Ben & Jerry’s: An Ice Cream Story


Today is the birthday of Ben Cohen, one of the co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Here are some things you may not have known about the company and its founders.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield met in gym class when they were seventh-graders in Merrick, New York, in 1963. Cohen went off to college at Colgate, while Greenfield went to Oberlin.

In 1977, the pair reunited and decided to go into business together. They originally planned to start a bagel business, but decided on ice cream because the start-up costs were lower. They set out to find a college town with a warm climate in which to set up shop. They discovered that every warm-weather college town already had an ice cream shop and settled on Burlington, Vermont, instead.

Their first location opened in a former gas station on May 5, 1978 and had a successful summer. Winter was a different story. On their first anniversary they celebrated with a free cone day, which is now an annual event at their locations around the world.

In 1980, the duo began selling pints of packaged ice cream in stores and restaurants throughout the region.

Perhaps the most noticeable characteristic of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is the texture caused by large chunks of fillings. One of the reasons behind this is that Cohen has anosmia, a lack of a sense of smell and a limited sense of taste. One of their most memorable flavors was introduced in 1987, Cherry Garcia was named after Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia. It consists of cherry ice cream with cherries and fudge flakes.

Another well-known flavor is Chubby Hubby, which was introduced in 1995. It is vanilla malt ice cream rippled with fudge and peanut butter and containing fudge covered peanut butter pretzels.

If you’re really into ice cream, then the Vermonster might be for you. First off, it’s served in a bucket. It contains 20 scoops of ice cream, four bananas, 4 ladles of hot fudge sauce, three chocolate chip cookies, one fudge brownie, 10 scoops of walnuts, two scoops each of any four toppings and whipped cream. The Vermonster checks in at 14,000 calories and 500 grams of fat, and a possible lifetime of insulin dependence.

Our question: Which U.S. late night talk show hosts have their own flavors of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream?

Today is Flag Day in Aruba, Gallipoli Memorial Day in Turkey and Anniversary of the Oil Expropriation in Mexico.

It’s National Biodiesel Day, National Preschool Teachers Appreciation Day and World Sleep Day.

It’s the birthday of former U.S. president Grover Cleveland, former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, and musician and actress Queen Latifah.

This week in 1963, the top song in the U.S. was “Walk Like a Man” by The Four Seasons.

The No. 1 movie was “How the West was Won,” while the novel “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters” by JD Salinger topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.


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