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Visiting the home of the iconic ice cream brand and see where the action really happens.

Location: Hours: Admission:
1281 Waterbury-Stowe Rd Waterbury, VT Tours are every 30 minutes the start and end times vary on time of year $4 Adult (Ages 13 – 59)
$3 Senior (Ages 60 & up)
FREE Kids (12 and under)

Getting to the Ben & Jerry’s factory was a bit of a doubling back on the previous days journey but was deemed to be an essential part of the children’s home schooling curriculum for this year. Also reflected their father’s addiction to ice cream!! We decided to do the tour of the factory – primarily because you get ice cream samples at the end (and for the educational element of seeing a factory in production. )

They are really geared up for the tour and judging by the size of the car park it is quite a big business for them. The tour is in three parts. Unfortunately, the guy doing our tour was a novice and had neither well honed presentation skills or knew much about the factory and the B&J business.

The original Ben & Jerry’s tour bus


Part one of the tour is a film about Ben and Jerry (yes they were real people) and how they developed a quirky business around quirky named ice creams. They started out by paying $5 for correspondence course in ice cream making from Penn State University (apparently they chose ice cream because the equipment was cheaper than bagel making equipment).

The second part of the tour is the viewing of the production areas – we were told no photography was allowed, although I expect if I were a determined industrial espionage expert it would not have been too difficult to break their security. I did feel sorry for the poor people working on the shop floor, pacing the halls of their work like caged lions. Seemingly, the equipment felt equally resentful of its imprisonment and started to spill pots of ice cream the wrong way up on the production line conveyor belt. The ice cream was going everywhere, much to our amusement. The workers stormed around the problem area like worker bees defending their hive and soon all was well.

The final part of the tour took us to the tasting room where they had some rather sweet and sickly strawberry flavor on tasting for that day (most disappointing). To take the memory away of this pink, sugary monstrosity we had to visit the store and buy some other ice cream to wash away the taste of the strawberry.

Mark & Karen Hobbs

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