by Max Brantley
I'm checking out. And I'm leaving it to the public, without another word.
* YARNELL'S NEWS: A limited news release has arrived from the company that bought Yarnell's ice cream assets about hopes to restart ice cream manufacturing. Read it on the jump.
* NO HELP FOR COLLEGES: The state Higher Education Coordinating Board recommended $63 million more state support for state colleges next year. Gov. Mike Beebe said, in essence, keep dreaming. Money is tight. You know what this means. More tuition increases and a declining value of state scholarship help.
Schulze & Burch Biscuit Co., a Chicago-based wholesome snack manufacturer with a plant in Searcy, has purchased the former Searcy-based Yarnell Ice Cream Company plant, equipment and intellectual property including trade names and formulas.
Schulze & Burch purchased Yarnell’s assets in an auction held by the bankruptcy trustee this week for approximately $1.3 million. The company has closed on the deal pending final approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Once the transaction is final, Schulze & Burch plans to make more announcements on its’ future plans for the Yarnell plant and products.
“We are excited about the opportunity ahead of us to bring a beloved Arkansas brand back to the market,” said Kevin Boyle, president and chief executive officer. “There were several factors in our interest in Yarnell’s. First, our experience with the workforce in Searcy has been great. We are very proud of our Searcy Operation employees. Second, the Yarnell’s brand has an excellent reputation and is truly an Arkansas icon. We have also heard that some of the former key employees may be interested in returning to the operation.
“There’s no doubt the Yarnell plant is a top notch manufacturing facility,” Boyle said. “The plant was properly decommissioned by loyal former employees, and the vital equipment well maintained during its shutdown.”
Although it’s been almost 50 years since Schulze & Burch has produced an ice cream product, the company is no stranger to the food industry. For more than 85 years, the company has been a privately held manufacturer of quality, wholesome snacks. Schulze & Burch has more than 45 years’ experience in contract manufacturing and more than 40 years’ experience in private label.
“Once the transaction is finalized, we will request to meet with retailers and determine their interest in restocking Yarnell products,” Boyle said. He hopes retailers and consumers are willing to give Yarnell’s Ice Cream a second chance, Boyle said.
“We would like to thank the City of Searcy, the Arkansas Economic Development Corporation and the Searcy Chamber of Commerce for their dedication to finding a good fit for the plant and bringing back an Arkansas tradition.”
About Schulze & Burch Biscuit Co.
Schulze & Burch Biscuit Co., based in Chicago, has been manufacturing quality baked goods since 1923. The company is recognized as a pioneer and innovator in baking technology. The company processes and packages toaster pastries, granola bars, formed bars, cookies/crackers and cereals. Schulze & Burch has a full-service research and development lab, which can assist or lead in the development of new products, from concept to bench top and from bench top to production. The company’s Food Technology and Development Center is a one-of-a-kind pilot plant available for testing, sampling and initial production needs. For more information, visit www.schulzeburch.com.