18 Fun Ben & Jerry’s Firsts

14th November, 2016

We all remember our first love, our first pet, and the first time we ever ordered a hot-fudge-drenched cup of Ben & Jerry’s at our local Scoop Shop, right? Ah, memories.

Well, we remember our firsts too. And if you hurry, you might be the first of your friends to read this list of fun firsts from our long and delicious history.

  • First President

    Jerry. Since Ben got first billing in the company’s name, Jerry was appointed first company president.

  • First Scoop Shop

    Opened in a renovated petrol station in Burlington, Vermont, 5th May, 1978. It was eventually torn down to make way for a carpark—but a plaque on the road side commemorates the historic site.

  • First Franchised Shop

    Just down the road from our first shop, in Shelburne, Vermont, 1981.

  • First Flavour

    Vanilla. Making a rich, delicious, memorable vanilla is harder than you think! We figured that if we got that right, we could handle anything.

  • First Hit Flavour

    Mint Oreo Cookie. Peppermint ice cream plus Oreo cookie pieces (that Ben and Jerry crushed into chunks with a hammer).

  • First Failed Flavours

    Lemon Peppermint Carob Chip and Honey Apple Raisin Oreo. Um… yum?

  • First (and only?) Scoop Shop Piano Player

    Don Rose. You’d often find him playing a salvaged player piano at the original Scoop Shop when he wasn’t working his shift at the local IBM plant.

  • First Delivery Truck

    Before there was the iconic Ben & Jerry’s cow you know today, this goofy cartoon cow graced our delivery trucks. Jerry and Ben never thought it was quite right.

  • First Company Slogan

    “Lick it.” Just imagine if Ben and Jerry decided to stick with this instead of eventually settling on “Vermont’s Finest”…

  • First Free Cone Day

    5th May, 1979, on the one-year anniversary of our first shop. Ben and Jerry could hardly believe they stayed in business that long, so they wanted to say thanks in the most wonderful way they knew how.

  • First Ben & Jerry’s Baked Alaska

    Ben and Jerry drove their “Cowmobile” (a converted RV) across the country in 1986, handing out free ice cream. Everything went great, until it caught on fire outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Ben said it looked like “the world’s largest Baked Alaska.”

  • First Place Ben & Jerry’s Could Be Bought Overseas

    The United Kingdom, 1994. Today you can buy our ice cream in 35 different countries!

  • First Flavour Graveyard in World History (that we know of)

    Sure, there are plenty of graveyards. But we think ours is the only FLAVOUR graveyard in the world. It opened at our Waterbury factory in 1997.

  • First Customer-Suggested Flavour

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, 1984. We’ve always loved our customers. Especially when they give us great ideas like this!

  • First Go for FroYo

    Always looking for the next new and fun thing to try (to make AND eat, because "if it's not fun, why do it!?"), Ben and Jerry introduced frozen yoghurt in Scoop Shops for the first time in 1990.

  • First Sorbet

    Ice cream, frozen yoghurt… and sorbet? Why not? Our sorbets debuted in 1996, with Doonesberry, honoring the long-running Garry Trudeau cartoon, headlining the list of first flavours.

  • First Flavour Named for a Rock Legend

    Cherry Garcia, 1987. It was really the first of our flavours to reference pop culture in any form… but certainly not the last!

  • First “Scandal”

    What’s the Doughboy Afraid Of? 1984. That was when we squared off against Pillsbury (then-owner of Häagen-Dazs)—and won!