Blue Bell Ice Cream, Brenham, Texas, will begin Phase 3 of its 5-phase market re-entry plan on Dec. 14. Phase three includes the remaining majority of Texas and central and southern Alabama.

“We continue to fill stores in Phase 2, but we can now focus our attention on the addition of Phase 3 beginning Dec. 14,” says Ricky Dickson, vice president of sales and marketing. “This phase includes most of Alabama and Texas and it is our largest phase so far.”

To begin Phase 3, Blue Bell will bring back 215 of its employees who were put on paid furlough earlier this year.

“Our Broken Arrow, Okla., and Sylacauga, Ala., production facilities have been in operation for several months now allowing us to build our inventory,” Dickson says. “And, we look to have our Brenham facility back in operation soon. We want to make sure that we can properly service each account with an adequate supply of products before moving to the next phase.”

For now, Blue Bell is producing five flavors of ice cream— Buttered Pecan, Cookies ’n Cream, Dutch Chocolate, Homemade Vanilla and The Great Divide—in the half-gallon and pint-sizes. More flavors will be added in the future. 12-pack Homemade Vanilla Cups and 12-pack Homemade Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate Cups are also available in stores.

In April, Blue Bell issued a voluntary recall of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks and shut down operations due to the potential of being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.