9.19.14 Issue

by Sherrie Saag, Communications, Jewish Federation of Omaha

The Jewish Federation of Omaha kicks-off its 2015 Annual Campaign with guest speaker Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., one of the most successful, socially conscious and philanthropic brands worldwide.

Greenfield will share his corporate and charitable success stories, while shedding light on how his Jewish upbringing in Long Island, NY, contributed to his success on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Champions Run. In the meantime, we’ve assembled some interesting facts about the company to “whet your appetite” for his appearance!

Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Inc. welcomes visitors to its factory in Waterbury, Vermont, with quirky and creative touches around every corner. Between touring its physical spaces (there’s a slide in the office and an ice cream graveyard!) and learning fun corporate facts, one understands how serious the company is about their social mission.

In advance of Jerry Greenfield’s appearance at this year’s Annual Campaign kick-off, here’s a “tasty” list of funky facts:

1. At company headquarters, all the interior walls are curvy (because right angles are too square, man). Near the front entrance, you can get from the upper to lower levels on a slide.

2. Ben & Jerry’s employees get three free pints per day, every day. To counteract excessive indulgence, employees also get a free gym membership.

3. The flavor graveyard at Ben & Jerry’s factory contains only a fraction of the hundreds of flavors that have been retired in the company’s history. Of course, the “deceased” pints aren’t actually buried in the graveyard, but each is marked with its own headstone!

Ben & Jerry's Volun-Tiramisu web4. The factory in Waterbury produces 120,000 pints a day, one flavor at a time.

5. The cow seen on Ben & Jerry’s packages (and this van) is named Woody, after Woody Jackson, the artist who designed him in 1983.

6. Ben & Jerry’s has a team of “flavor gurus” who go on “trend trek” trips every year and  eat their way through cities by ordering EVERY dessert at local restaurants. Yeah, that’s what you call a dream job.

7. Unilever became the majority shareholder in 2000, but Ben & Jerry’s maintains their own board of directors who are responsible for ensuring that the company sticks to its core values and three-part mission (more on that next week).

8. Last December, Half Baked became the top selling flavor, knocking Cherry Garcia from the throne for the first time in its history.

9. Ben says he typically stands at Jerry’s right side when they get photographed so that if you’re looking at the photo from left to right, you see them in the right order!

10. Certain retailers carry exclusive flavors, including the philanthropic world’s personal favorite, Volun-Tiramisu (available at Target).

The entire community is invited to attend the Annual Campaign Community Event on Tuesday Oct. 7. MOOOOOve quickly and save your scoop, er, spot by calling Campaign Director Sharon Kirshenbaum at 402.334.6485 or email skirshenbaum@jewishomaha.org.

            Seriouseats.com contributed to this article.