Antonio McBroom went from scooping ice cream in college to owning a number of Ben & Jerry’s locations.
“I’m an ice cream connoisseur,” McBroom told Spectrum Local News. “That’s what drew me to the job in the first place. I started as a scooper back when I was in college at UNC [University of North Carolina], and I had a milkshake as my first menu item, and that was one of the perks of working on the job. So, I’ve been sticking with it ever since.”
McBroom’s motivation for working at the ice cream company was to provide for not only himself but his family too.
“When I went to UNC, I still had substantial financial responsibilities for my family, for my grandma specifically,” he said in a news release. “I needed to get a job. Walking down the street at orientation, I saw the Ben & Jerry’s. I went in to apply.”
McBroom dedicated 30 hours per week during his sophomore and junior years as a college student. He had been promoted to a manager by his senior year.
Upon graduating from college in 2008, he received a golden opportunity to own the Ben & Jerry’s shop he once worked at as a franchisee.
McBroom would become the youngest franchisee in the history of the company.
Phillip Scotton, credited for creating Ben & Jerry’s pathway to leadership internship program, would later hop on board as their third partner.
McBroom, Taylor, and Scotton then launched Primo Partners LLC.
“We believe in world class hospitality when you do business, and we’ve taken that into the different brands that we work with,” McBroom said of Primo Partners in a statement shared on Instagram.
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Today, Primo Partners boasts a portfolio with 15 Ben & Jerry’s locations (at the time of this writing). According to a news release, it is the ice cream company’s largest franchise group. What’s more, the owners were awarded Operator of the Year in March 2022 by Ben & Jerry’s, becoming the first BIPOC-owned franchisee group to accomplish this feat.
“This award is such a blessing,” McBroom said in the news release. “I hope that Primo Partners being recognized in this way can serve as a testament for what is possible for others.”
Outside of their personal accolades, the leaders of Primo Partners are rooted in racial and socioeconomic equity, so they donate a percentage of the company’s yearly revenue back to Black-owned businesses, according to Spectrum Local News.