Today's THV: Company to Re-open Yarnell's Plant, Make Ice Cream

The company that bought major assets of Yarnell's Ice Cream Co. of Searcy plans to reopen the plant and make Yarnell's ice cream once again, according to a report Thursday by Arkansas Business news partner Today's THV.

Buck Layne, Searcy Chamber of Commerce president told Today's THV the plans Thursday morning.

Schulze & Burch Biscuit Co. of Chicago, which makes toaster-pastries and granola bars in Searcy, purchased Yarnell's equipment and its real estate during the bankruptcy auction Wednesday. At the time, its plans for the Yarnell's property were not clear.

Also sold at auction on Wednesday: Yarnell's recipes, including a batch that went for $2,500 to David Davison, who had hoped to resell them for profit. Those recipes are among Yarnell's property now owned by Schulze & Burch. Another batch of the company's "Guilt-Free" line recipes was bought by former employee Jeff Holtz who told The Daily Citizen he hopes to restart the line.

Representatives of Schulze & Burch could not be reached on Thursday.

Wednesday's auction came after Yarnell's closed June 30 and filed for bankruptcy in August. The company had been opened for nearly 80 years and was on its fourth generation of family members operating the company.

The closure put 200 people out of a job. It was unclear on Thursday whether the new owners would rehire former company employees.

Schulze & Burch came to Searcy in 2009, establishing a new 500,000-SF production facility it said would eventually employ 250 people. The company took over a site formerly occupied by Maytag, a unit of Whirlpool Corp. of Benton Harbor, Mich.

Whirlpool vacated the Maytag plant December 2006, dropping about 700 employees

Schulze & Burch was founded in 1923. The company makes toaster pastries, granola bars and other snacks both branded and for private label accounts. It produced the first toaster pastry for General Foods in 1964.

Most of the proceeds from the auction are supposed to go to repay the company's secured creditors, which include the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, which is owed $2.1 million, and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, which is owed $1.9 million.

Any money left would be dished out to other creditors.

When Yarnell’s filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in August, it listed $15.7 million in debts and $8 million in assets.