BRENHAM, TX (KTRK) -- Cheers and tears greeted Blue Bell's arrival in the city of Brenham today when the first shipment of Blue Bell ice cream arrived at an HEB store early this morning.
For more than four months, the community has felt the pain of the company's ongoing troubles. The people of Brenham have waited patiently for the ice cream's return.
Blue Bell voluntarily pulled its products from stores across the country after a deadly listeria outbreak became public in April. The massive recall resulted in furloughs and laid off employees. According to Blue Bell, 360 of the 1400 employees throughout the company are now back at work.
Around 4:00am today, Blue Bell's delivery truck pulled up to the HEB off S. Day Street and unloaded 1100 half gallons of four different flavors announced by the ice cream company last week on Instagram. They are Homemade Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, Cookies and Cream and the popular The Great Divide..
Two hours later, hundreds of people had already lined up and funneled into the store. And by 7:00am, almost half of the products had been sold to customers.
Among the many eager to get a taste was Tracy Campbell, who through tears, told Eyewitness news Blue Bell defines Brenham.
"It's just a really big part of our community," said Campbell. "I have a couple of kids. My daughters works for Blue Bell."
The ice cream currently for sale is from Alabama. Blue Bell's Brenham plant remains shut down from the listeria outbreak. Company officials told Eyewitness News there is currently no timeline for the plant's reopening.
Our own Steve Campion is following the story from Brenham. He'll have a live report on Eyewitness News at 11 AM.