SEARCY, Ark. (KTHV) -- Yarnell's Ice Cream will soon be back in stores.
A formal announcement comes Thursday at the State Capitol. But Today's THV is the only Little Rock television station to get an exclusive sneak peek inside the Searcy plant.
And while details like all the flavors coming back and when they're exactly arriving on store shelves come Thursday, we still take you inside the plant to see this comeback up close.
It's quite a site to see, but more importantly to taste.
"How is it?" THV's Max Seigle asks Employee Richard Taylor.
"Good," Taylor said.
Richard Taylor is the Quality Manager at the new Yarnell's Ice Cream plant. Before tasting, Taylor cuts each carton in half and examines the samples. It's a place he's thrilled to work at once again.
"We were not expecting it and I'm glad it's back now, I'm really glad it's back now, there's a lot of people who are glad it's back now," Taylor said.
Taylor was among about 150 Searcy workers let go last May when Yarnell's closed and filed for bankruptcy.
Late last year, the Chicago-based Schulze and Birch Biscuit Company bought the plant. Now it's three weeks into production.
"I like what the new owners have done with this place, it's a positive atmosphere, we're making improvements, we're building from ground up again," Taylor said.
There are 16 workers on staff so far and they are all former Yarnell's employees, like Taylor.
"They know what they're doing, they know ice cream, they know this plant," General Manager Alex Bell.
Bell says so far they've produced some 300,000 cartons of ice cream to meet the initial market response.
"To expand the brand is obviously the goal and to bring back as many people we can sustain and have long lasting careers," Bell said.
No specifics yet on when future hires could come. For now, everyone's just focused on churning out this Arkansas favorite and enjoying the process.
"Not a bad job at all," Taylor said as he "taste tests" some more ice cream.
Taylor says this new job is also great to have back since he invested 17 years in Yarnell's before it closed.
And while we're still waiting for details on who's buying the ice cream again, Bell says the response in the market has exceeded expectations.
As for any hints on when the ice cream will be on store shelves, all they tell us at this point is soon. We should find out more on Thursday. But Bell says it can't hurt to ask your local grocer if you can't wait until then.
Thursday's program will be at the State Capitol with Governor Mike Beebe, Searcy Mayor David Morris and Schulze and Birch Biscuit Company President Kevin Boyle. It starts at 10:30 a.m. and they will have ice cream there to sample.