• The Time I Met Ben & Jerry {Day Two}

    March 14, 2014

    Here’s part two of my adventures with Ben & Jerry’s! (If you missed part one, here it is!) The second day with Ben & Jerry’s was another jam-packed and fun-filled one. Here are some highlights from the day!

    We took a tour of the Waterbury location and learned all about the history of the company, their social mission, and the ice cream-making process at the factory.

    IMG_7918 (900x675)

    The tour concluded in the “FlavoRoom” with samples of a special ice cream flavor made just for tour attendees. How cool is that? It’s a way for Ben & Jerry’s to test out new flavors and get immediate consumer feedback.

    IMG_7919 (675x900)

    The flavor that we tried was called “At the ChocoBanana,” which was banana-cinnamon ice cream with brown sugar caramel swirls and chocolate chunks.

    IMG_7920 (900x675)

    I didn’t think I’d love a banana-flavored ice cream, but this flavor was awesome. It reminded me of a banana chocolate chip cookie. Everyone in our group raved about it (and hopefully other visitors will too), so I really hope Ben & Jerry’s makes this flavor down the road!

    IMG_7922 (900x675)

    We also had the opportunity to taste the new Peanut Butter Fudge Core that was made just minutes before at the factory. Obviously, it was incredible. The peanut butter is more of a salty, savory peanut butter than a sweet one, so it tastes absolutely amazing with the sweet chocolate fudge.

    IMG_7926 (675x900)

    After touring the factory, we headed outside for some snowshoeing!

    IMG_7928 (900x675)

    IMG_7933 (675x900)

    Our group strapped on some snowshoes and headed out for a guided tour in the woods.

    snow_shoeing_

    IMG_7939 (675x900)

    Good times! It definitely felt good to get moving!

    snow_shoeing_at_Ben_&_Jerry's_Waterbury_

    (Fat guy in a little coat? Haha! It needs to be spring ASAP. My winter coat barely fits!)

    IMG_7946 (900x675)

    After our snow shoeing adventures, we headed back inside to learn more about the quality control practices and procedures at the factory, which was really interesting!

    IMG_7949 (675x900)

    Every 30-60 minutes, pints are taken off the line and tested to ensure that they are of the highest quality. The pints are physically cut open and checked to make sure that there are no spaces where the ice cream didn’t fill and all of the ingredients (i.e. core, chocolate chunks, swirls) are visually where they are suppose to be. If the pints aren’t perfect, they’re donated or given away to employees.

    It was really cool to hear how much pride the factory workers take in their product. There was no way a less-than-perfect pint was going out the door on their watch!

    IMG_7953 (900x675)

    Ben & Jerry’s is also really serious about consumer feedback. In the past, they’ve made changes to flavors because of customer complaints. For instance, Ben & Jerry’s added more cherries to Cherry Garcia and worked with their pistachio supplier to have better-tasting (less burnt) pistachios in their Pistachio Pistachio flavor. Similarly, Ben & Jerry’s received a number of complaints about their Half Baked ice cream not being swirled enough, so they reformulated the product to make it an even better one! I loved hearing these examples. It definitely shows how much Ben & Jerry’s cares about their customers.

    IMG_7955 (900x675)

    After that, we had a chance to try all four Core flavors. Of course, I loved them all, but the Hazed & Confused and Salted Caramel were definitely my favorites!

    Ben_&_Jerry's_Core_Flavors

    Before we left the factory, I picked out a fun onesie for Baby Haupert. He’s going to look so hip this summer!

    Ben_&_Jerry's_onesie_

    We also stopped by the Flavor Graveyard to pay our respects to the retired flavors.

    IMG_7961 (900x675)

    IMG_7963 (675x900)

    Then, we headed to dinner where we were surprised with two very special guests: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, THE Ben & Jerry. (Yes, they typically stand with Ben on the left and Jerry on the right. We asked!) It was so cool to meet these guys live and in person, especially after hearing so much about them for the previous two days.

