We Never Wanted to Be Normal, Anyway
Believe it or not, we do a whole lot more than make ice cream around here. Between noshing on bowls of Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz, playing with our pups, and making the world a better place, we’ve found time over the last (almost) 40 years to make some pretty weird Ben & Jerry’s traditions.
And we’re not talking boring cookie-making contests and unenthusiastic dance-offs. We’re talking about the truly strange, totally random traditions that have somehow found their way into our office culture and stuck around. These 10 are probably the weirdest:
Item number 1
Fancy a Flamingo?
Remember that time you and Jenny in accounting had the exact same outfit on? Wasn’t that funny? Around here, if you show up at work wearing the same outfit as a coworker, you both have to have your photo taken with a plastic flamingo. And then we put them up on the wall.
Item number 2
Funky Franchise Meetings
Every year we have a huge franchise meeting with Scoop Shop owners from all over the globe. And at the very end, the closing celebration is an enormous themed costume party. And these aren’t your run-of-the-mill conference parties with stiff dancing and fake laughs. People go all out for themes like “1970’s”, “High School”, “Pajama Party”, and “Storybook” and it’s a blast every year.
Item number 3
Devil Dogs Haunt Halloween
Every year for Halloween, we have a big celebration which includes a Devil Dog eating contest. No hands, just your mouth, first person to finish their Dogs and then whistle is the champion. Napkins, anyone?
Item number 4
Orange You Going to Say Hello?
The Retail Operations department has a pretty silly way of initiating new members. New hires have to bring an orange food — anything from carrots to cheese puffs to circus peanuts — to share at their first department meeting.
Item number 5
Yeah, We Take Costumes Seriously
We really (like really, really) like Halloween around here. Everybody dresses up in their best, wildest costume and we do a parade through the office. And these aren’t your average cat-ears-and-a-tail costumes. Folks go all out for Halloween — we’re talking masks, papier mâché, outlandish get-ups, makeup, the whole nine yards.
Item number 6
Waffle Cones Are for More Than Eating
Every year we honor the holiday season (and the delicious smell of waffle cones) by decorating a tree in our lobby with freshly-baked waffle cones. They look festive, and (BONUS) the whole office smells like a Scoop Shop. Can’t beat that.
Item number 7
Sliding into Graduation
When folks complete our 8-day in-house Scoop University training program, the final step is to go down the slide. Yup, we have a slide at our headquarters (and it’s rumored to be an exact replica of one Ben has in his house).
Item number 8
What’s in a Flavor Name?
We learned early on that great ideas can come from anywhere. Anywhere. That’s why when we need to name a new flavor, we make the whole company part of the process. The next great flavor name could come from Dan in the copy room or Jostein, our CEO.
Item number 9
There’s Something About Orange . . .
We’re pretty cozy with our co-workers, so it’s not weird when we play a massive game of “pass the orange” every year at our holiday party. Unless you’re stuck next to somebody who forgot to brush their teeth that day, then it’s a little weird.
Item number 10
It’s sad that anyone would want to leave the Ben & Jerry’s family, but now and again we do lose members of our crew. And when folks leave, we all sign a personalized cow scene piece of art and sing “Happy Trails” to them. And usually shed a couple of tears.