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Just in time for summer, a new Ben & Jerry’s store is opening on the Gulf Coast.

Until now, the only Ben & Jerry’s on the Gulf Coast between Houston and Tampa has been at the Hard Rock Casino and Resort in Biloxi, Miss.

This week, one of the renowned ice cream parlors will open in Miramar Beach.

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(Ben & Jerry’s/Special to The Pulse)

When the ice cream chain decided it wanted to expand further along the Gulf Coast, Gregory Valloch lept at the opportunity to open a store in Destin.

Valloch, a native of Vermont, said opening a ice cream parlor for the Vermont-based chain had been a dream of his for more than 20 years.

“The people of the Emerald Coast have been deprived too long,” Valloch told the Northwest Florida Daily News this week. “In my opinion it’s the best ice cream in the universe.”

To get the franchise, the store had to be in a prime location, which is why The Market Shops off Emerald Coast Parkway was chosen. Nearly two million visitors travel to Sandestin each year.

Ben & Jerry’s Sandestin is scheduled to open Tuesday, May 3 at 11 a.m. in the spot that once held Starbucks. The grand opening is tentatively scheduled for June 11.

Valloch said his next dream is to open a Ben & Jerry’s in Pensacola.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened their first Ben & Jerry’s store in an old petrol station in Burlington, United States in 1978.

It now operates in more than 30 countries.

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