Due to an increasing demand for Blue Bell ice cream and frozen snacks in Arizona, the ice cream manufacturer opened a new 14,000 square-foot distribution and sales facility in Tucson at 9398 East Old Vail Road in Tucson on October 1. The new distribution facility, which will have 24 employees, will service the entire southern part of Arizona, from Yuma to Willcox and from Casa Grande to Nogales.
Blue Bell Creameries, headquartered in the small town of Brenham, Texas (population, 15,000), is the number-three selling brand of ice cream in the United States, although it is only sold in 22 states. Blue Bell arrived in Arizona in 2005, opening a full-sized branch in Phoenix and renting a small facility in Tucson to efficiently distribute its products. It has been a popular addition to freezers ever since. This past June, Blue Bell also opened a second distribution center in Phoenix to handle growing demand.
“The response to Blue Bell Ice Cream in Arizona has been phenomenal,” says Joe Granson, who will be branch manager of the new facility. “Our initial intent was to build a smaller facility in Tucson, but then we saw that with the amazing growth in the area, Tucson really needed a full-service branch. We expect to keep growing from here.”
Granson adds that Blue Bell Strawberries & Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is particularly popular in the Tucson area. Maybe it’s the right treat to beat the heat! Other top-selling flavors in Tucson are Banana Split and Cherry Vanilla.
Granson has been with Blue Bell since 1981. He worked as a Blue Bell territory manager in Beaumont, Texas, before transferring to Arizona to oversee Tucson operations in 2005.
Blue Bell maintains a unique system of delivery of all products directly to stores in Blue Bell trucks so that literally no one other than a Blue Bell employee handles the ice cream until the customer buys it. Maintaining this process means that the location and expansion of distribution centers is critical to getting Blue Bell Ice Cream to the consumer in the freshest possible condition.
The Tucson distribution center will deliver the complete line of Blue Bell which includes Blue Bell Ice Cream, Light Ice Cream, Sherbet, Frozen Yogurt, No Sugar Added and Frozen Snacks in a 250-product lineup, to local stores.