We first visited the Ben & Jerry’s factory in 2007 as a family, that is with exception of Karen who had to return to the UK for her mother’s funeral. So, 14-years later we made it back minus the children who have since grown up and left home. We have never quite grown up ourselves, so it still felt natural for us to make the pilgrimage to the home of Ben & Jerry’s. Since our last visit we had become vegan, but luckily there are some wonderful vegan ice cream makers around – including Ben & Jerry’s.
Last time around there were tours of the factory and production line, which is always fun to show the kids. The most memorable part of our tour was looking through the observation window at a conveyer belt bringing pots filled with ice cream to a packing station. Something went horribly wrong and suddenly pots of ice cream started spilling off the end of the conveyer belt and crashing to the floor. Ice cream was everywhere. Before somebody realised what was going on and pressed the emergency stop button at least two-dozen pots lay on the ground their contents laid bare on the ground in a sticky mess. Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tours during our recent visit were not running, so instead, we went to check out the ‘Flavor Graveyard’.
The ‘Flavor Graveyard’ is set out as a traditional graveyard with individual plots and headstones, with hilarious inscriptions dedicated to all the flavours that have been killed off!
The main activity of a visit to Ben & Jerry’s is to eat ice cream!
Being a nice warm day there was a queue of people. As we moved along we passed by a mural that we both found fascinating. The Ben and Jerry company has long had a reputation for supporting social justice issues. When you visit their stores, particularly in the United States, you’ll see messages about the issues they are currently interested in. This corporate support has continued despite the fact that Ben & Jerry’s is now a Unilever brand. The theme of this mural was the history of voting rights in the USA – a subject that we feel passionately about. Today, as I write this post, it is the anniversary of the January 6th attack on the US Capitol, and the topic of voting rights and the constitution is as hot as ever!
Despite the long line, this is a slick operation and we were soon collecting our ice cream and ravenously tucking in.
If you like ice cream, especially Ben & Jerry’s, then you should try and plan a visit to this factory on any trips through New England.
|Address:||1281 Waterbury-Stowe Rd Route 100, Waterbury Village Historic District|
|Hours:||11 am to 6 pm daily|
|Factory Tours:||Currently suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic|