When you drive through Vermont along the Vermont 100 highway you will notice there is a lot of agricultural business going on in this state – and they do have a lot of cows as well. I guess it was the cows which attracted a couple of guys from Long Island to this area – they expected to be able to get a lot of milk for their new ice-cream factory.
So in the small town of Stowe in the northern part of Vermont you will find a Ben and Jerry ice-cream factory. You can go inside and visit the factory if you are willing to pay a fairly modest entry fee of 4 dollars. Considering you have probably had a long drive to get here you just might want to learn how you make ice-cream.
We decide to stop at the factory which has a pretty big parking lot with lots of parked cars – I guess we are not the only ones who want to go and see how you make ice-cream today. Fortunately there aren’t too many people waiting for an upcoming tour so we manage to get a slot in just 15 minutes.
I have never been to an ice-cream factory before so I am actually curious about how the production process is working. We start with a short film about Ben and Jerry – the film is about 15 minutes – but it only talks about ice-cream and the company for about half this time. The rest of the movie is about a charity supported by Ben and Jerry – I guess the charity is commendable – but I was here to hear about ice-cream not the founder’s personal pet projects so I was a bit disappointed by the movie.
The tour of the factory isn’t much better since we are only ushered from the movie theater to a little hall way from where you can watch the factory below – unfortunately no photos allowed. The guide tells a little bit about the production process but it is a bit superficial and only last a short while. Then we head inside the final room of the tour where you can taste the ice-cream. The tasters are actually pretty big so you do get some ice-cream included in the tour. And there are more than enough ice-cream for everybody so you can have seconds if you like – after people who wanted had seconds there was still more ice-cream melting away so you could have third as well.
I guess the tasting was the highlight of the tour and the rest could probably just be skipped all together. After having ice-cream we continue the journey towards New Hampshire.