• I Ate So Much Ice Cream {Ben & Jerry’s – Day One}

    March 12, 2014

    There are definitely worse things in life than eating too much ice cream, right? Here’s a recap of Day 1 of my time in Vermont with Ben & Jerry’s!

    Our day started bright and early with breakfast at The Skinny Pancake. I thought I knew every restaurant in Burlington, but I had never heard of The Skinny Pancake, so I checked out the menu online the night before. Everything sounded delicious, so I was really looking forward to breakfast.

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    The menu at The Skinny Pancake included so many incredible options. I eventually decided on a savory crepe called “Déjà vu.” Inside was local Italian sausage, egg, cheddar, spinach, and apples, and it was amazing. It was a good size portion, and I ate every last bite of it. Holy yum!

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    After breakfast, our group (16 bloggers) headed to the Ben & Jerry’s headquarters.

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    When we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by the staff (they greeted us with applause!) and then given a tour of the facilities.

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    A slide at work? Ben & Jerry’s is definitely a fun place! Imagine having a stressful day at work and then flinging yourself down that slide. I know I’d feel instantly better!

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    Other great workplace elements:

    • Conference rooms and meeting spaces named after Ben & Jerry’s flavors
    • A private room, called the “Milky Way,” for nursing moms
    • The “Zen Den” where employees can get massages

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    • Employees get 3 free pints of ice cream to take home EACH DAY!
    • A gym where employees can burn off all of those ice cream calories

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    • Employees can bring their dogs to work!

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    The most adorable dog at Ben and Jerry’s was obviously Bodhi, a 6-month-old pug puppy.

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    We spent the majority of the morning at Scoop U, where new shop owners come to learn all about Ben & Jerry’s and how to properly serve customers. On days when there are training sessions at Scoop U, Ben & Jerry’s employees have the opportunity to be served any ice cream treat they want for just a $1. Rumor has it that employees come running when Scoop U is in session! I love that they have such enthusiasm for their ice cream!

    Fun facts that I learned at Scoop U:

    • When Ben and Jerry first teamed up in the late-1970s, they almost went into the bagel business. They had plans to launch “United Bagel Service,” but the equipment to make bagels was too expensive, so they decided to go with ice cream instead. They originally wanted to open an ice cream shop down south (warm weather = ice cream), but there was too much competition, so they came to Burlington, Vermont.
    • Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has so much flavor because Ben has a sinus condition that gives him tasting problems.
    • Some of the flavor names of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream have come from consumers, including Chubby Hubby, Cherry Garcia, and Chunky Monkey. Similarly, flavor ideas also come from consumers. For example, “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough” was actually written on a chalkboard at the Burlington store and then the flavor was developed after that.
    • The top selling Ben & Jerry’s flavor is Half Baked. (It was Cherry Garcia up until recently.)
    • Ben & Jerry’s gave away about a million free cones in the U.S. on “Free Cone Day” last year. Seven thousand of those were at the Burlington location.
    • Ben & Jerry’s was purchased by Unilever 14 years ago, but B&J’s retains its own independent Board of Directors that allows them to make their own decisions and stick to their progressive mission statement, especially when it comes to social issues, such as marriage equality and GMO labeling.
    • New flavors coming to Scoop Shops this year: Cotton Candy, Turtle Cheesecake, and Core Sundaes (Salted Caramel and Hazed & Confused). Scoop Shops will also offer a hardening chocolate shell topping (just like “Magic Shell”).
    • Ben & Jerry’s squash-flavored ice cream is really popular in Japan.

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    While listening to the morning sessions, I enjoyed a mini cup of Americone Dream, which is definitely a new favorite of mine!

     

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    After the morning sessions, we broke for lunch, which included a number of healthy options (to balance out all of the ice cream).

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    Our next activity of the day was working with “Flavor Gurus,” Peter and Dave, to create our own special ice cream flavors. (Can you believe these guys develop ice cream flavors for a living? How cool is that?!)

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    After the group was split into four smaller teams, we got to work on our flavors.

