I am kind, sort of – oh, screw it – TOTALLY in love with Ben & Jerry’s. Being a Vermont girl, I take a lot of pride that the coolest ice cream company hails from my home state. In honor of Ben & Jerry’s upcoming Free Cone Day on April 9 (seriously, mark your calendars), here is a bunch of cool facts, trivia and just reasons why Ben & Jerry’s is the best.
Free Cone Day:
Once a year, Ben & Jerry’s gives away free cones of ice cream. FREE! They’ve been doing this since 1979 as a way to give back to the fans. I lived near a handful of Ben & Jerry’s so it was very strategic to figure out where we would go after school on Free Cone Day to avoid the long lines and get our delicious scoops.
— Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) March 20, 2013
They Love The Fans:
Besides Free Cone Day love, here’s another example. If you’re creative and love Ben & Jerry’s, check out this contest they are holding to design a new shirt based on your fave flavor. Hmmm, I need because my Cherry Garcia shirt is super old… You can win $1000, but more importantly, a whole year’s worth of free pints of ice cream!
They Even Love The Haters:
Recently they invited a group of unsatisfied customers come to the factory for an exclusive tour and feedback session. Basically, even the haters are now probably fans.
Ben & Jerry are kind of like honorary celebrities. Here they are in Aquamarine…
… and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
It’s not just fictional characters, but real-life celebs who love Ben & Jerrys. Robert Pattinson enjoyed some with Jon Stewart admidst all the Kristen Stewart cheating drama.
And here’s Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights with some at an event for ONE, an organization addressing poverty that Ben & Jerry’s has worked with.
Speaking of that activism, Ben & Jerry’s is super into giving back to the community. One example is the PartnerShop Program, which are Ben & Jerry shops run by non-profits to give employment opportunities to those who might otherwise have trouble getting a job. Truly sweet, right?
They also are big social issues supporters. They actually temporarily changed the name of their popular “Chubby Hubby” ice cream to “Hubby Hubby” to celebrate when Vermont legalized gay marriage in 2009.
Speaking of products names, their flavors just have the BEST names. THE BEST! My favorite? Gotta be Chunky Monkey. If you’re lucky, they’ll even name a flavor after you. Like Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream.
Or Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road.
They also inspires a lot of creative people to design pints of their own fake knock-off flavors, like Twi-Bite Breaking Danishes (sadly, not real).
It’s not only the flavor names that are creative. Know how you can buy Ben & Jerry’s in ice cream bar form? Well, those have a very specific name: Peace Pops!
Also, on the Ben & Jerry’s you will find something known as the “Vermonster.” Not only is that a clever pun, but it is TWENTY scoops of ice cream and a whole smattering of toppings. It comes in a tub. I have only attempted eating this once in my life, and it was with like 8 other people at a birthday party. Should I try for round 2?
The Back Story:
Okay, so this is all the cool stuff you may see in stores and in movies, but did you know Ben & Jerry are actual real guys? They were long-time friends who took an ice cream correspondence course (aka through the mail) and opened up a shop in Burlington, VT back in 1978. Below meet Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, founders of the ice cream company.
The factory is located in Waterbury, VT and you can go on tours and see how it all gets made AND a free sample! My favorite part of the factory though? Flavor Graveyard is a real place at the factory where there are tombstones for old flavors. It’s pretty magical.
At the factory, you can also see the “Cowmobile.” Back in the ’80s, they were driving cross-country with ice cream in the Cowmobile, but it ended up burning (uh oh!). But here is the Cowmobile that’s there now on view.
In addition Free Cone Day, they’ve also given ice cream away for a very different reason. In 1983, they supplied the ice cream (ten tons!) for someone to get the world record for the largest sundae in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The most important reason to love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? I obviously love it.
Do you love Ben & Jerry’s too? Will you be celebrating Free Cone Day on April 9? What’s your favorite flavor? Do you think there is a better ice cream brand out there? Tell me in the comments!