Blue Bunny manufacturer Wells to expand N.Y. facility
Wells Enterprises, the Iowa-based ice cream manufacturing company that produces well-known brands like Blue Bunny, announced plans for the expansion of its Dunkirk, New York manufacturing facility on August 22. The facility would bring more than 200 new jobs to the Dunkirk community. The expansion underscores the company’s commitment to long-term growth and leadership in the ice cream category.
“We are extremely excited to build on the strength of our team in Dunkirk and continue to work with the community to grow and expand our operations here. The investment in Dunkirk illustrates our passion to provide high-quality premium ice cream products that bring joy to consumers around the world. The planned expansion also reinforces our dedication to our team, consumers, and the community as a critical part of the long-term future of our company,” said Liam Killeen, CEO of Wells Enterprises.
The Dunkirk manufacturing facility plays an important role in the company’s expansion plans for its national manufacturing network of its Blue Bunny, Halo Top, Bomb Pop and Blue Ribbon Classics brands. The expansion is anticipated to more than double the facility's current production output and help support the company’s continued plans for growth in novelty and packaged ice cream, while enabling future innovation.
"The planned expansion of the Dunkirk facility follows our team’s continued strong performance over the last several months. That, coupled with the continued growth plan for our brands and the category overall makes expanding our Dunkirk facility the right choice for Wells,” added Mark Meyer, COO of Wells Enterprises. "We are extremely grateful for the partnerships with Empire State Development, Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, and the City of Dunkirk as their support remains critical to take us over the finish line on this incredibly exciting project.”
Construction is planned to begin in the fall of 2023, with official groundbreaking in early 2024. This follows the growth vision highlighted during the December acquisition by the Ferrero Group. Wells Enterprises expects the project, with the necessary approvals and in collaboration with local and state officials, to be operational by late 2025.
Wells is the largest privately held ice cream manufacturer in the United States. Founded in 1913 by Fred H. Wells and run by the Wells family for generations, the company is an independent operating company of the Ferrero Group, one of the global leaders in sweet, packaged foods.
Wells produces more than 200 million gallons of ice cream per year and distributes products in all 50 states. The company employs nearly 4,000 "ice cream aficionados" across the country. It is headquartered in Le Mars, Iowa, where Wells has made Le Mars the “Ice Cream Capital of the World” as the largest manufacturer of ice cream in one location. Wells operates two manufacturing plants in Le Mars, the manufacturing plant in New York, and a third manufacturing facility in Henderson, Nevada.