In some parts of the country, it may be a little chilly yet to spend money on ice cream. But a free scoop?
Ben and Jerry’s is celebrating Free Cone Day, by giving away a scoop of ice cream to every customer who walks through the doors of any of its 800 US stores (or, for that matter, its locations in 28 other countries) between noon and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3. Depending on the availability at each location, any of Ben and Jerry’s 34 “Scoop Shop” flavors are up for grabs. That includes famous chunky favorites like “Cherry Garcia,” Stephen Colbert’s “AmeriCone Dream,” and “Phish food” (for the jam band Phish), as well as a new line of four Greek frozen yogurt flavors, which Ben and Jerry’s unveiled in early February.
To find the one nearest you, visit the company’s store locator and type in your street address, city, state, and/or zip code. Most states have at least one location.
The Vermont-based ice cream purveyor has been giving out free ice cream annually since opening their doors in 1978. The giveaway falls every April 3 to celebrate the company’s anniversary.
"As a way to thank our customers for their support and to celebrate 34 years of scooping the chunkiest, funkiest ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet, Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops are happily giving it away!" a statement on the company's website read.
Pals Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened the first Ben and Jerry’s in Burlington, Vt., after completing a correspondence course on making ice cream. The company’s headquarters and main factory are still located in Vermont. In 1988, Ronald Reagan awarded Ben and Jerry with the “Small Business Persons of the Year” award. In 2000, they sold the company the British Dutch food conglomerate Unilever, and are no longer involved with the company’s day to day operations.
Still, the two make frequent public appearances on behalf of the company: In 2007, they appeared on “The Colbert Report” to launch the “AmeriCone Dream” flavor. In 2011, they made a stop at "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” to launch the “Late Night Snack” flavor, which features a picture of the talk show host on the cover.
Ben and Jerry’s has a long history of aligning itself with certain social causes, chiefly environmentalism and human rights. The company has been involved with the Children’s Defense Fund, and in 2009 came out in support of gay marriage, renaming its popular “Chubby Hubby” flavor “Hubby Hubby” for the month of September of that year.
On the environmental front, Ben and Jerry’s transitioned to eco-friendly pint packaging in 2001. In 2005, to protest a US Senate proposal that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, the company created a 900-pound Baked Alaska and left it on the steps of the US Capitol Building.
And the company’s reach goes beyond Earth: It was the first national brand of ice cream to fly on the space shuttle, in 1992.