One of the best things about a hot Arkansas summer is a chilly bowl of Yarnell’s Premium Ice Cream. After this one, summers just won’t be the same.
The Searcy-based company announced on Thursday that it is giving up the business, ending the private company’s more than 75-years of operations. Some 200 employees will be left without work.
CEO Christina Yarnell said that regional manufacturers such as Yarnell’s have suffered through an extremely tough year, and despite to maintain the operation, ultimately the decision was made to close the firm. Yarnell said the company had considered finding investors or selling the firm in order to preserve the brand and the employment opportunities, but the efforts proved unproductive.
Most employees will be dismissed immediately, with a skeleton crew kept on to finalize the shutdown, which is expected to be completed by August 27. Most employees are located at the Searcy plant, with other staffers in Tennessee and Mississippi.
The ice cream firm was founded by fourth-generation operator Christina Yarnell’s great-grandfather Ray Yarnell in 1932, when he bought the Grisham Angel Food Ice Cream Company and renamed it.