In May of 1978, two ice cream fanatic friends in Burlington, Vermont, signed a lease on a broken-down gas station with no heat, an ice-covered floor and sagging fiberglass walls the previous owner never bothered to drywall. After severl rounds of extensive remodeling and a $5 ice-cream-making correspondence course, “Ben & Jerry’s Homemade” was open for business. Great word-of-mouth amongst the local sweet tooth public led to 3 years of scoop shop success, which led to a franchise agreement, which led to 19 years of international gourmet ice cream goodness. In 2000, the pair sold their “Ben & Jerry's” franchise to consumer goods giant Unilever for roughly $236 million. Not bad for a ‘70’s startup with a $5 training investment!
From the days of the gas station all the way through their six-figure buyout, the pair have always remained in close contact with their fans, and it has certainly paid off—some of their most popular flavors to date, like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chubby Hubby and Cherry Garcia, began as simple fan suggestions. Accordingly, the duo have always taken fan flavors quite seriously, even compiling an extensive record of them for future consideration. In celebration of the East Coast’s unseasonably warm weather, we proudly present the top 5 “Almost Ben & Jerry’s” flavors, delicious fan suggestions that didn’t quite make the cut—though never say never!
THE STAR SPANGLED BANANER
A seasonal Summer delight featuring vanilla and strawberry ice cream dotted with red, white and blue sprinkles, and banana chunks.
SPUDS AND FUDGE
This year-round fried fantasy flavor would feature a rich dark chocolate ice cream loaded with bits and pieces of candied french fries.
An exclusive Halloween treat, the Brew was to feature a Pumpkin ice cream with candy corn, gingersnap cookies and a caramel apple core.
A colorful fantasy flavor featuring a vanilla ice cream base with cotton candy swirls, sugar cookie pieces and rainbow sprinkles.
BREAKFAST IN BED
This sugar bomb wake-up would feature a maple ice cream with fluffy pancake chunks, salted bacon bits, and a maple syrup swirl.