Ben & Jerry's to Expand Israeli Operation

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Ben & Jerry's gourmet ice cream company announced plans to build a new production facility in southern Israel.

Company officials closed the factory in Yavne when it fell short of the ice cream giant's standards for export.

In addition to ice cream, the new $2 million facility near Kiryat Malachi will produce frozen baked goods, such as pancakes, blintzes and bagels, that will be marketed under the name "Rosie's."

New retail stores are planned for the city of Modi'in, about halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv; Rishon Lezion, just outside Tel Aviv; as well as a second retail outlet in Jerusalem.

The company also plans to expand its 16 ice cream parlors and kiosks across the country.

"Ice-cream parlors have regained momentum in recent years, and we also returned to full activity," said General Manager Avi Zinger.

"Ben & Jerry's opened its first store in Israel in 1988 and operated 16 branches at its peak," he said.

"In 2001, it began to close down its stores due to losses suffered with the outbreak of the [first] intifada and the era of increased terror attacks," Zinger said.

Ben & Jerry's Israeli business turns over some $8 billion annually.

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YNet news contributed to this report.

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