It was 1978. A college dropout and a failed medical-school applicant had just brought together their combined life savings to rent an old gas station. Their plan was to resurrect the empty station and open their own restaurant. Their specialty: ice cream. So begins the story of legendary entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who are better known across the globe as Ben & Jerry. Their small, old-fashioned ice-cream parlor eventually became a Burlington, Vermont favorite, and before long, shops popped up all over the U.S. and in 25 other countries. Their brand easily attracted customers––homemade ice cream churned from wholesome, natural ingredients and blended into creative flavors. Some of their popular scoops include Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Coffee Caramel Buzz.
Since infusing their first rich and creamy batches of ice cream with natural chunks of fruit, nuts, candies, and cookies, Ben and Jerry have also operated with a commitment to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally. They practice sustainable food production and business practices that respect the earth and environment. Ben & Jerry’s cartons are made from FSC-certified paper, which comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife, and waste from Ben & Jerry’s plants generates energy to power farms. The company works tirelessly to reduce its carbon emissions; it strongly encourages customers to eat their ice cream in the darkest dark.
Chef/owner Ronald LeBaron whips up classic down-home breakfasts in a family friendly atmosphere at LeBaron's Honker Cafe. Omelets, chicken-fried steak and eggs, and other homestyle breakfasts are served all day, but in the mornings, it's the jumbo homemade cinnamon rolls that entice early risers first. Sweet smells of swirled dough and glassy icing mingle through the air while Ron stacks plates with fluffy pancakes, Texas-size French toast, and three-egg omelets stuffed with choice ingredients. Later in the day, chef Natasha steps in the kitchen where she creates mouth-watering dinner specials, such as her slow-roasted root-beer barbecue tri-tip served with twice-baked mashed potatoes, corn, and scallion fritters. Guests may top off any meal with a wedge of homemade-baked pie.
At Big Star Coffee, rigorously trained baristas handcraft each cup of coffee to their client’s request, rather than relegating their jobs to automated coffee makers. Drawing on a supply of fair-trade, organic teas and coffee beans, they concoct drinks from simple Americanos to cinnamon- and spice-infused mexican mochas. Alternatively, they blend summery drinks that run the gamut from coffee frappes to Red Bull smoothies, which bolster energy levels and fuel select automobiles. They also stock a glass-fronted case with pastries, wraps, and breakfast sandwiches.
Grooveberries Frozen Yogurt is located near a movie theater. So, after seeing a new blockbuster, patrons might stop by for 1 of 10 flavors of frozen yogurt as well as an abundant selection of toppings. Flavors might include cookies and cream, cake batter, georgia peach, pumpkin, and watermelon sorbet.
The sun is a constant presence at Twisp Cafe & Coffee House, flooding in the windows in the morning to shake the drowsiness from commuters and hovering overhead as diners stop in for lunch. The recently retooled menu spills over with Mediterranean-inspired options, including pizza dotted with olives and fresh basil, falafel sandwiches, and flaky baklava made in-house. These pair with energizing drinks, such as salted-caramel lattes and huckleberry white mochas. Visitors can make use of the free WiFi or stop by for frequent events, including acoustic musicians, book signings, and chances to take a ride in the bean roaster.
The cooks at Sammy’s reinvent American diner classics by piling 1/3-pound beef patties with unusual ingredients and blending numerous varieties of pie into gourmet milk shakes. Burger behemoths include Ben's Big Belly Burger, with a meaty base that hides beneath swiss cheese, grilled onions, grilled pineapple, guacamole, teriyaki sauce, and mayonnaise. Other treats include the Hey Nikki You're So Fine grilled-chicken sandwich and the Something About Mary, a black-bean patty caught in a farcical love hexagon of sautéed onions, pepper jack, pico de gallo, avocado, lettuce, and tomato.
In addition to concocting signature pie shakes in flavors such as mint Oreo and four different types of cheesecake, the team at Sammy's blends smoothies, regular shakes and malts, and cupcake shakes in flavors such as spiced carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting. Alongside the reformed diner fare, Sammy's regularly serves up live music events and a hip, relaxed atmosphere.