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BEN & JERRY’S – THE MEN BEHIND THE ICE CREAM
Ice cream is a sweet treat that most people like. Although vanilla is the most popular flavor worldwide, the number of varieties and producers is endless. One of the best-known companies producing ice cream in America is Ben & Jerry’s. But who were Ben and Jerry and how did they succeed?
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were childhood friends and classmates who grew up in Brooklyn. They both had some experience of work while they were at school. Ben drove an ice cream truck and Jerry sold candy and snacks in the school cafeteria. However, after graduating from high school they went their own ways. Ben attended various colleges in the Northeast but failed his exams and decided to leave his studies to teach pottery on a working farm in the Adirondack region. Jerry attended Oberlin College where he studied medicine. After graduating, Jerry returned to New York to work as a lab technician. While working there, he shared a Manhattan apartment with Ben and that’s when they decided to go into the food business together.
At first they thought about making bagels or setting up a bakery but they found out that the necessary equipment was too expensive. Instead, they chose ice cream. They decided Burlington was an ideal location for an ice cream shop because it was a college town with many young people and virtually no competition. They moved out of New York, took a course in ice cream making and in 1978 opened the first Ben & Jerry’s in a converted gas station.
Their original ice cream shop became the locals’ favorite, not only thanks to its wonderful ice cream and creative flavors. Ben and Jerry also did their best to connect with the community by organizing special events, for example film festivals, and giving away free scoops of ice cream on the first anniversary of the store opening. The tradition still continues today, so if you happen to be in the US on the right day, you can also get your free scoop of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
adapted from www.entrepreneurs.about.com/od/famousentrepreneurs/p/benandjerrys.htm