Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc.

Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc.
Item# 2706

In 1963, Ben Cohen (whose printed signature appears on this certificate) and Jerry Greenfield meet in 7th grade gym class in Merrick, New York (Long Island). Fourteen years later, Ben and Jerry move to Vermont and complete a $5 correspondence course in ice cream-making from Penn State (they get a perfect score because the test is open book).

In 1978, with a $12,000 investment ($4,000 of it borrowed), Ben and Jerry open their Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream scoop shop in a renovated gas station at the corner of St. Paul and College Streets in downtown Burlington, Vermont, on May 5. That same year, Ben and Jerry hold their first free summer movie festival, projecting movies on the outside wall of the old gas station in Burlington.

In 1979, Ben & Jerry’s marks its one-year anniversary by holding the first-ever Free Cone Day: free scoops of Ben & Jerry’s for all, all day long. Now an annual celebration at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops nationwide. In 1980, Ben and Jerry rent space in an old spool and bobbin mill on South Champlain Street in Burlington and begin packing their ice cream in pints. The reason? To distribute to grocery and Mom & Pop stores along the restaurant delivery routes Ben services out of the back of his old VW Squareback wagon.

In 1982, Ben & Jerry’s moves its original ice cream scoop shop from the old gas station (which was demolished to make way for a parking lot) to the corner of Cherry Street and South Winooski Avenue in Burlington. The next year, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is used to build “the world’s largest ice cream sundae” in St. Albans, Vermont; the sundae weighs 27,102 pounds. The same year, the first Ben & Jerry’s out-of-state franchise is opened in Portland, Maine.

In 1984, Haagen-Dazs tries to limit distribution of Ben & Jerry’s in Boston, prompting Ben & Jerry’s to file suit against the parent company, Pillsbury, in its now famous “What’s the Doughboy Afraid Of?” campaign.

In 1987, Ben & Jerry’s introduces its Cherry Garcia ice cream flavor. Named for Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia at the suggestion of two “DeadHeads” from Portland, Maine, Cherry Garcia becomes the first ice cream named for a rock legend. That same year, Ben & Jerry’s begins feeding a pig farm in Stowe, Vermont, with its ice cream waste; pigs go wild over all flavors except Mint with Oreos (it seems that the pigs don’t like mint).

In 1989, David Letterman rolls up the “Top Ten Least Popular Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors” list which includes “Zsa Zsa Gaboreo” and “Norieggnog.” In 1990, Ben & Jerry’s introduces Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream in pints. The brownies come from Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, New York, which employs and empowers disadvantaged people from the local community.

In 1994, Ben & Jerry’s begins a two-pronged national search for a new CEO, by hiring a search firm and by holding a “YO! I’m Your CEO!” contest inviting 100 word applications from anyone interested in the job (First Prize) or in a lifetime supply of ice cream (Second Prize). Over 22,000 applications (many of them bizarre) flood the company’s headquarters in Waterbury, Vermont.

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Certificate: Class A Common Stock, issued in the 1980’s

Printer: American Bank Note Company

Dimensions: 8” (h) x 12” (w)

State: VT-Vermont

Subject Matter: Food and Drink | Famous Companies | Candy and Sweets

Vignette Topic(s): None

Condition: Vertical fold lines, punch hole and stamp cancels in the signature areas and body, staple and staple tears, and edge faults and toning from age.

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