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Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop: How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor Paperback – May 16, 1995


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Frequently Bought Together

Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop: How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor + Ben & Jerry's Double-Dip: How to Run a Values-Led Business and Make Money, Too + Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry's
Price for all three: $42.98

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (May 16, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517883708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517883709
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Can a business succeed if it is being run by someone who thinks a meeting is valuable when it produces good lines for his company-inspired screen play? Well, yes. In spite of a sometimes slapdash operation, a superior product and hard work save the day in the case of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. This presentation is not a guide for entrepreneurs. Rather, it is a case study of the problems an owner-operated company faces while evolving into a large corporation. Ben and Jerry have tried, with difficulties, to implement their liberal social agenda through the business. For example, they buy some food products through a company operated by homeless persons. The account is interesting rather than educational and may appeal more to Ben & Jerry's ice cream lovers than businesspersons. Reader Joseph Campanella narrates well. Recommended for public libraries in areas where Ben & Jerry's products have a high profile.
Mark Guyer, Stark Cty. Dist. Lib., Canton, Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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. Caroline Andrew --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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So I had a complete book, which costed me less than the magazine.
Tathagata Mukherjee
My mind starts spinning with what I've read and I have trouble falling asleep which is a good indication of how good the book is - I keep thinking about it!!
J. Ervin
Before reading this book I had never tried Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.
SISSY

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DC Abernathy on February 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
It's a chronicle of the intriguing journey of junior high friends who split the $5 cost of a home study course in making homemade ice cream and turn it into a $237 million company (1999 sales). Ben & Jerry's antics of giving away ice cream so they can 'get the ice cream into people's mouths so they will buy it,' take on some unusual situations. Free cones are offered to folks who register to vote, donate books to Head Start, or send postcards to elected officials for a variety of causes, and to celebrate at Fall Down Festivals with block long stilt walking races, music and other amusements. Solar-powered mobiles are used to transport the ice cream and a show on the road. They still sponsor customer appreciation day once a year when free cones are dipped all day.
It's hard to resist a bowl or cone of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Cherry Garcia as you read this humorous show and tell of two guys who really want (and do) make a difference. You'll be ready to book a snow shoe tour of the Vermont plant by the time you finish reading about these guys' mission. Their values-led business (in addition to having fun) is to produce the best ice cream from Vermont dairy products, to increase the value of the of the company for the stockholders and create career opportunities and financial rewards for employees, and to improve the quality of life for the community. (They donate 7.5% of pretax profits to Ben & Jerry's Foundation that supports a variety of causes that improve the quality of life for children.)
I'm using this book as a project for an organizational communications course and enjoyed the reading (and eating) more than I ever expected. It was the most fun I've had doing homework!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was a really good book that shows "How Two Real Guys Built a Business With a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor." This should be required reading for MBA's along with Hawkin's Growing a Business.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop was a little long-winded at times, I thought it was a good easy-to-read book for non-business majors wanting to start a business. Lager's style of writing makes Ben & Jerry seem like two regular guys up the street who had a dream and went after it with all the gusto they could muster. The book would not serve as a business plan protocol necessarily, however, it does display the true entrepeneriual spirit needed in order to make a business successful. Lager does a wonderful job of showing how Ben & Jerry fed off of each other and when one door closed in their face, they found another way in through a different door or window -- exactly what has to be done if you are going to grow a successful business.
Lager captured the realism of the trials and tribulations experienced by most individuals who begin their own business. I would recommend this book to anyone who was thinking of beginning his/her own business because it gives a look at the real side of starting your own business by making Ben & Jerry two real guys who simply wanted to start their own business so they did not have to work from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for someone else. By putting all the business jargon aside, I felt this was a worthwhile read for someone who needs the reassurance that anyone can start a business and this is how Ben & Jerry started theirs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Ervin on December 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a very good book about Ben & Jerry's rise from a couple of hippies in an old gas station to the Ben & Jerry's we know today. My husband and I are small business owners who manufacture another type of food product. The events in this book hit pretty close to home in terms of what we might run across or have already experienced. I must confess, however, I haven't finished it yet. The reason for this is that I mainly read before bedtime. I can't read this book then because it keeps me up at night worrying that our business might run into some of these same pitfalls!!! My mind starts spinning with what I've read and I have trouble falling asleep which is a good indication of how good the book is - I keep thinking about it!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Frantz Jr. on October 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
A good recount of how the company got going, but the last few chapters dragged.
There are things to learn about how Ben and Jerry developed their company:
1)They are geniuses at this. They actually figured out mass production without knowing what they were doing, they figured out marketing from scratch, they encountered financing and survived.
2)They had a near masochistic willingness to work. Boy did these guys work hard (it would kill me to do what they did, even if I had the will to do it).
3)They could adapt incredibly.
4) and finally: There are pitfalls and prices to trying to make social profits and business profits at the same time and to not planning your company to be as big as it already is.
You can learn about businesses in their growth phase from this book. You can learn about making sure a company has sufficient controls in place for its size. You may be able to learn whether you have what it takes to be an entrepeneur.
The first 3/4th of the book were fun to read but for some reason the last couple of chapters, when Ben and Jerry were playing less of a part in the business, were slow and boring (I don't exactly know why but I know they dragged).
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