Bride’s Cake ice cream; it’s kind of an obsession of mine, but I know I’m not alone.
Hundreds of other New Orleanians are in this with me, posting their victories in the form of gold-topped Blue Bell cartons by the half-gallon on social media.
“I think it’s so rare because it’s so good.”
My first taste of heaven had to be driven in from out of town because it’s so hard to come by in the city.
A coworker’s husband had to drive in from Texas because we couldn’t find it here. Not only did I get a container, but two more people at the station asked him to drive half-gallons of ice cream gold 300+ miles just so we could have it.
“Well my husband who’s from Texas says, ‘You know, Blue Bell is made in Texas, and I’m going to be going over there for golf, and I can get you some,’” said Ashley Rodrigue, WWL-TV’s Northshore Bureau Chief. “And I’m like, get me four.”
Yes, it’s that serious.
"When it first came out I was selling pints for $13."
“It’s an experience,” said Chase Cassine, self-proclaimed Bride’s Cake ice cream connoisseur. “I think it’s so rare because it’s so good.” Cassine said friends know he loves the ice cream so much, they tell him when they’ve seen it in store.
“It’s like a hunt, and I just get excited,” he said. “It’s like Chase is on the case, I’ve got to get it.”
Whenever one of my friends posts their prized half gallon on social media, you can bet all the comments ask “WHERE?!” Stores sell out of stock in hours. The demand is so high, some retailers have raised the price to $25 a half-gallon and still sell out in hours.
“It’s crazy, I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Phil Bradley, owner of Abracadabra Snowballs, which also is a Blue Bell retailer. “When it first came out, I was selling pints for $13 a pint. We sold three cases in two hours.”
How come “almond flavored ice cream with cake pieces and amaretto flavored cream cheese icing” be causing such a frenzy? (Your mouth watered just reading that, right?) Why is it so hard to find?
"I can pretty much tell you, it's out in this market."
No more searching around town for me. I went straight to Blue Bell’s Distribution Center in Slidell to find out. Surely, the place that packs the trucks will have some, right?
“Unfortunately, what’s ended up happening is that all of the allocation we’ve made as a production facility is gone,” said Ron Davis, branch manager of New Orleans’ Blue Bell distribution center.
That’s right. It’s gone.
“We got our last delivery of it last week,” he continued. “I can pretty much tell you, it’s out in this market.”
I’m crushed. How did this happen? Is this limited edition?
Davis says new flavors are planned for the year before. Blue Bell then makes an estimation of how much of the ingredients they’ll need for three months worth of product, and order exactly that amount.
“We probably went through our three month supply in a little over a month,” he explained. “I’ve been with the company for 36 years, and this by far is the wildest new flavor release we’ve ever done.”
Davis said they haven’t done anything different with Bride’s Cake than any other new release like it’s counterpart Groom’s Cake, a chocolate-based ice cream released on the same day. They just can’t keep it on the shelves. They’ve even diverted shipments from other markets to feed the city’s hunger for the flavor. All of Blue Bell’s last run of Bride’s Cake came to the New Orleans area, Davis said.
So, when can we expect more?
“We’ll get it back as soon as we can,” Davis said. “Believe me, our corporate office is hearing the response on it, and it will be back, hopefully sooner than later. But I know it’s probably going to be the 2018 production schedule that we’ll get that back.”
That’s right, 2018.
“It’s like a gold nugget,” David said. “So if you’ve got it in your freezer now, enjoy it spoonful by spoonful because you won’t be able to find anymore.”