    IMG_7964 (900x675)

    Fun facts about Ben and Jerry:

    • Both of them still live in Vermont and actually live closer to each other now than when they were running Ben & Jerry’s.
    • They both answer to each other’s names.
    • When deciding whether the company would be called “Ben & Jerry’s” or “Jerry & Ben’s,” they went with the more phonetically-appealing name. The E sound at the end of “Jerry” just sounded better, so they went with the name that we all know and love. And because Ben’s name was first, they made Jerry the president of the company.
    • Ben is the more liberal of the two. He likes being out in front, and Jerry is more comfortable being a “few steps behind.”
    • Ben’s favorite ice cream flavor is the Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt, but he’s recently been “dabbling” in Chunky Monkey and the Core flavors. Jerry’s favorite flavor is Americone Dream.
    • Ben and Jerry have an ongoing argument/discussion about the chunks in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor. (Have you ever noticed there are two different sizes?) Ben likes the big chunks of cookie dough, but they don’t break up in the machines, so they don’t distribute evenly in the ice cream. Jerry is a proponent of the small chunks for this reason, so the ice cream has both sizes.
    • Jerry frequently visits the Ben & Jerry’s headquarters to work out at the gym.

    Here are Ben and Jerry talking about the origins of the company and their role now…

    Ben and Jerry didn’t stay for dinner, but Ben took some time to tell us about his newest endeavor called “Stamp Stampede,” where he’s working to literally stamp money out of politics with a dollar-stamping campaign. You can read more about it and how to get involved on the Stamp Stampede website.

    IMG_7972 (900x675)

    The evening concluded with an epic, locally-sourced, three-course meal and lots of great conversation and tons of laughs. The group of bloggers that was chosen for this trip was one of the best I have ever spent time with. I loved everyone that I met, and I know we’ll definitely keep in touch via the Interwebs.

    IMG_7982 (900x675)

    All in all, I had an absolutely wonderful time on this trip. Ben & Jerry’s is definitely a special company with some really special people who work there. Pretty much everyone I met had long careers with the brand (12, 15, 26 years of service) and really, truly seemed to love their jobs. It was so nice to interact with people who take so much pride in what they do and the social causes that they support.

    Learning so much about Ben & Jerry’s as a brand made me want to buy their product even more. Of course, their ice cream is delicious, but now I want to support the company too. Well, hey, it’s Friday… I might need to buy myself a little treat this afternoon! Hmm… now what flavor do I choose?

    Pin It

    { 51 comments… read them below or add one }

    Chrissy@pinkpolishandrunningshoes March 14, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Such a fun post to read on a Friday, especially for an ice cream lover :)

    Reply

    Caitlin March 14, 2014 at 10:22 am

    SO COOL!!!

    Reply

    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles March 14, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I can only imagine being a part of this tour. I would have been hungry and craving ice cream the entire time. Love Ben & Jerry’s – they are actually from my hometown here in NY yet ironically, Ben & Jerry store locations are few and far between in these parts.

    Reply

    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 14, 2014 at 10:25 am

    That ice cream looks SO delicious! My weakness is all things frozen yogurt/ice cream like. I would have been in HEAVEN there!

    That is so cool that you actually got to me THE Ben and Jerry :)

    Reply

    Shawna March 14, 2014 at 10:27 am

    everything about this place looks like so much fun. the flavor graveyard is a riot, and i love the snowshoe adventure. totally envious!

    Reply

    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance March 14, 2014 at 10:29 am

    What a fun trip! I have always wanted to try snowshoeing!

    Reply

    Shannon March 14, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I LOVE the sound of the At the ChocoBanana flavor I hope it comes out soon!

    Reply

    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries March 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Very interested! I loved reading all the fun facts about Ben & Jerry. I have always wondered about the cookie dough piece sizes…I had no idea it was an intentional thing!

    Reply

    Linz @ Itz Linz March 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

    itz 9:30 in the morning and you have me drooling for ben & jerry’s ice cream!

    Reply

    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner March 14, 2014 at 10:48 am

    This is the best kind of advertising–I really want to support Ben & Jerry’s even more now, because they seem like such a great company!

    Also, I never thought I would say this sentence but that graveyard is hilarious.

