Ben & Jerry’s celebrated its 35th birthday as a business on April 9, with Free Cone Day, giving out free ice cream at their stores around the country.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded the ice cream stand with $12,000 of startup money in a former gas station in Burlington, Vt., in 1978. PR director Sean Greenwood revealed that the Northeastern town was chosen because of its college population and lack of an ice cream stand, according to Today.

"They did everything they could to stay in business through the winter," Greenwood said. "They sold soups, crepes, and even pottery, and prayed that they’d make it through."

When the entrepreneurs realized they’d survived the winter months, the celebrated by giving away free ice cream on May 5, 1979 – thereby originating Free Cone Day.

Since then, Free Cone Day has been a yearly event, and has become so popular, in fact, that its enthusiastic celebrators crashed the ice cream company’s website yesterday, reported the Los Angeles Times. Many of those who had taken to the site were no doubt in search of the nearest location of Ben & Jerry’s 650 stores, and hoping to use the convenient store locator.

As Ben & Jerry’s chief marketing officer Dave Stever said in a statement, “It’s free, it’s fair, it’s everywhere.”

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