My husband is a huge foodie. He watches documentaries on food factories, popular authentic stops and events. When we booked our Vermont trip one of the first things he asked me is if we could stop by the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. I thought it would be a little hokey, I didn’t know what to expect, but of course I said we could check it out.
Located in Waterbury, the factory offers a very affordable 30 minute tour every half hour; it’s only $4 per adult and comes with a sample of ice cream at the end. We were shown the factory floor, workers in white coats running from machine to machine, large chunks of chocolate and other fun toppings waiting to be added into the creamy vanilla and chocolate ice cream swirl they were creating that day. Ben & Jerry’s take the quality of their ice cream VERY seriously. We were told about their Caring Dairy program where they rely on getting their ingredients from family farms who supply high quality dairy products from sustainable practices on the farms. The eggs they purchase come from hens living on Certified Humane cage-free farms in the States. Happy cow and chickens equals happy farmers equals happy Ben & Jerry’s. I love it!
I also wasn’t aware just how much Ben & Jerry’s give back to the community. We watched a short film before the tour where they talked about their values and how they want to give back to the world one pint at a time. They’re involved with climate change charities, fair trade charities, racial justice charities, they march in Pride parades and even buy the brownie bits they include in their popular creations from Greyston Bakery, which is a bakery committed to providing jobs and job training to individuals who face barriers to employment. I was really impressed at how involved they are with such important movements.At the end of the tour, you’re able to sample the flavour of the week in their creation kitchen. We got to try a chocolate malt ball ice cream which I was fully on board with, I love anything chocolate!
After finishing off our sample, my husband wanted to head to the Flavour Graveyard, he had been waiting to see it all day. You see, Ben & Jerry’s has a cute way to send off flavours that just didn’t end up making the cut or seem to be popular enough to keep producing. True to their cute labels and rhyming description of just what is in your pint of ice cream, these singy-songy poems were written on the graves of ice cream that were gone much too soon. (Yep, an actual fenced off graveyard for ice cream.)
We don’t blame the macadamia, but we were kinda in denial,
the marketplace had spoken, Mac got aloha’ed off the aisle’ 2001-2002’
one gravestone marker read.
There are tons more just like this one, that frankly, sounded wonderful to me and I wish I had tried before the pint went to the big recycling bin in the sky. (I’m looking at you ‘Oh Pear’ and ‘Sugar Plum’!)
I’d recommend this stop, as its super cute (who doesn’t love a colourful building with cow spots?), won’t take up much of your time, plenty of room to picnic or enjoy a snack on their patio, and HELLO, ICE CREAM! They’re open almost everyday (not major holidays) from 9am to 7pm at 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, have fun!
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Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.