Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop: How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor

Fred "Chico" Lager

While Ben & Jerry's is one of the leading innovative and socially responsible businesses, this tale is as much an example to young entrepreneurs of what not to do as it is a model of exactly what to do. Lager, former CEO of Ben & Jerry's, was one of the company's early players, leaving in the 1990s, and he writes a captivating story about the $200 million, publicly traded enterprise, which originated in a rehabbed gas station where its founding fathers once ate saltines and sardines and slept on freezer chests all winter to be able to open by spring. Ben Cohen's dedication, marketing brilliance, and creativity and Jerry Greenfield's burnout, resignation from the company, and return are all faithfully documented, along with the dedication of the production workers to the ideal that has characterized Ben & Jerry's. Lager captures the sense of humor that kept the company going through rough times, but that humor dissipates into whining when the author reaches the years when he and Ben were at ideological odds. Those few chapters aside, this business history will be an inspiration to those struggling with their own young businesses as well as a great read for those who just love ice cream.

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