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Jerry Greenfield (born March 14, 1951) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is a co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Holdings, Inc.

Jerry Greenfield
Jerry Greenfield.jpg
Jerry Greenfield in 2010
Born (1951-03-14) March 14, 1951 (age 68)
ResidenceWilliston, Vermont
Alma materOberlin College (1973)
OccupationCo-founder of Ben & Jerry's
Home townMerrick, New York
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Skarie
Children1

Greenfield grew up in Long Island. He attended Oberlin College, where he followed a pre-med curriculum before graduating in 1973.[1] He applied unsuccessfully for medical school before deciding to go into business with Ben Cohen, a childhood friend.[1] After taking a course in ice-cream making from Penn State, Greenfield and Cohen opened their first ice cream store in downtown Burlington, Vermont.[1] The company, which sold to the British-Dutch corporation Unilever in 2000, has since opened almost 200 franchised shops and reports earnings of $237 million annually.[2]

Contents

Personal life and educationEdit

Jerry Greenfield grew up on Long Island and attended Merrick Avenue Junior High School, where he met Ben Cohen in 1963.[3] Greenfield and Cohen both attended Calhoun High School and remained friends until they both graduated and left Long Island to attend college.[3]

Greenfield chose to pursue a pre-med curriculum at Oberlin College.[1] At Oberlin, Greenfield began working as an ice cream scooper in the school's cafeteria.[2]

After graduating in 1973, Greenfield failed to get into medical school.[1] At this point, Greenfield decided to move back to New York where he shared an apartment with Cohen on East 10th Street and worked as a lab technician.[citation needed] In 1974, Greenfield was again rejected from medical school and decided to move to North Carolina with his future wife, Elizabeth Skarie, and continued to work as a lab technician.[3]

Greenfield lived with Cohen in Saratoga Springs, New York during the summer of 1977.[4] After initially considering opening a bagel shop, they chose to open an ice cream store.[1] They took a five-dollar correspondence course in ice-cream making and opened their first store in a former gas station in Burlington, Vermont.[1][4] Ben & Jerry's opened in the summer of 1978.[2][5]

During the 1980s, Greenfield left the business to support Elizabeth in Arizona as she pursued a Ph.D. in psychology.[citation needed] The couple returned to Vermont in 1985, when Greenfield assumed the position of Director of Mobile Promotions.[citation needed]

In 1987, Greenfield married Elizabeth Skarie and in 1988, they had a son Tyrone.[6] He resides in Williston, Vermont, a small town just outside Burlington.[7]

On April 18, 2016, Greenfield and Cohen were arrested at a Democracy Awakening protest in Washington, D.C.[8][9]

Ben & Jerry'sEdit

Greenfield and Cohen began looking for a proper location for their ice cream parlor in 1977. The criteria that they set down were that the location should be a college town, since they assumed college students ate a lot of ice cream, and that it should be warm. After comparing information from almanacs and a guide to American colleges, the pair realized that every warm college town already had an ice cream shop and settled on Burlington, Vermont in 1978, as the location for their shop.[citation needed]

 
Greenfield (right) in 2012 with Ben Cohen

After choosing their town, the two businessmen needed to find a suitable building. They decided on an old gas station and began looking for financing. With a combined savings totaling around $8,000, Greenfield and Cohen began searching for a bank to lend them money. Repeatedly they found themselves rejected because the gas station could only be leased for one year at a time and it was judged unwise to invest large amounts of capital in such a venture. Finally they managed to receive a $4,000 loan and began renovating the station. On May 5, 1978, the parlor opened and throughout the summer experienced success, however, the pair struggled throughout the winter.[citation needed]

In 1980, after experiencing initial success in their attempts to distribute their ice cream to restaurants throughout Vermont, the company moved to a larger facility and began packaging ice cream in pint size containers. In 1984, Häagen-Dazs tried to limit distribution of Ben & Jerry's in Boston, prompting Ben & Jerry's to file suit against Häagen-Dazs' parent company, Pillsbury, in its now famous "What's the Doughboy Afraid Of?" campaign.[10] In 1987 Häagen-Dazs again tried to enforce exclusive distribution, and Ben & Jerry’s filed its second lawsuit against the Pillsbury Company.[11]

In April 2000, Ben & Jerry's was bought by the multinational food giant, Unilever.[12] Since the purchase, Greenfield and Cohen remain active in the company, but claim they have "no responsibility, no authority."[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Daugherty, Greg. "7 Really Famous People Who Were Rejected by Graduate School". Money. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  2. ^ a b c "Jerry Greenfield, An Evening of Entrepreneurial Spirit, Social Responsibility, and Radical Business Philosophy". Omnibus Lecture Series. 5 March 2008. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ a b c "Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield". Newsday. January 2004. Archived from the original on January 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Vermont's Finest? Ben & Jerry's Tried To Launch Their Ice Cream Empire In Saratoga". Saratoga Living. 2017-06-19. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  5. ^ O'Connor, Kevin (2015-09-07). "Ben & Jerry's global growth lacks one local ingredient". VTDigger. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  6. ^ Biography.com: "Jerry Greenfield biography" retrieved November 19, 2013
  7. ^ "Jerry Greenfield". Notable Names Database. 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
  8. ^ Lauren Maloney. "Ice Cream's Ben & Jerry Arrested". MYCHAMPLAINVALLEY.
  9. ^ "Ben & Jerry's Co-Founders Arrested During Protest : People.com". PEOPLE.com.
  10. ^ "From the Vault: Ben & Jerry's". Archived from the original on 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2017-05-03. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ "Court Issues Injunction Against Haagen-Dazs Forcing Out Ben & Jerry's". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  12. ^ "Ben & Jerry's & Unilever to Join Forces". Ben & Jerry's Press Release. Archived from the original on 2008-04-05. Retrieved 2008-04-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "Coneheads". Boston Phoenix. 14 August 2003. Archived from the original on 4 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-15. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External linksEdit