Back in '66, in a school gym class, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were brought together by a special bond...they both hated running but loved food. Years later in 1978, Ben had been fired from a series of McJobs while Jerry had failed for the second time to get into medical school. So, armed with a $5 correspondence course in ice cream making, they opened their very first scoop shop in a dilapidated gas station in downtown Burlington, Vermont.
They soon became popular in the local community for the finest ice cream. Ben had no sense of taste so he relied on what he called ‘mouth feel’, so big chunks of chocolate, fruit and nut became their signature. While they disagreed at times over the chunk size, they did agree that they wanted to enjoy themselves – as Jerry put it ‘if it’s not fun, why do it?’.
In the early days the boys were pretty bad at book-keeping. After two months they closed the store and hung a sign that said ‘we’re closed to figure out whether we’re making any money’. And they weren’t. But they learned a lot and by 1979, began wholesaling pints of ice cream out of Ben’s VW campervan.
The rest, as they say, is history.