April 3rd, 2012
09:45 AM ET
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Free ice cream - how cool is that?

In celebration of their 34 years of business, on April 3, Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops around the globe will serve up complimentary cones from noon to 8:00 pm.

Founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield began the Free Cone Day tradition as a staff and customer thank you on the first anniversary of their Burlington, Vermont, store in 1979. The company was acquired by Unilever in 2000, but the custom remained.

The company is expected to give away more than 1 million cones of ice cream or Greek frozen yogurt worldwide during the event. Most Scoop Shops will partner with a local charity to raise money and awareness for the cause of their choice.

Says Cohen, "Business can be a force for good." Not to mention cold, creamy, cost-free deliciousness.

More about Free Cone Day at benjerry.com

Ben & Jerry's promises good times with Schweddy Balls
Ben & Jerry's drops fortune cookies from 'Lin-Sanity'
Ben and Jerry back Occupy movement

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Filed under: Chain • Ice Cream • Restaurants

soundoff (68 Responses)
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    April 4, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  7. Gumby

    It's afree scoop of ice cream for frigs sake...everybody just take a deep breath!

    April 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  8. gatecrasher

    I didn't put any money in the tip bucket. When the hippie asked why, I said that I like the ice cream but their politics disgust me and I wasn't going to bankroll Occupy Wall Street.

    April 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Gumby

      Bad Karma, dude. Someone will surely spit in your food somewhere down the line. Take, take, take...tsk, tsk, tsk.

      April 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
      • cavepainter

        Now here's something I kind of sort of agree with you on (except your choice of the word karma). HIGH FIVE! :)

        April 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Pander Bear

      And then you woke up.

      April 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  9. encinomomcom

    One of my favorite days!! Now isn't there a day where someone gives out free donuts??!!

    April 3, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Occupy ...

      .... Dunkin Donuts. I'm a 99%-er and I deserve the right to a free donut.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  10. Bryan

    For the past 5 years 3 of the local Miami/Ft Lauderdale Ben & Jerry's (all franchises, independently owned) have graciously opened their hearts and freezers to the public, and provided thousands of free ice cream cones and cups to kids, parents and grandparents – while donating all tips to charity. Each store has to pony up and pay for the ice cream themselves – which is why many do not do it.

    We are very fortunate that Olga and Dmitri – who started with one location and now have 3 – have chosen to participate -and so are their customers, who lined up around the corner on Hollywood, FL Broadwalk today.

    Over the past 5 years we have been able to raise about $10,000 for SuperSibs! (www.supersibs.org) from the local stores and local patrons from their tips and donations on Free Cone Day – and we cannot thakn the local franchisees, customers, friends and family and Ben & Jerry's enough for their graciousness and help.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  11. rtbrno65

    He looks Greek!

    April 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  12. Debbie

    I'll spend about $18 in gas to get my free scoop of ice cream....

    April 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Johnny Dollar

      Your car would use less gas if you weren't so fat. Maybe more ice cream isn't the way to go.

      Yours Truly,
      Johnny Dollar

      April 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  13. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    And we wonder why there is a HUGE obesity epidemic in this world?! Common now Ben & Jerry! Until you invent a calorie, fat, sugar and carb free ice cream... you should CHARGE up the wazoo for your scoops! LOL!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • don lardo

      If your pants don't fit, you must acquit

      April 4, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  14. Gluteus Maximus

    Waffle Cow Donkey Midget Hair Armpit Condom Booger Tampon Sheep Gerbil Ferret Pancake

    April 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Bob

      Yes, you are.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
      • Mick

        I agree with you 100%

        April 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  15. i scream for icecream!

    well a free scoop of icecream makes my day. jerrys "Cherrys" garcia is my fav

    April 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  16. Bob

    Sorry, I don't support corporations that donate money to support defending cop killers. Take your ice cream and choke on it.

    April 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Jackie Wilson

      Prove this happened. Sources, and do NOT use Wikipedia.

      April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Gumby

      Hope they can survive without you. Now I gotta order twice as much to cover your shortfall?

      April 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  17. ouch

    what do the "scoop shops" offer that the grocery store doesnt? Its $3.25 for a thing of Ben & Jerrys at walmart, I would imagine its about that much for one serving at these shops. When I saw one on food network it didnt seem to have any extra flavors or have better quality, it was just standard Ben & Jerrys.

    If you are going to pay a premium for shop ice cream why not choose higher quality ice cream instead of grocery store quality?

    April 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • cavepainter

      Not only do I agree with this, but after the occasional evening dinner at a restaurant I'd also suggest getting dessert over at the grocery store and taking it home. Unless it's an amazing restaurant with a specialty dessert, it's basically the same thing at the grocery store but at 1/4 the price. :)

      April 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • B&J Fan

      ouch & cp, check out their website. Some of their flavors are exclusive to their scoop shops.

      April 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Marla

      Ya know, sometimes it's nice to just be out with the family and stop in for a cone. If my budget was that tight, I'd probably not buy Ben & Jerry's at the grocery store either, as it is on the pricy side. Sometimes you pay a premium for getting service from a shop while you are out of the house. Just like when you go out to dinner.