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    My team was really scientific with how we created our flavor. We basically taste-tested all of the different toppings available to us and then chose our favorites. See, super scientific. Haha!

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    The basic ice cream-making progress: In goes the cream and sugar…

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    Out comes the ice cream, which is then mixed with the toppings we selected…

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    Swirl time! Caramel or honey caramel? We couldn’t decided, so we tasted both of them with the ice cream. Honey caramel was the winner!

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    We swirled the ice cream with the honey caramel by hand…

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    Swirling was actually a lot of fun!

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    The flavor that our team created was called “40 Weeks,” which was inspired by my baby bump and the crave-worthy ingredients that went into it. Listen to this delicious combo: Sweet cream ice cream with chocolate coated potato chip balls, almond toffee, and a honey caramel swirl. Heavenly, right? (We worked with the creative team at Ben & Jerry’s to design the poster below.)

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    While we waited for everyone to finish making their flavors, we had the opportunity to try a Core Sundae from the Scoop Shop, which was two flavors of ice cream with our choice of hot fudge or caramel down the middle. Um, yea, I was just a tad excited about this.

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    I went with Milk & Cookies and Coconut Seven Layer Bar (my #1 favorite flavor that I tried) with hot fudge in the middle. It was, whoa, heavenly!

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    While at the Scoop Shop, I also had a chance to try Scotchy Scotch Scotch, which was so, so, so good. It was really sweet and butterscotch-y. I will definitely keep an eye out for this one at my local grocery store!

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    Schweddy Balls? Haha! Ben & Jerry’s partnered with Saturday Night Live to create this limited batch flavor back in 2011.

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    The day concluded with each team presenting their ice cream flavor, poster, and sales pitch to the judges.

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    Sadly, the judges didn’t select our flavor as the winner, BUT when everyone had the chance to taste all of the different flavors that were created for the contest, the group as a whole really liked our flavor. It was actually the most eaten flavor based on how much of the pints were left, so our team was happy. (The winning flavor was called “Polar Core-tex”!)

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    Day 2 recap coming next!

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    { 82 comments… read them below or add one }

    sarahf March 12, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I love Ben and Jerry’s but have never seen it here in Japan. Maybe it’s in Tokyo (I’m out West, in the Boonies)? I will now make it my life’s mission to track some down here! I’m so jealous of your trip, all the flavours sound amazing.

    Reply

    Jessica @ www.peasloveandhealthiness.com March 12, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    That sounds like an amazing day. I wonder if the employees ever get sick of ice cream?? The sever layer bar is the BEST one they sell in the Ben and Jerry stores. Heavenly.

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    Katie March 12, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    OH MY GOSH! So jealous! This would be a dream come true for meeee :) love ice cream!

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    Emily March 12, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    hopefully you’re back in massachusetts – vt is getting hit with our worst snowstorm of the season right now!

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    Brittney @ Sweets 'N' Greens March 12, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    this trip sounds AWESOME! seriously, dream trip. can’t wait to hear about day 2!

    Reply

    Karissa March 12, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    WOW this looks like one of the best trips ever! I <3 Ben and Jerry's ice cream!

    Reply

    Laura @FitMamaLove March 13, 2014 at 1:21 am

    What a fun trip! This is one of the best blogger trips of ever read about! I’ve been a fan of Ben and Jerry’s since I was a kid. My first favorite flavor was chocolate raspberry swirl at a scoop shop, which they don’t even have anymore. I can’t wait to try the new core flavors!

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    Cecilia March 13, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Yum! Sounds like a great place to work!

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    Jenn@ Mark My Miles! March 13, 2014 at 6:09 am

    What an amazing opportunity. A trip there would be my dream coming true!

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    Runner Girl Eats March 13, 2014 at 6:22 am

    I love the peppermint chocolate cookie B&J ice cream. It is soooo tasty. This trip seems like a dream trip for a pregnant lady!

