Growing up in the south, homemade ice cream was a summertime staple! But when we couldn’t make it ourselves, mama bought it at the store.
Depending on how many kids were around that day, we either got a gallon-sized plastic bucket full (did those even have a brand?) or Blue Bell.
And we loved when she would come home from the grocery store with a tub of Blue Bell Ice Cream!
I took for granted that I would always have access to this delicious frozen treat, because when we moved to Fort Lewis in Washington State…there was no Blue Bell Ice Cream to be found!
It was only in the 80s that Blue Bell became available outside of Texas and it’s still only available in 22 states.
So, when we had the chance to stop by the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham, Texas, you better believe we took it! (And you know how much I love marking stuff off of our Fort Hood/Texas bucket list!)
Brenham is a small city in east-central Texas. It’s about halfway between Austin and Houston, and is right on our way home to Florida when we take leave. It’s only a little over 2 hours away from our home near Fort Hood.
Even though we’ve drove through Brenham numerous times, we didn’t stop because we were always in a hurry. We made it a point to finally check it out this summer and I’m so glad that we did!
The Blue Bell Creamery is less than 2 miles from our regular route. And the whole visit took less than an hour.
The Blue Bell Creamery
The creamery has a Visitor’s Center, an observation deck, a Country Store, and an Ice Cream Parlor.
While, it didn’t take us long to walk through the Visitor’s Center, I highly recommend checking it out! I learned so many interesting things about this company that it honestly made me love it more.
For instance, did you know:
- When Blue Bell introduced it’s Cookies ‘n Cream flavor in 1978 it was a very labor intensive process, as workers had to open each package of Oreos by hand?
- Or that Blue Bell delivered ice cream to the White House when President George Bush was in office because at the time it wasn’t available in that area?
- Or that Blue Bell started out selling butter under the name ‘the Brenham Creamery Company’ and changed the name to ‘Blue Bell’ in 1930 after native wildflowers in the area?
There were all kinds of Blue Bell memorabilia, pictures, and interesting company history. Even the kids liked looking at everything.
After we left the Visitor’s Center, we headed up to the Observation Deck. It’s only open on weekdays from 8 to 2. (Check the website to make sure it’s open before you go.)
Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures from the observation deck, but it was definitely cool to see.
From where you stand above the factory floor, you can see the workers and all kinds of machinery, as the ice cream is packaged and readied to ship out. The kids waved at the workers and some of them waved back, which made their whole day!
After a quick look in the Country Store, we headed to the ice cream parlor for some ice cream. It’s only $1 per scoop!
As soon as the ice cream was gone, we were back on the road to Fort Hood.
The whole stop took less than an hour and was definitely worth it! The Blue Bell Creamery may just become a Texas-to-Florida road trip tradition!