In 1968 Ben Cohen worked for Pied Piper Distributors, Inc in New York, where he held positions such as warehousing, inventory control, driver testing and even an ice-cream distributor. Six years later he began working as a crafts teacher in Paradox, New York until he moved to Vermont in 1977. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1973 with a Bachelor's in Biology, Jerry Greenfield worked in biochemical research at the Public Health Research Institute in New York City. He later worked at the University of North Carolina until he moved to Vermont in 1977.
In 1977, after taking a five-dollar correspondence course on ice cream making and with an investment of $12,000 dollars both Ben and Jerry decided to start their own business. They rented an abandoned gas in Burlington, Vermont and began making homemade ice cream in a four-gallon mixer. They used all natural and pure ingredients to produce a richer and smoother product.
Soon, the business became a local success. By 1980 Ben and Jerry began to package pint-size ice cream to sell in the local grocery stores. Within a year, with sales were approaching $500,000 dollars, the manufacturing of the ice cream outgrew their gas station sized building, and operations had to be moved to a second site. The company continued to grow at an average of 60 percent per year. By 1990, the company was selling in all major markets nationally.
"Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream was founded on the corporate concept of linked prosperity, interrelating a three-part mission statement to focus their company's growth. Their mission statement, which covers their product, economic and social goals, focuses both the leadership and the workforce on their key values. These values include staying in touch with the customer base, using quality ingredients, maintaining profitability and maintaining social awareness...