What Would it Take to Get a Ben & Jerry’s in Montana?
Americans love ice cream.
According to the Census Bureau, the average American consumes 20 pounds of ice cream per year. That's about 4 gallons each! Wow. The survey also noted that most ice cream companies in the US are family owned and have been around for at least 50 years.
Think of Montana's beloved Wilcoxon's Ice Cream, which was founded in Livingston in 1912 by Carl Wilcoxon. His son Harold took over the family business in 1951. The man worked well past retirement age. He passed away in 2017. The Bozeman Chronicle wrote about his work ethic,
Arriving at the plant around 6 a.m., he would look for any electrical or refrigeration issues from the night before and then handle the standard day-to-day business activities. Harold continued to utilize his knowledge of electronics in new plant projects often designing his own electrical schematics and floor plans. Often working seven days a week well into his 90s.
Wilcoxon's is one of my favorite brands of ice cream, and I love being able to support a Montana company when I reach into the freezer section for a 1/2 gallon of delicious, creamy goodness. But I also like Ben & Jerry's. Will they ever open a franchise in Montana?
No plans to expand into Montana, per the company.
Currently, you'll have to drive to Colorado or Washington to find a Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop. There are none in WY, ID, SD, ND, or MT. When I clicked on Franchise Opportunities/Montana on their website, this is what it says,
We are not currently looking to open scoop shops in your state. However, if you have a unique opportunity with high pedestrian traffic, please contact us at email@example.com.
Well, shoot. Guess it looks like we'll have to make a road trip to Fort Collins or Seattle if I want to walk into a Ben & Jerry's and order a double Cherry Garcia in a waffle cone. Now that I think about it, I like Wilcoxon's better anyway.