day 9
ben & jerry's factory tour!

Q: Why does a standard milking stool have only three legs?
A: Because the cow's got the udder!
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About Ben & Jerry:
Owners: Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield
Business Started: 1978
Cost of Diploma: $5
From: A Mail-In Correspondence Course on Ice Cream Making
First Location: Burlington
Flavours: 30 to 40
#1 Flavour: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Claim to Fame: Besides being Vermont's Finest Ice Cream, Ben & Jerry's has a three-part mission statement, giving equal weight to excellence in product quality, economic success, and social responsibility.

Every business should be run this way.

Gourd of the Day
Contents of a "Vermonster":
- 20 scoops of ice cream or frozen yogurt
- 4 bananas
- 4 ladles of hot fudge
- 3 chocolate chip cookies
- 1 fudgy brownie
- 10 scoops of chopped walnuts
- 2 scoops of 4 toppings, your choice
- topped with real whipped cream
- served in a friggin' bucket

...for only $29.99!

Ben & Aimee & Jerry & Kev & Mel
Sept 4 - I must say, I certainly didn't feel this good when I was finished the New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell tour.

What an amazing company! We were so solidly impressed by everything we saw and heard during the Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour. Even the parking lot was fun, from the sign that says "Yo! Please go slow!" to the friendliest cigarette butt picker-upper guy I've ever met. He also turned out to be our tour guide, and he's the gentleman that snapped the lovely photo above. I'm so mad that I can't remember his name. It was something like Carleton, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't it. It was 8 letters, starts with C. He's in that picture with Aimee at the bottom, second one over, in front of the Wheel o' Surprises. Please, Mr. Tour Guide, send us an email so we can put your name on the site. We want you to get a raise out of this (or at least, we can put a good word in for you at Krispy Kreme).

Top Ten Selling B&J Flavours:
1. Cherry Garcia
2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
3. Chocolate Fudge Brownie
4. Phish Food
5. New York Super Fudge Chunk
6. Chunky Monkey
7. Cherry Garcia Frozen Yogurt
8. 2Twisted Half Baked
9. World's Best Vanilla
10. Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt

Aim and Kev took a very fond liking to Apple Crumble: Brown Sugar Ice Cream, Cinnamon Streusel, Apples & a Caramel Swirl. Yuummmmmy!
The tour started off with a mooooovie (his joke, not mine, but what the hell, it's probably in his contract) and a visit to the Super Dooper Ooper Top Secret Factory Floor where no photos were allowed, in case you were a spy from Haagen Dazs wanting to steal the Colonel's Recipe for Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch. However, since I have a photographic memory, I will be selling copies of my hand drawn reproduction for a mere $50 apiece.

But on a serious note, the way they run the company is incredible. Ben and Jerry sound like a couple of great guys that just want to make ice cream. They probably run whatever MBA business development guys they have up the wall with their crazy, seemingly profit-losing ideas, and drive them up the opposite wall when they find out it works. For instance, the Something Something Ice Cream Makers Association of America states that an ice cream can be up to 50% air, and still technically be called ice cream. Ben and Jerry skimp on the air, a mere 17%, so the product is richer. They have bigger chunks of chocolate, cookie, fruit. They give away free cones once a year. They give free cones to mothers on Mother's Day. Every employee of B&J is allowed to take home 3 pints A DAY.

They are environmentally conscious and socially conscious. They're big supporters of Kaboom!, a non profit organization that builds playgrounds for kids. All of their packaging is on recycled, unbleached paper. The milk they use are from small local farmers, and they pay a premium to farmers who don't use rBGH (a growth hormone that is supposed to make cows produce more milk, but usually just ends up making them sick). The tickets for the tours are recycled, not ripped, or else they'd go through something like 300,000 of them a year.

Kevin and Aimee suggest a new flavour of Ben & Jerry's...

Maine Blueberries, Georgian Peaches and Washington Cherries, in Vermont Ice Cream with a Florida Orange Swirl

Tell Ben & Jerry!
As a final note, they actually listen to their customers. For example, the flavour "Chubby Hubby" came out of a practical joke someone was playing on a co-worker. And here's the best part, they've got a suggestion box on their site! Tell Ben and Jerry about our new ice cream flavour... Roadtrippin'!

Until tomorrow... peace out.

a virtual factory tour...

Even the bathrooms are fun!

Spin the Wheel O' Surprises!

Many would kill for this job (B&J QA)

From the Flavour Graveyard
more photos in the archive...

We've got mail...

Greetings from Ben & Jerry's! Your notes from the road are making the rounds here and gotta say Thanks! for all the nice things you had to say about your visit to our factory tour. Of course, we're all trying to figure out who Carleton or myth? Must get to the bottom of this...anyway, you're truly living the american dream (kinda like ben and jerry...) keep on truckin!
- Chrystie, Director of PR
Ben & Jerry's

Drop us a note!

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Waterbury, VT

Next Stop: Albany, NY

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Sunny with Creamy Cloud Swirls

Daily Stats
Tour:$2.00 ea
Length of Tour:30min
Free Samples:2

Sleeping Quarters
Woodford State Park

Site 66. Despite the cold (my toes still haven't thawed), and despite the lack of sleep as a result, we've gotta give this park a great rating, thanks to Dominick. He's da man!

Cost: $14.00

Near Waterbury
Both:Western Omelette Breakfast Burritos
Ben & Jerry's Factory
Near Waterbury
Shared:Pint of Apple Crumble Ice Cream
Woodford S.P.
Both:Western Noodlette

© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. If it's not fun, why do it?