stays true to their customers. They have placed a red banner across their cartons promoting the fact that consumers still get a full half gallon of ice cream with each purchase.
No matter how much the market grows, quality standards never change and are never diluted or compromised. That’s why, people who are lucky enough to live where they can buy Blue Bell Ice Cream, say it’s “the best ice cream in the country.”
- 1 package Chocolate cake mix
- 3/4 Cup Chocolate fudge frosting ready to spread
- 3/4 Cup water
- 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 gallon Blue Bell Summer Strawberry Pie Ice Cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease bottom, sides and rim of two 9-inch pie pans or round cake pans. In a large bowl, blend cake mix, frosting, water and vegetable oil at low speed until moistened. Then beat 2 minutes at high speed. Spread half the batter into bottom of each pan. Do not spread up the sides of the pan. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cakes will collapse to form shells. Cool completely. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and freeze at least one hour. Unwrap shells and scoop 1 quart of ice cream into each shell. Serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze up to 24 hours. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Slice each pie into 8 wedges and serve.