Saturday, September 5, 2015

Lessons from Blue Bell

The Brenham Creamery Company began in 1907 as a coop for the farmers in Washington County to make butter from excess amounts of cream.  In 1911, they began producing ice cream and in 1930 took on the name Blue Bell Creamery, after a local native Texas wildflower.  At first they produced 2 gallons of ice cream a day in wooden tubs full of ice.  E. F. Kruse took over as general manager in 1911 and it has been a family business ever since.  Blue Bell continues to depend on local farmers for the raw materials for the ice cream and frozen treats that are produced at their creameries in Brenham, Texas; Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and Sylacauga, Alabama.  Their ice cream and frozen treats are now sold in 23 states.

In April of 2015, Blue Bell Creameries recalled all of its products and stopped the production of ice cream, after its ice cream was linked to 10 cases of listeriosis.  Due to the length of time for the inspections, shareholders were notified that Blue Bell might have to close and 37% of the employees were laid off.  Since then, the company has been diligent about inspecting the facilities, evaluating what needs to be changed and fixed,
setting up safeguards to prevent future problems with contamination, changing procedures, and training employees.   Chief executive Paul Kruse announced that Sid Bass, from Fort Worth, had made a large investment in the creameries and that “The additional capital will ensure the successful return of our ice cream to the market and our loyal customers.”

With much anticipation and excitement, on August 31, Blue Bell ice cream was once again for sale in grocery stores in Brenham, Houston, and Austin, Texas as well as Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama.  Hopefully, the plants in Oklahoma and Texas will be back in production soon so that workers will once again be employed and even more people have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite ice cream and frozen desserts.

Lessons from Blue Bell:  

* Don’t waste mistakes.  Correct and learn from them.
* When you have one chance to make things right, it may cost you extended time and money.
* It is worth having a quality product that is missed when it is out of stock or production.
* It is important to listen to and get help from experts and then make application.
* A reputation for quality helps instill trust.
* When things are not going as expected, it’s good to have people who believe in you, cheer you on, and offer to help.
* It’s important to look for ways to encourage and help others be successful.
* It is good to rejoice with and for people who successfully make a comeback for a product, even if you can no longer eat it.
* We each have our own “Ice cream dilemmas” in life and a choice of how we respond to making them right.
* Who you trust to help and guide you makes a huge difference.
* Never give up.
* Live a life worthy of being celebrated when you are present and missed when you are away or gone.

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

But those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:2

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Romans 12:15