    Reply

    Tory March 14, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I am so jealous of this entire trip! Ice cream has been my favorite food for as long as I can remember, and Ben and Jerry’s has a soft spot in my heart because that was the brand my college sold (which you could buy with meal plan money aka basically free!) This trip looked like a blast, and I had so much fun reading about it.

    Reply

    joelle (on a pink typewriter) March 14, 2014 at 10:55 am

    SO cool! I feel like dinner with Ben and Jerry should include ice cream at every dish.

    Reply

    Kate March 14, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for sharing your visit and the talk with Ben & Jerry – they seem like such good guys and I’m not surprised to hear that the employees all love their jobs. They’re an impressive company. And yeah, now I want ice cream too :)

    Reply

    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run March 14, 2014 at 10:57 am

    What a neat trip! True story: I wrote a research paper and gave a speech about B&J in my early college days, lol.

    Reply

    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 14, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Did they say what makes them send a flavor to the graveyard? I’m curious! And I really hope they make that banana flavor, I’ve had banana froyo before and loved it! Sounds weird but tastes great!

    Reply

    Tina March 14, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Sales! If the flavor doesn’t sell well, they retire it.

    Reply

    Bethany March 14, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I love visiting Ben and Jerry’s in VT. Also in VT is the Simon Pearce factory were you can watch them blow glass.

    Reply

    Whitney March 14, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Great post, Tina! Not sure if I’ll ever be in some of the places you see, so it’s wonderful to live vicariously through your blog! :)

    Reply

    Kaelene March 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Wow so interesting to learn about such a large company. That is great to hear how much they care about their customers.

    Reply

    Kammie @ Sensual Appeal March 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

    What an awesome trip. I LOVE ice cream and I bet I would gain like 15 lbs just from doing it haha Looks like a ton of fun!

    Reply

    Jackie March 14, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I can’t wait to try the new core line!!!

    Reply

    Rachel March 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    This trip looked soo fun! I LOVE ice cream so I am jealous of all the flavors you got to try. :)

    Reply

    Renae @ MissFit Mixed Chick March 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I would love to go visit a place like that. That place looks like the perfect employer. No wonder why everyone has been there forever. I like there graveyard too.

    Reply

    Alyssa March 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    That banana ice cream sounds a-maz-ing. I like the Chunky Monkey, so I’m sure I’d love this one too.
    I knew the Half Baked seemed different! lol. I had gone quite a while not eating it & then when I got it again a few months ago, it seemed like everything was distributed better. I think it’s great how much they try to please their customers.
    I love all those fun facts about Ben & Jerry. I think it’s pretty awesome why Jerry is the president of the company lol.

    Reply

    Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit March 14, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I really want to work there, haha, it just seems so fun and there are so many interesting things – snow shoeing, flavor graveyard, too funny! Love that onesie!

    Reply

    Ashley March 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I have always loved Ben and Jerry’s, but I think they just got a new level of fan from me thanks to these reviews. I know what’s for dessert tonight :)

    Reply

    Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork March 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    This series has been so fun to read! It’s been really interesting to learn more of the behind the scenes stuff and how much pride everyone takes in the product and I love the little tid bits about Ben and Jerry.

    I loved going to the factory and trying the “in the making” flavors. That one you tried sounds delicious! My husband would love it!

    I have to say that although I rarely have the ice cream (too rich and flavorful, if you can believe it, for me), I am probably buying a pint of that core ice cream tonight to try if it’s available! You’ve totally convinced me. After all, it’s Friday night and I’m working out first. The ice cream will motivate me to work extra hard!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    Rhiannon @ Bound to be a Buckeye March 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Did the baby like the ice cream too? :) I wondered if you felt lots of flutters. The banana flavor sounds wonderful. My favorite blizzard is the banana cream pie!

    Reply

    Megan @ TheSkinny-Life March 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Looks like such a fun trip! I love ice cream and fro-yo. Any other food I could probably pass up, but not those. It’s really awesome to hear how much pride the employees take in making the product too.

    Reply

    Rachel March 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve never even tasted Ben & Jerry’s but now I cant’t wait to try some! I gave up sugar for Lent, so I think I know what I am going to be asking for in my Easter basket! :) Have a great weekend!

