1. Renovation Station
It officially opened for business on May 5, 1978 from an old converted gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Though sadly there’s no colossal ice cream cone-shaped shrine memorializing our former birthplace, there is a lovely plaque on the road commemorating the historic site.
2. It was a hole, cosmetically speaking.
Though fumes of petroleum were no longer wafting through the air, there was certainly still a ‘rustic’ feeling about the place; one might call it ‘Gasoline Chic.’ When Ben & Jerry first moved in, there wasn’t any heating, a four-inch layer of ice covered the floor, the ceilings weren’t dry walled, water seeped down from the roof and junk was strewn everywhere. But alas, amongst the bedraggled chaos, there was ice cream making! There was always always ice cream making!
3. DIY ruled.
Whether hoisting up stud walls or building work tables out of whatever cheap lumber they could get their sticky hands on, they took the term Do-It-Yourself to impressive levels. It was all homemade signs, homemade installations, homemade ice cream and homemade FUN.
4. Would You Like Some Tunes with That?
A local Burlington chap named Don Rose used to swing by and flex his fingers on a salvaged piano in the shop. He became a regular fixture at Ben & Jerry’s, and when he wasn’t found working his shift at the local IBM plant, he was captivating cone-in-hand customers with his smooth sounds.
5. It's Been About The People From the Beginning
Despite these humble beginnings, there were always ice cream loving fans lined up to taste our flavourful chunks and swirls, and 40 years later, there still are! Which leads us to the only conclusion possible, which is that while amateur woodworking doesn’t last forever, great ice cream definitely does.