from their Website & Wikipedia.com 8/13 compiled by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Overview. From a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont, to far-off places with names we sometimes mis-pronounce, what began over 35 years ago (1978) with 2 guys creating wild Ice Cream flavors has turned into a taste bud-boggling odyssey of Ben & Jerry’s desserts served around the world. As for the 2 guys who started it all, their story starts way before that.
Early Friendship. Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield grew up in Merrick, Long Island, NY. They first met in Junior High School, where they struck up a lasting friendship. Jerry finished college but couldn’t get into any Med schools; Ben got into several colleges, but dropped out of every one of them – bored. They realized they weren’t getting anywhere doing what they were doing. But they knew they had to do something, so they decided to start their own business.
What do we like? Neither of them knew anything about starting a business. But they knew a lot about eating – especially Ice ream – so it made sense (to them, anyway) to open an ice cream shop. (Old expression: “Do what you love & the $$ will follow”. Wiz4biz) Soooo, after splitting the cost of a $5 Correspondence Course on Ice cream-Making from Penn State University, they combined their $8000 life savings with a $4000 bank loan, leased an old gas station building in Burlington, Vermont, and opened for business in 1978.
Early beginnings. Using an old-fashioned ice cream Maker, they began churning out all the rich & creamy, “funky & chunky” ice cream flavors they’d always dreamed about – flavors loaded with all their favorite chunks of fruits, nuts, candies, cookies etc. Soon there were long lines stretching out the door of the old gas station, as more & more folks clamored for a taste of Ben & Jerry’s wild flavor creations. Their ice cream was such a hit, it wasn’t long before they began selling it to local Restaurants, then “mom & pop Grocery stores, then Supermarkets throughout Vermont & beyond. Way beyond. all over the world.
Step-by-Step Growth. In 1979, they marked their 1st anniversary by holding the first-ever “Free Cone” day, now an international annual celebration. In 1980, Ben and Jerry rented space in an Thread mill [which wasn’t totally “thread-bare”], in Burlington and began packing their ice cream in pints. In 1981, the first Ben and Jerry’s franchise opened on a neighboring city in Vermont. In 1983, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was used to build “the world’s largest Ice Cream sundae”, that sundae weighed 27,102 #s. That got them a lot of free Publicity & into the Guiness book of Records.
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