I’m sure we all remember those long, hot summers when we were kids and all we wanted to do was get an ice cream cone and try to eat it before it all came melting down our hands. Thanks to Ben & Jerry’s fun flavors and Free Cone Days, our ice cream adventures were even sweeter. Check out these facts that’ll make you scream for some ice cream.
1. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were childhood friends
Ben and Jerry were born just four days apart in 1951 in Brooklyn, New York. They became best friends in the 7th grade and grew up together loving ice cream.
2. Ben dropped out of college to teach pottery
After attending a few different colleges, Ben Cohen dropped out to teach pottery on a farm. This is also when he started forming an interest in ice cream making.
3. Jerry wanted to go to medical school
Jerry attended Oberlin College and worked as a lab technician after graduating. He wanted to go to medical school but did not have any luck getting accepted.
4. Ben and Jerry almost started a bagel business
That’s right, it was almost Ben & Jerry’s Bagels. After college, Ben and Jerry decided they wanted to start a food business together and their first choice was bagels. However they soon discovered that would be too expensive for them and they settled on ice cream.
5. They took a $5 ice cream course
Together they took a $5 ice cream making course at Penn State in the 1970s.
6. They bought an old gas station for their first store
They bought an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont, and converted it into their first ice cream store. The store opened in 1978.
7. The first Free Cone Day was in 1979
In 1979, Ben & Jerry’s held the first Free Cone Day to celebrate their store’s one year anniversary.
8. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was used for the largest sundae
In 1983, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was used to create the world’s largest ice cream sundae in St. Albans, Vermont. The sundae weighed 27,102 pounds.
9. Ronald Reagan loved Ben & Jerry’s too
President Ronald Reagan deemed Ben and Jerry the U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year in 1988. By the end of the year, they had stores in 18 states.
10. Ben and Jerry made a movie
They made a documentary, Citizen Cool, about people who make an impact in their communities. They even made a new ice cream flavor to accompany the new release, Concession Obsession.
11. There’s a graveyard for ice cream flavors no longer used
There’s a graveyard outside of the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont that has a headstone for every retired or failed ice cream flavor. That’s a graveyard I wouldn’t mind having nightmares about. Find out which retired flavor you are by taking this quiz.
12. Ben and Jerry were arrested in 2016
In April 2016, Ben and Jerry were arrested for during the Democracy Awakening’s protest near the US Capitol Building. Check out their story here.