Food & Beverage

Jun 1, 2015

Softy, tasty, creamy

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield grew up in Long Island. They became friends in high school. After high school, Ben attended several colleges, but he would always end up being expelled.Jerry graduated from college, but could not go to any of the medical faculties. Soon the friends realize that what they were doing, they would not lead anywhere.

Ice cream shop

They then decided to start his own business. Neither one nor the other know how to run a business, but both loved to eat, especially ice cream, and so the idea to open an ice cream shop was born.

The two friends paid five dollars for a correspondence course on making ice cream at the University of Pennsylvania and received the necessary skills they need. They gathered their savings, eight thousand dollars, and taking a bank loan, rented a former gas station in Burlington and on 5 May 1978 their first store opened.

With the help of an old-fashioned freezer they made ice creams, the way themselves had always dreamed of: "gentle and lush", "funny", "stuffed", "with pieces of fruit, nuts, candies and cookies".

The success of Ben and Jerry

Soon there were long lines of customers standing in front of Ben and Jerry's shop. Their ice cream was a real hit. By 1980, Ben & Jerry's ice cream had deliveries to numerous restaurants in Burlington. Ben goods were transported to customers on an old bus and drove past many small grocery stores and shops. This gave them the idea to become a selling point of ice cream.

In 1980, the two friends rented a room in the old coil factory in Burlington and began packaging ice cream in a small cardboard box with their portraits. In 1981, Ben & Jerry's were on the cover of Time, who called their ice cream "the best in the world."

The following year they were selling ice cream outside of Vermont. The first store opened in Portland, then the company started trading in the Boston area, delivering to ice cream shops.

As the business grew Ben and Jerry needed tighter financial control. They hired the owner of one of the local nightclubs, Fred "Chico" Lager, who had experience in accounting, and appointed him their executive director.

Sales have increased so much that for Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield it finally became clear that their small business surpassed the wildest dreams.

Today, the brand is a success story, and an example of integrity in several ways. Striving to produce the finest quality all natural ice cream with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients while engaging and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment. Ben & Jarrey's have made this their mission, while committing to make the world a better place, initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally.


The company chose to support fairtrade, a global movement to make sure small farmers in developing countries can compete and thrive in the global economy. This promotes welfare and guarantees that the origins of the product are verified, and it will mean that the farmers who grew the Fairtrade ingredients received a fair price for their harvest and in return, these farmers agree to take environment into consideration on their farming methods, promote fair working standards, and invest in their communities. 

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