I've decided I am going to spread out my experience at Ben & Jerry's over a couple of weeks so that I don't overwhelm you all with one single post.
As a little background is the history of my 20 or so year love affair with B&J:
Sometime probably between 1988 and 1991: I visit my aunt, uncle and cousin at their house in Marshfield, Vermont and for the first time I am introduced to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. I am too young to appreciate the goodness and focus only on the math: 2 pints/8 people = seemingly not that much ice cream. (Stay tuned: How are those pints manufactured and quality checked?!)
Spring 1994: I take a portrait scuplture class (I make a bust of head) with two friends. We stop before class at Your Village Store and I always buy a Peace Pop. (Stay tuned: B&J's Social Mission!)
Winter 1995: My sister uses her dining points (due to expire if not used) and brings us home cartons of Ben & Jerry's. This is only the second time I remember having Ben & Jerry's. She brings us the now Flavor Graveyarded Cool Britannia.
Summer 1996: I spend the summer in Providence at RISD's Pre-College Program and am thrilled there is a Scoop Shop on Thayer Street. My new partner-in-crime and I will visit often. I will also find it to be totally cool to be able to buy a pint of B&J (with my own "college" dining points) of Low-Fat Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt -- and so begins the eating right out of the pint. (Stay tuned: I try my hand at working the Scoop Shop!)
Fall 1997: I start college at Tufts University. I arrive a week early for an orientation for my Tufts/SMFA program. The day most freshmen arrive, my new friend who knows Boston better than I do takes me to Newbury Street for the first time and we enjoy B&J at the Scoop Shop. My suitemates and I get goldfish and one of my suitemates suggests we name them after our favorite B&J flavor. My fish is named Low-Fat Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt. He has the longest name of the bunch. (Stay tuned: Let's visit with Marketing!)
Fall 1999: I live in a house off campus with friends, including my best friend I have known since elementary school. Late nights are spent talking over a pint of B&J. A tradition is born between friends that will follow us back to our parents' houses in Connecticut, to our apartments in Boston's North End, and to her apartment in New York City.
Winter 2003: My roommates buy me a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for Christmas. One of my first purchases following is Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book. I am hooked. (Stay tuned: We play in the B&J test kitchen!)
Fall 2006(?): I am asked to be part of a consumer panel testing a new B&J product. It never makes it to the shelves.
Winter 2008: Tina starts Scoopalicious. I join days later. Yet another excuse to both make and eat lots of ice cream, a favorite being B&J.
Winter 2011: I am invited to a B&J event at 30 Rock. Little do I know it is the release of Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Snack. I try my hardest to coordinate getting down there with my sister, but it is very last minute and the trip doesn't happen. When I find out later it was Jimmy Fallon (♥♥♥) and B&J (two favorites) I am pretty bummed I wasn't able to go.
Winter 2012: I am invited to a VIP blogging event and I spend a wonderful two days in Burlington with four other bloggers, the PR Gurus from B&J and Cone Communications meeting numerous smiling employees of B&J as well as B&J themselves. Stay tuned for the event in more detail!