05 May, 2016
Happy birthday to us! Today marks Ben & Jerry's 38th birthday, and while we'd like to celebrate by eating 38 tubs of ice cream, our bellies would probably prefer that we find another way to show our excitement. So, we thought we'd dig up 38 weird, random, totally unnecessary fun facts about Ben & Jerry's to share. Maybe have a spoonful of Cookie Dough for each one, in our honor:
- Jerry was the first CEO of the company, so they compromised by putting Ben’s name first in “Ben & Jerry’s”.
- Ben & Jerry’s was going to be a bagel company, but Ben and Jerry found the bagel-making equipment to be too pricey. Their plan was to deliver bagels, lox, cream cheese and the New York Times on Sunday mornings.
- Each employee gets 3 tubs of delicious Ben & Jerry’s goodness a day.
- Dastardly Mash was the only flavor ever to contain raisins.
- We have a graveyard where we bury our discontinued flavours. There are over 300 flavours that have been sent to the graveyard.
- Founders Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield met in 7th grade gym class in Long Island in 1963. They were the two slowest kids in class.
- Ben and Jerry moved to Vermont and completed a $5 correspondence course in ice cream-making from Penn State. They get a perfect score because the test was open book.
- The first flavour ever created by Ben and Jerry was Vanilla. Gasp!
- There is a tree house and a slide in the Vermont Ben & Jerry’s offices – both are used often.
- We created Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough after a fan anonymously suggested it at our first Scoop Shop. It’s since become an ice cream legend.
- All of the meeting rooms at Ben & Jerry’s headquarters are named after ice cream flavours.
- Ben & Jerry’s has two hot air balloons that they break out on special occasions. One is shaped like a Cherry Garcia ice cream cone and is almost 100 ft. high.
- The summer after their freshman year of college, Ben Cohen drove an ice cream truck, and Jerry parked cars at the local beach.
- The first Ben & Jerry’s location in Vermont was a renovated gas station, where they shared space with a local farmer who sold produce.
- Ben wanted to call the business “Josephine’s Flying Machine”, but Jerry didn’t like it.
- The first tubs were Oreo Mint, French Vanilla, Chocolate Fudge, Wild Blueberry, Mocha Walnut, Maple Walnut, Honey Coffee and Honey Orange.
- Unfortunately, none of the original 8 flavours have survived.
- There’s a Scoop Shop that sits on stilts in Bannister’s Wharf, Newport, USA.
- Canada was the first country outside the US to celebrate Free Cone Day.
- Ben & Jerry’s headquarters are dog friendly, and many employees bring their pups to work.
- Worldwide, our most popular flavour is Cookie Dough.
- Ben used to drop boxes of toffee from the top of a ladder to break them up to use in Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.
- In 1986, Ben and Jerry got into their “Cowmobile” and drove across the United States, handing out free Ben & Jerry's. Sadly, it burned to the ground on the way home. Ben said it looked like a giant Baked Alaska!
- This year, PETA gave Ben & Jerry’s their annual Proggy award in recognition of the new vegan Non-Dairy line.
- Each waffle cone has an average of 259 little squares. Why so many? The textured surface holds more ice cream than a smooth surface.
- When Ben & Jerry’s first started, we sold soup, crepes, and pottery alongside the now-famous ice cream.
- Bourbon Pecan Pie can only be found in the state of Texas.
- The machinery we use to create our Cores flavours is based on a German sausage maker.
- Including ice cream, light ice cream, low fat ice cream, no sugar added ice cream, Carb Karma, Greek and regular frozen yogurt, there have been 43 flavours with ‘Vanilla’ in the name.
- We have Flavour Labs at our Waterbury, VT factory and at the Scoop Shop in Tokyo, Japan, where we create wild new flavours every week.
- Chocolate Therapy and Oatmeal Cookie Chunk are the only Limited Batches we’ve ever made into full-time flavours.
- Speaking of Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, we’re pretty sure it’s our most-missed flavour. Maybe.
- The first Free Cone Day was in 1979 and was the founders’ way of thanking their customers for helping them get through their first year.
- The cow you see on Ben & Jerry’s packages is named Woody, after Woody Jackson, the artist who designed him in 1983.
- We were the first ice cream company in the world to make Cores, pints of ice cream with a thick core of something euphorically awesome (like caramel or brownie batter) in the middle.
- Since the late 1980’s, we’ve gotten all our delicious, fudgy brownie chunks from Greyston Bakery, a social mission-led bakery in Yonkers, NY that employs folks who have faced barriers to employment.
- 100% of the profits from Greyston Bakery benefit the Yonkers, NY community, and we are proud to be a part of it.
- This year, we handed out over 1 million free scoops of ice cream on Free Cone Day. Woohoo!
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