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Blue Bell Ice Cream to open new facility in Ashland in 2019

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Blue Bell Ice Cream is returning to the Richmond-area and will open a new distribution facility in Ashland in 2019.

The ice cream company announced on Friday that the 14,000 sq. ft. center will employ up to 20 employees and serve cities within a 70 mile-radius.

Construction will begin this year, according to the company. The facility will include cold storage space with loading docks, fleet parking and administrative offices. The company will release more information on employment once the positions become available.

“We still have many months before our products return to stores. But, we wanted to share this exciting news with our fans today,” said Wayne Hugo, vice president of sales and marketing for Blue Bell. “We can’t thank our customers enough for their patience while we work to get back to Richmond and the surrounding areas.”

The ice cream is currently available in only parts of 22 states.

“We are excited to share our great-tasting products with more people across the state,” Hugo said.

The Company will also open a distribution facility in Suffolk later this year.

Blue Bell closed its local distribution center in 2015 along with dozens of others across the country, when the company shut down sales over listeria contamination.

WTVR Intern Nia Tariq wrote this article.