Free ice cream! (If you’re willing to get in line)

When ice cream shop Ben & Jerry’s first opened last year on Omotesando, people were queuing up for hours just to get a taste of the creamy concoction- and in true Japanese style, this went on for several months. The queues have now significantly decreased after the initial hype, but get ready to wait again on April 9th – it’s free cone day!

So, what exactly makes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream worth the long waits, and who are those guys? Backtrack to the late seventies, in the small ‘hippie’ state of Vermont, where Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield failed out of college and consequently jumped in the ice cream business… after taking a correspondence course on how to make it. Little did they know that their gas station turned ice cream parlor would one day be one of the most sought-after sweets brand in their home country – and now in the rest of the world.

Back in 2000, Ben & Jerry’s was acquired by multinational food giant Unilever, and the company stated it would carry on the tradition of engaging “in these critical, global economic and social missions”. Indeed, true to its bohemian roots, Ben & Jerry’s dairy products all come in ‘eco-pint’ packagings, using environmentally friendly unbleached paperboard. They’ve also supported different causes, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage, changing the name of their “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby” peanut butter and pretzel combo for a few months.

Take your pick amidst flavours sporting hippy names such as “Cherry Garcia”, “Baked Alaska” and “Phish Food” on Free Cone Day, an annual tradition that started on their first anniversary in 1979. It’s free, but it comes with waiting price…

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day

When: Tues. April 9, 11:00-19:00

Where: Ben & Jerry’s Omotesando Hills (branches in Kichijoji and LaLaPort Toyosu)

How much: Free!

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