Photo Credit: Getty
First Black-Owned Ben & Jerry’s Opens In Florida
There’s a new Ben & Jerry’s in Florida that’s sweeter than any ice cream shop you’ve ever been to before, and that’s because they’re serving a little bit of melanin magic on the side.
Florida is now home to its first Black-owned Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop franchises after three friends and business partners opened the newest location in Clearwater. A second location by the trio is set to open in Midtown Tampa in the coming weeks.
The three men, Antonio McBroom, Eric Taylor, and Phillip Scotton, are partners in the franchisee group Primo Partners, which runs the Ben & Jerry’s chains in Florida.
This isn’t their first rodeo, though, as they have managed to take over the South with locations also in North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee. Primo Partners is now the largest franchise organization with 10 scoop shops across six states.
But that’s not all.
Primo Partners was recently awarded The Big O for operational excellence, making them the first minority-owned business to receive the award in Ben & Jerry’s history, according to a news release.
The Big-O is the highest award a Ben & Jerry’s franchise can win. To receive it, the owners must demonstrate excellence in sales trends, financial management, marketing, community involvement, and store operations.
From Ben & Jerry’s Employee To Franchise Owner
McBroom is proof that with a little patience, discipline, and hard work, anything is possible.
He was once a scooper before being promoted to a shift leader, then shop manager, and now he co-owns several across the country.
“I bought my first shop and I haven’t stopped. Primo Partners exists to create opportunities for historically marginalized people,” he says. “That’s how we’re going to grow generational wealth in our community.”
During a recent interview with WFLA, Taylor emphasized the importance of representation. He says the men want to use their position to inspire and mentor other aspiring Black business owners.
“What we want to continue to do is put representation and put people who look like us in the franchise community,” says Taylor. “So we started out in Houston, we had a member who was a manager in our organization for three years and we made him an owner down in Houston, Texas. We just want to continue to expand that representation.”
Heading to the Tampa area? The Ben & Jerry’s is located at 409 Mandalay Avenue in Clearwater.
Be sure to take check out our guide to spending 48 Hours in Black-owned Tampa while you’re visiting.