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Ben and Jerry’s ice cream stand on campus for semester

TJ Woodard (right), a junior economics major, serves Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to Kady Forbes, a junior journalism and communications major.

TJ Woodard (right), a junior economics major, serves Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to Kady Forbes, a junior journalism and communications major.

Brandon Thomas, a spokesman for Carolina Dining Services, said this is the first time CDS has installed a long-term food kiosk.

“The owner of Ben and Jerry’s on Franklin Street actually approached Carolina Dining Services, and Carolina definitely wanted to do it to support local business,” he said.

Antonio McBroom bought the Ben and Jerry’s on Franklin Street just two days before graduating from UNC in 2008. He worked at the store throughout college.

“It’s a high-energy place and everything was fun, so I was like, OK, if I can make a career out of something that’s fun, it’s a no brainer,” McBroom said.

Thomas said the fact that McBroom has a history with UNC made the decision even easier.

“It’s a way to help a local business, help an alum, and provide something that’s really popular for college students,” he said.

After the ice cream chain’s partnership with UNC Athletics began this year, McBroom saw a need on campus.

“Not all students on campus make it up to Franklin Street that often, and us being in the Pit is more about just continuing to activate the brand and credit more brand-loyal fans by being right there on campus and service the entire UNC community,” he said.

The Ben and Jerry’s stand is different from restaurants inside Lenoir because it pays CDS a 20 percent commission instead of rent, Thomas said.

This will be a test period for CDS to gauge how successful food kiosks could be in the future, he said.

The stand is scheduled to stay open until May 8, but both CDS and Ben and Jerry’s are hoping the students’ response will justify extending the contract and even bringing more food carts to campus.

“It’s not going to be a one-time offer and never happen again because it’s something that we think could be really popular that people will appreciate,” Thomas said. “Judging from the line yesterday, I think it is pretty appreciated.”

Like a lot of students, UNC freshman Bailey Brislin bought a cup of mint ice cream on Monday.

“Ice cream is a spring staple,” she said.

UNC junior TJ Woodard got a job with Ben and Jerry’s a few weeks ago, before he found out he was going to be working the stand.

“It’s getting a lot of buzz on campus, people are taking pictures with me and Snapchats, so I guess I’m going to be the Ben and Jerry’s guy from now on,” Woodard said with a smile.

“It’s been a pretty good experience so far, I’ve got a lot of people very excited to come by and say, ‘Oh man, is this permanent?’ and to see their faces light up does it all for me.”

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