Wells, Jolly Time, Aalfs – 100+ years old







The August 2014 publication of the Business Record Iowa, in partnership with Iowa Association of Business and Industry, had an article on 100+ year old companies founded in Iowa and how they have withstood the test of time.

Thompson Electric is proud to be associated with 3 of these firms in the Siouxland area by providing our expertise on their new expansion projects and also providing them with quality service work.  The 3 companies are Wells Enterprise (Wells Blue Bunny), Jolly Time Popcorn and Aalfs Manufacturing.  Thompson Electric is currently working on a variety of projects with Wells Enterprises and Jolly Time Popcorn.

Wells Enterprises in Le Mars, was founded in 1913 under the original name of Wells Dairy.  In 1935, the Wells family ran a “Name That Ice Cream” contest in the Sioux City Journal.  A Sioux City man won the $25 cash prize for submitting the winning entry, “Blue Bunny”.  Today, Wells produces more than 150 million gallons of ice cream per year and distributes products in all 50 states.

Jolly Time is celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2014.  Jolly Time was founded in Sioux City, where Cloid Smith and his son Howard, hand-shelled popcorn in the basement of their home.  Cloid Smith pioneered the U.S. popcorn industry, starting with sales to small grocers and street-cart popcorn vendors.  “Our company’s products have carried the Good Housekeeping Seal since 1925, longer than any other food product,” said Garry Smith, Jolly Time President.

Aalfs Manufacturing roots can be traced back to 1892 in Sioux City.  Today they produce denim and twill for J.C. Penney Co., Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Polo Ralph Lauren, Harley Davidson, Target Corporation and other clients.  In the early 1990’s, changing economic conditions prompted Aalfs to expand and move their production facilities, but still maintain their corporate offices in Sioux City.

Congratulations to Wells Enterprises, Jolly Time Popcorn and Aalfs Manufacturing on your 100 years of business in Iowa and Thompson Electric looks forward to continuing our relationship with each of them for another 100 years.