      April 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
      • cavepainter

        Around here one of the only decent restaurants in town charges $6 for dessert for one person. A party of 4 would pay $24 just for a round of dessert. But a decent pie at the grocery store is $6-8 and is just as large as the 4 desserts combined, if not more. Charging a premium is one thing, especially when quality is a factor, but inflating the price 3-4 times for something just about the same quality is a little hard for me to swallow. :)

        April 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
        • Soms

          Have you seriously just figured out that eating in restaurants is way more expensive?

          April 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
        • cavepainter

          At what point did I say "I just now discovered this!" ? :)

          I eat out when the restaurant can cook something better than I can, which isn't often. Like I said, charing a premium is fine when quality is a factor.

          April 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
        • Gumby

          What a maroon. Please look up "food costs" somewhere. That slice of pie has to cover many, many more "costs" than just the serving of that slice of pie.

          Oh, and by the way, alcohol is much cheaper if you by the wine in the box and drink it in your bedroom...all alone.

          April 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
        • cavepainter

          People here sure are making a lot of assumptions about me and what I know or don't know. I guess now people think I also never realized there's such a thing as people -working- in a restaurant and being -paid- for it. I'm such a dummy sometimes. ^__^

          Seriously though, my point stands. Which is simply- you can save a few dollars and get the same thing right down the street at the grocery store. What's the big deal about that? Sometimes I just don't get you guys. Unless maybe you two work at a restaurant and want to refute me advising against the dessert menu? ;)

          By the way, I don't drink.

          April 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  18. amy

    Check the Ben and Jerry's website, because over half of the 24 stores in MA were not participating in free cone day. Disappointing!

    April 3, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • @AMY

      That is what happens when you sell the business to the highest bidder. The highest bidder gets to say what stores will par take in this and what stores won't.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  19. Leo

    Glad I checked the internet first. There are three stores in Atlantic City and not one participates. The closest in 75 miles away. What a disappointment..they should just either have 100 percent participation or do away with it..

    April 3, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      I believe it is up to the franchise owner's discretion. The reimbursement from HQ can be pretty dismal. My experience from when I managed a Subway shop for BOGO days. People come out of the woodwork for anything free, the freebie day is the only time of year you see most of the people come through that day.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:07 am |
      • allie

        So true! After 18 years as a franchisee of two major corporations, I can attest to the fact that there is seldom ANY reimbursement from the corporation, and the new customers drawn in by the freebie are never seen again.

        April 3, 2012 at 11:42 am |
      • OSRT

        Please as much as Ben & Jerry charges for ice cream they should be able to afford to give back once a year!

        April 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
        • i scream for icecream!

          ya, i know that's right! ice cream shouldn't be that expensive $$$, especially when it's not healthy for you anyway

          April 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  20. jessica66

    ben and jerry – good example of capitalism at its best. had an idea, ran with it, built a profitable business and then sold it for a fortune. and they were charitable, like most capitalists tend to be.

    April 3, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  21. tutuvabene

    How appropriate that this piece is next to a story on obesity.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Benn

      It's not. Don't be a turd. Tenacious Use of Regurgitated Diatribe=TURD

      April 3, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Jenn

      Don't be a d*ck.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  22. michael

    17 in nj and the overwhelming majority do not participate in free cone day. Sounds to me like it started out as a nice thing but now its just free advertising by the news for a company that does not have 100% participation by its stores. So Sad.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  23. unowhoitsme

    Thanks Ben and Jerry! There's not too many businesses that will do that!

    April 3, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  24. WCF

    The closest Scoop Shop to us is 22 miles away. Wah.
    But (and it's a big one) I got some Everything But The ... in the freezer. Yum!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • Topaz114

      My closest one is 42 miles away. :(

      April 3, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • Amy

      I just checked and four are listed as "close". One is on a cruise ship that leaves from our port and the other three are all in various Six flags locations more than 50 miles away. Boo.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  25. kc_and_fa

    I am lactose intolerant. A tablespoon of ice cream is enough give me problems the next day. But the day before the world ends I will be driving to every Ben & Jerry's the GPS can find. I will be happy.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:06 am |
    • Jenn

      hahahahaha that's great. I'm not an icecream person but Ben and Jerry's is brilliant.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  26. Ben Johns

    Coney 2012?

    April 3, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • Gumby

      Just got it! Hillarious!

      April 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  27. Food & The City

    Reblogged this on Food and the City.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:12 am |
  28. cavepainter

    I just finished a pint of the raspberry greek frozen yogurt. It was pretty good, but not my favorite.

    April 3, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • Dover

      A pint? Hellllooooo diabetes.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:32 am |
      • Benn

        Diabetes? Not from one pint of anything. Turn in your MD card.

        April 3, 2012 at 6:41 am |
      • cavepainter

        You're right that it's not the best thing I could have eaten, but then again it's not like I ate it all at once either. Regular people, and even diabetics, can eat basically anything. The key is -quantity- and whether you're getting a good balance overall. Being diabetic, which I'm not, just means tighter restrictions on how much is too much and how often is too often. Although in retrospect I probably didn't eat that pint over a long enough period of days. :)

        April 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  29. Bobby

    It's the one birthday present I can count on every year.

    April 3, 2012 at 2:35 am |
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