I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!
The Tour Itself – Our Experience
While visiting the beautiful state of Vermont, we took a lovely drive to Waterbury to take a tour of the original factory which was built in 1985. The tour started with a short movie of a brief history of Ben & Jerry’s covering their start as a small ice cream shop in 1978 to the company that it has grown into.
After the movie, we headed to the viewing space overlooking the production floor while the tour guide explained what we were seeing. The different stations were marked with numbers so that we knew the area/machinery the guide was talking about. An impressive operation for such a small factory – we learned they can only make one flavor at a time at this factory. The flavor being produced was Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and we were able to sample a couple cookie dough chunks as we listened and watched.
Our last stop on the tour was tasting an ice cream sample (everyone’s favorite part right?!). We enjoyed a delicious sample of strawberry cheesecake ice cream. The tour lasted about 30 minutes so it was not too time intensive, but we definitely thought it was worth a visit (especially if you are in close vicinity of the area) and at $6 per ticket, it’s hard to beat the value.
On our way back to the car, we walked through the flavor graveyard. Here they have made headstones for all the flavors they have discontinued along with the year(s) they were in production. It was interesting, some have been discontinued, brought back, and discontinued again.
The line at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory was a little long for us to want to wait in for an ice cream from there. We stopped at another Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop later in the day and enjoyed a half baked ice cream cone which is their number one flavor.
Tickets are required for tours and admission into the factory. Tickets are not released very far in advance – they release them on Tuesday for the following week. We looked a couple of times a month or two before we needed to book for our trip to see what the tour times were like and they were always sold out of tours.
So when you are looking to visit, make sure you get on to book your tickets on the earlier side of being released to ensure a spot on the tour. We booked our tickets on Wednesday morning and there was still some availability but certainly during busier months like the summer, spots are sure to fill up fast. Walk-ins are dependent on their staffing with the potential of no availability.
Overall, we enjoyed learning more about the Ben & Jerry’s Company history as well as sampling some yummy ice cream!
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