African American News

Black-owned, Black-led Franchisee Group Gets the “Big O” from Ben & Jerry’s

It’s a First for the Ice Cream Company

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., March 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The three Black leaders of Primo Partners want to use their business to dismantle white supremacy.

It helps that they’re franchisees of Ben & Jerry’s, an iconic ice cream company known for its business activism, bold flavors, and fight against systemic racism. Primo Partners was recently awarded The Big O for operational excellence, the first minority-owned business to receive the award in Ben & Jerry’s 43-year history. At the same time, Primo Partners became Ben & Jerry’s largest franchise organization, with 10 Scoop Shops across six states.

The Big-O is given to the Operator of the Year and it’s the highest accolade a Ben & Jerry’s franchise can win. It is prestigious, much coveted, and comes with its own silly Big O hat. Winners of the award demonstrate excellence in sales trends, financial management, marketing, community involvement, and store operations.

Primo Partners does all that and develops promising Black entrepreneurs through diverse hiring and mentorship. “I moved from scooper to shift leader to shop manager,” Primo Partners CEO Antonio McBroom said. “Then I bought my first shop and I haven’t stopped. Primo Partners exists to create opportunities for historically marginalized people. That’s how we’re going to grow generational wealth in our community.”

Led by McBroom, Eric Taylor and Phillip Scotton, Primo Partners makes sure its franchises maintain an unwavering commitment to hospitality while fighting for racial and socioeconomic equity. In the last ten years their franchises have donated thousands of scoops of ice cream to hundreds of organizations, including those focusing on voting rights and changes to the criminal legal system.

“This award is such a blessing,” McBroom said. “I hope that Primo Partners being recognized in this way can serve as a testament for what is possible for others.”


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