“Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it’s more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it’s a very powerful combination.” Jerry Greenwood
Ben and Jerry’s
Like I do with most places we visit, I read a few reviews of Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour on Trip Advisor. I came across this review and enjoyed a good giggle. I mean, how political can a video about ice cream be?
“The history video was interesting but was political.”
As it turns out, the video is not at all political, but rather it’s the story of a company that not only makes outrageous ice cream, it’s about a company that has been environmentally conscious since day one. Maybe, that equates to political for some. For us, it equates to eating ice cream manufactured by a company that cares about the big picture. Does it get any better? I don’t think so, but maybe I should ask Ben and Jerry.
Truthfully, there isn’t a whole lot to see on the factory tour, but for $4 per ticket ($3 for seniors) we figured what the hell? They advertise 30 minutes, but it’s more like 20, based upon the length of the Q&A at the end of the tour. Anyway, a visit to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour goes a little something like this.
- Buy your tickets and then wait for you assigned tour time.
- Our group was ushered into a mini viewing room where we were seated and shown the “political” video, which is really just about the journey of the company’s humble beginnings to where they are now. And, how they came to be purchased by Unilever but still maintains an external board of directors. It was actually quite interesting.
- Next up is a view of the manufacturing room (no photography allowed) through large plate glass windows. Due to maintenance no ice cream was being made on the day we visited. I always find it amusing when factories won’t let visitors take pictures. Do they really think Haagen Dazs is going to glean anything they don’t already know?!
- Lots of corny but actually funny jokes were shared as our guide led us to the tasting room where we were served a sizeable sample of Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream. Yum! This is also the Q&A portion of the program.
The Flavor Graveyard
Aside from eating ice cream, by far the best part of a visit to Ben and Jerry’s is the Flavor Graveyard. It’s where all not-so-successful flavors go to die. Hilarious!
If You Go
To learn more: Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour
- Ben and Jerry’s: 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Route 100 – Waterbury, VT 05676
- Ample parking for cars and RVs
- Tours are offered 7 days/week
- Tickets are $4/adult – $3/seniors – no charge for kids 12 and younger
- Smoke Free
- Time allotted for visit – 1 hour