Blue Bell Creameries is expanding in Phoenix with the opening of a branch in West Phoenix. The new full-service, 13,000 square-foot distribution and sales facility at 5175 W. Watkins Rd. in Phoenix went into service this month. A grand opening on Thursday, July 11 at 10:30 am will feature Secretary of State Ken Bennett as he cuts the ribbon to the new branch – just in time for National Ice Cream Month.
Other state and city officials scheduled to join Blue Bell for the morning include Commissioner Bob Burns, State Senator Don Shooter, State Representatives David Gowan and Paul Boyer, and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring.
The public is also welcome to attend the ceremony which will include brief remarks from Secretary Bennett and West Phoenix Branch Manager Kyle McBride. After the ribbon cutting, ice cream, beverages and light appetizers will be served.
Blue Bell first came to Arizona in 2005 and has been a popular addition to area freezers ever since.
“The response to Blue Bell in Arizona has been phenomenal.” explains Branch Manager Kyle McBride, “We were in leased space before. Now we are opening a much larger facility to keep up with the demand. The larger facility will allow for continued growth and better serve the Phoenix area.”
The Phoenix West Branch is Blue Bell’s the second facility it has built in Phoenix. The Phoenix East Branch in Apache Junction opened in 2006.
The new branch office will serve Northern Arizona, West Phoenix Metro and Western Arizona – all the way to Lake Havasu City and Laughlin, Nevada. Blue Bell Ice Cream is sold at all major grocery stores in Arizona and other chain and independent stores, drugstores and convenience stores. Blue Bell Ice Cream is also featured at all Carrabba’s, Outback Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesday’s and Houston’s restaurants.
Blue Bell maintains a unique delivery system, which allows delivery of all products directly to stores in Blue Bell trucks so that no one other than a Blue Bell employee handles the ice cream until the customer buys it. This allows Blue Bell to maintain quality control of ice cream and frozen snack products all the way to the grocer’s shelves. Any expansion, therefore, requires, at a minimum, the hiring of new driver-salesmen to service the stores.
The West Phoenix location is adding five to 10 new positions as part of the expansion.
Blue Bell Ice cream is the number-three selling ice cream brand in the U.S., although it is only available in 22 states. Known as “the Little Creamery in Brenham,” to ice cream lovers, Blue Bell was founded in 1907 in Brenham, Texas, a town of about 14,000 people located 70 miles northwest of Houston amidst the rolling hills of Central Texas.
According to McBride, the most popular Blue Bell Ice Cream flavors in the Phoenix area are Homemade Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, and Cookies ’n Cream.
McBride joined Blue Bell in 1995 as a territory manager in Kansas City. In 2001 he was promoted to sales manager and in 2004 was named branch manager in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2005, when Blue Bell entered Arizona, he was named branch manager of Phoenix East and in March 2013 was named branch manager of the new Phoenix West facility.