Sweet expansion: Blue Bunny to buy plant in western U.S.

Local News

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa company that makes Blue Bunny ice cream is buying a plant in Nevada, making it its fifth U.S. production facility.

Wells Enterprises said Tuesday that the Unilever plant in Henderson will help Wells meet the growing demand for its products in the western United States. Besides Blue Bunny ice cream, Wells makes Bomb Pops and private label ice cream and packs products for other companies.

The family owned Wells declined to say how much it is paying for the Henderson plant, which has about 250 employees who are expected to be retained.

Two of Wells’ four existing manufacturing plants are in Le Mars, Iowa. It also has one in Dunkirk, New York, and one in Lakewood, New Jersey.

Timeline of Wells, the maker of Blue Bunny

For over 100 years, Le Mars based Wells Enterprises has had a varied history. Here are some highlights from the company’s timeline of how it grew from humble beginnings:

  • 1913: Fred H. Wells pays $250 to a local dairy farmer for a horse, delivery wagon, a few cans and jars, and the goodwill of the business.
  • 1935: Blue Bunny is born when the Wells brothers hold a “Name that Ice Cream” contest looking for a brand for their ice cream.
  • 2016: Blue Bunny launches its newest logo, clear packaging and new flavors.

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