Wells Enterprises Inc., maker of Blue Bunny Ice Cream, is buying a former ice cream plant in Henderson and hiring more than 250 of the facility’s employees.
The Le Mars, Iowa-based ice cream manufacturer announced Tuesday that it is purchasing the nearly 200,000-square-foot Unilever facility at 1001 Olsen St. for an undisclosed sum, in a deal set to close this month.
It will be Wells Enterprises’ first manufacturing plant in Nevada.
“We’re excited to have over 250 employees of the Henderson facility join Wells,” Wells Enterprises CEO and President Mike Wells said in a release. “The facility provides an even larger platform for growth while positioning us to better serve our customers.”
Unilever announced in June it would be closing its ice cream manufacturing facility in Henderson at the end of August, leaving about 300 employees without jobs. At the time, the household and consumer goods giant said it would transfer production to its factories in Missouri, Tennessee and Vermont.
The Henderson plant made frozen treats by brands such as Ben and Jerry’s, Magnum, Popsicle, Good Humor and Klondike.
Wells Enterprises’ Director of Communications Lesley Bartholomew said the acquisition bolsters the company’s growth plans.
“This purchase expands our current manufacturing capacity and diversifies our ability to support customers geographically to help meet future demand and adds an important footprint in the West,” she said.
Since the deal has not yet closed, an opening date for the plant has not been set, Bartholomew said.
Wells Enterprises retained about 90 percent of Unilever’s Henderson workforce.
Bartholomew said the company is beginning “a thorough assessment of the plant to evaluate resources” and determine if it will need to make additional hires.
The manufacturer has more than 4,000 employees with two manufacturing plants in Le Mars, Iowa, as well as one in Dunkirk, New York, and one in Lakewood, New Jersey.
In addition to its private label and co-pack business, Wells makes the brands Bomb Pop, Blue Ribbon Classics and Chilly Cow.
The family-owned company was founded in 1913.