    Reply

    Livi March 14, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I need to go grab some ice cream… or drive to VT for some flavor testing!!!

    Reply

    Shannon March 14, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    This is literally the best blog post ever. I am so hungry for ice cream now! Also, super jealous of your trip! :)

    Reply

    Sheena @ Paws and pavement March 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    So jealous, ice cream and snowshoeing? Looks like a blast!

    Reply

    Shel@PeachyPalate March 14, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    What a trip!!! Banana flavoured ice cream is my FAV!!! That one sounds amazing!

    Reply

    Linda @ running4two March 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I dream about a trip like this one. I have a deep love for ice cream. Go with half baked!!

    Reply

    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 14, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    How fun! Can you convince them to make a dairy free version as amazing as the dairy-filled versions? ;)

    Reply

    Alex @ Kenzie Life March 14, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    This was one of my favorite posts of yours to read–so cool! I love Ben & Jerry’s and the Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt is my favorite, but the Milk & Cookies flavor is awesome too. I think it’s great you get to have all these cool experiences!

    Reply

    Lisa @ runnermamablogger March 14, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    OMG! I love the snow shoe tour and the graveyard. How lucky to meet Ben and Jerry. This looked like an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment March 14, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Very cool! What a fun tour!

    Reply

    Karen - Fit in France March 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I LOVE Ben & Jerrys. Peanut Butter or Cookie dough, but can’t wait to try those CORE varieties. They haven’t come to France yet but I’ll be on the lookout !

    What fun meeting Ben & Jerry !

    Reply

    Eva March 14, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Great recap! I think businesses that start between good friends and continue strongly are the best ones out there to support because essentially you are supporting all the wholesome traits in life.

    Reply

    Taylee @ twist me fit March 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    What a great trip! Sounds so fun!

    Reply

    Sam March 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Do they still sell the ‘factory second’ reject pints for super cheap? My parents used to live in Burlington and apparently you used to be able to buy pints that didn’t pass quality control at a steep steep discount. They told me stories about picking up a strawberry pint that didn’t have a single strawberry, or vanilla Heath bar crunch that had an entire Heath bar right in the middle of it.

    Apparently my Mom was averaging an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s per day during her third trimester with me. I’m pretty sure that I’m made of 29% Cherry Garcia.

    Reply

    Ellen Renee March 14, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I bought a pint of Half Baked today because of these posts! :o) Never had that one and since it is their best seller thought we should try it. Cherry Garcia or the coffee heath bar crunch are the 2 that I grab when I am in the mood for ice cream.

    Reply

    Kim @ FITsique March 14, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    This post makes me so happy! It’s great to see such a well known company run so well and really care about their product and the consumers. I can def get on board with the chocobanana flavor..i love banana ice cream! And a peanut butter core in the center of a tub of ice cream?! My only question is why has this not been around for years!

    Reply

    Angie @ Pint of Goals March 14, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I am SOOO jealous! This looks like it was such a fun, delicious, amazing experience. It made me crave some Ben & Jerry’s, so I bought a pint of Cinnamon Buns which I will be diving into in about five minutes. Great post(s)!

    Reply

    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West March 14, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Ben and Jerry look pretty similar too. They must have great senses of humor to start a company like that. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    Debbie March 15, 2014 at 9:16 am

    They make a fifth CORE flavor called Karma Sutra (chocolate and caramel ice creams with a caramel core). It’s so good!!

    Reply

    Leah March 15, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    My favourite post ever read. Here in Australia I have to pay $12 for a pint of Ben And Jerry’s, it’s pretty rough. BUT YOU KNOW IT’S WORTH IT! We only get a selection of about 6 flavours so reading these posts is always bitter sweet. But more sweet.

    Reply

    Anel March 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    How fun!! Love that they donate the ice cream to their employees! Where do I sign up? :) I really want to try snow shoeing one day. It looks like a lot of fun!

    Reply

    Christy Denney April 2, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Tina,
    I’ve thought of you so much since I left. I definitely clicked with you and am so glad you were there. Loved your coverage of this, especially the parts I missed.

    Reply

    Leave a Comment

    { 2 trackbacks }

    Previous post:

    Next post: