Sunday, May 08, 2005

Ben & Jerry's Coming to Downtown Detroit

The world headquarters of Compuware is about to add another tenant to its quickly-expanding repertoire of retail clients. According to this news bulletin in tonight's online edition of Crain's Detroit (although the article's date says May 9 - which isn't until tomorrow...), Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit will open up the 16th U.S franchise of the unique ice cream shop Ben & Jerry's, which became very popular in the 90's for its funky ice cream names like Cherry Garcia (my favorite), Chunky Monkey, and Phish Food.

Besides having a fun, new ice cream store downtown, the opening of Ben and Jerry's in Detroit is a significant addition to the city because the business will be utilized to teach job skills to at-risk teens, such as the development of people skills, and other qualities like scheduling and inventory-management. Upon completion of the program, trainees will receive assistance in finding positions with area companies.

Goodwill - a non-profit organization that has many successful ventures in both Macomb and Wayne counties - qualified as a PartnerShop, a form of relationship created by the ice cream maker that allows chosen non-profits to forego many of the normal start-up costs of opening a franchise.

Detroit's Ben & Jerry's - which will be located on Woodward Avenue inside Compuware - is set to open at the end of this month and will be adjacent to retailers Kinko's and Borders.