CEO: Brand, Worker Loyalty Prompted Schulze & Burch to Buy Yarnell's

by Luke Jones  on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 11:20 am  

Delivery trucks at Yarnell's Searcy plant.

"The commodities were crippling," he said. "The price of some of the major input, the milk and cream, had really gone through the roof."

One casualty of the bankruptcy was the old Yarnell's delivery trucks. Because of costs and the loss of the trucks, the trucks that formerly ran straight from the factory to the stores will be replaced with third-party transportation.

Schulze & Burch currently has a skeleton crew of 12 workers at the Searcy plant overseeing operations while the new ownership works to line up retailers interested in the brand's return. When that happens, Boyle said, the company will release a limited version of the ice cream line.

"We are relaunching the same, identical formulas that people have grown to know and love in Arkansas," he said. "We're not rolling out as extensive of a lineup."

The lineup will include ice cream sandwiches, the Guilt-Free line, yogurts and some of the "premium" flavors.

Boyle said some of the more complex, slow-moving or novelty items won't be sold initially. But all of that may one day be in grocery stores.

"The new flavors will be a result of market demand," Boyle said, noting that the engineers of past Yarnell's flavors were already back on staff.

And Boyle said demand should be high. For extended periods of time, he said, the homemade vanilla flavor was the top selling ice cream in the entire state.

"That was one of the reasons we were interested in this particular company," he said. "A product that powerful has some great potential for expansion."



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