The Vermont-based Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is known for original flavors, from Double Chocolate Brownie to Rainforest Crunch, and also for the partners' belief that business in part is a vehicle for community service -- to the tune of 7.5% of annual pretax profits, in their case.
Here, writing with freelancer Maran, they relate how they started out by giving away ice-cream cones and since then have mounted free movie festivals and voter registration drives, hired the homeless, given to community causes in lieu of advertising, gone partners with nonprofit civic groups on some of their 156 franchised "scoop shops," demonstrated truck refrigeration run by solar energy and promoted their first stock issue on ice-cream containers.
They also come clean on certain of their shortcomings, admitting they use chlorine-bleached white paper -- for more effective packaging -- though it is harmful to the environment.
There is gallons more in this enthralling, detailed business saga of two "value-led" entrepreneurs who were told that their methods of operation were doomed to failure but who now have a $160 million business to prove who was right.
Ben and Jerry's Double Dip online from