They Don’t Call It The Ice Cream Capital of the World For Nothing
I was in LeMars, Iowa recently and just in case you didn't know, it's The Ice Cream Capital of the World. Yup, the world! Thanks to Wells Blue Bunny being headquartered there. LeMars is about an hour and half southeast of Sioux Falls.
According to Wikipedia, Wells started as a milk delivery business. "Fred H. Wells Jr. opened a milk route in 1913 in Le Mars after purchasing a horse, delivery wagon, and a few cans and jars for $250 from local dairy farmer Ray Bowers. Around 1925, Wells and his sons began manufacturing ice cream and selling it in neighboring Iowa towns: Remsen, Alton and Sioux City. In 1928 Fairmont Ice Cream purchased the ice cream distribution system in Sioux City along with the right to use the Wells name."
After college, I actually lived in LeMars for about a year. It was a good time. I mean living somewhere with that much ice cream can't be bad, right?
It wasn't until 1935 that the name Blue Bunny came about. Wikipedia explains:
...they decided to hold a “Name That Ice Cream” contest in the Sioux City Journal. A Sioux City man won the $25 cash prize for the winning entry of “Blue Bunny” after noticing how much his son enjoyed the blue bunnies in a department store window at Easter.
Bet he wishes it would have gotten more than $25.
It wouldn't be a trip to LeMars without a stop at the ice cream parlor! And the ice cream parlor doubles as a museum to learn the history of Wells.