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    Suzanne March 13, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Seriously, you have the best job ever! We took a factory tour there in 1997, I think it’s time to go back :)

    Reply

    Nikki March 13, 2014 at 9:15 am

    These type of adventures is what I love to read about most on your blog! On your second recap can you list the other bloggers in attendance so I can read their recaps as well?

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    Alyssa March 13, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Sooo can I just live at Ben & Jerry’s? Lol! That really does sound like an awesome place to work. Although I’d probably gain at least 10 pounds getting all of that free ice cream lol. That seemed like such a fun experience though!

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    Sarah @ Sweet Miles March 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

    How fun!! I am dying for some ice cream now!! I remember seeing a HUGE banner sign for Schweddy Balls back in 2011 and cracking up!

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    Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} March 13, 2014 at 9:46 am

    This sounds like an amazing day!! So much ice cream! I am loving the outfit as well!!

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    Emily J March 13, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I have a serious craving for ice cream right now! Every flavor sounds epic, especially the one your team created. I’d buy it!

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    Renae @ MissFit Mixed Chick March 13, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I want all of thissss! And there’s a part two.

    I love that company. I love the whole bring your dog to work day. And the Zen Den…now thats what I’m talking about

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    Julie @ Better Life with Burgers March 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Oh man…I’m just drooling over here! Everything sounds amazing, and I’m so impressed to learn about Ben & Jerry’s philosophies, especially about GMO labeling! Hooray for “big” companies getting on board!

    Have a great rest of the trip–can’t wait to read more!

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    Livi March 13, 2014 at 10:46 am

    A slide, a gym, and free ice cream?! I’m ready to submit my application :)!

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    Annette March 13, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Wow…I love Ben and Jerry’s and I especially love supporting a company that takes such great care of their hard working (and playing) employees…what a fun trip!!

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    Jolynn @ Lift Pray Love March 13, 2014 at 10:55 am

    omg. I am insanely jealous of your trip. And I love Ben & Jerry’s even more now that you’ve showed the insight to their company. What a loving and fun company to their employees!

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    Megan @ The Skinny-Life March 13, 2014 at 11:21 am

    What an awesome trip! I think trips should be based on a food adventures inspired by this! It’s really good that I don’t work there because I would eat ice cream all the time! Looks like you had a great time! I’m so jealous!!!

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    Annette@FitnessPerks March 13, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Oh my goodness!!!! What an incredible trip!! I would so love to eat ice cream all day long! haha ;)

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    Jessie March 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Who is the blogger wearing black leaning over the metal mixing bowl?

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    Rachel @ Health My Lifestyle March 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Can I have your job? How do I sign up for this? haha. Sounds like you’re having a blast! I would definitely try your “40 Weeks” flavor. I’ve never had chocolate coated potato chip balls but they sound delightful!

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    Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork March 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    This sounds like so much fun! I would be in serious trouble being around so much ice cream. It’s one of the few desserts I can easily eat now that I’m GF and has always been one of my favorite desserts of all time. I think my dad needs to work there when he retires. You wouldn’t believe how much ice cream he can throw back! But you’d never know it thanks to all the spinning he does.

    I think your flavor sounds delicious! I’m a big fan of the chocolate-covered potato chip balls that’s in the Late Night Snack flavor. How were you feeling by the end of the day (or did you try to pace yourself?)? Was the baby bouncing around from all of the sugar? Can’t wait to hear about day 2…

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    Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit March 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    First off, what an amazing work place – a slide, take home ice cream, fitness center and bring your dog – wow! Secondly, that looks like such a fun blog trip. I’d love to create a flavor – I think it’d be some kind of coconut coffee!

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    Cel March 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    what flavours were in the winning icecream? id love to hear about the other creations too! :)

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    Ashley March 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I will be DREAMING of ice cream after this!

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    Elisabeth March 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Ok….I need to work there!

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    Erika March 14, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’d gain 5lbs a week if I worked there. I love that employees are able to bring their pups to work with them!

    Reply

    Anel March 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    How fun!!!!!! I love that you can take your dog to work! That and the free ice cream are great reasons to want to work there!

    Reply

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