Meet Jeni Britton Bauer, the multi-talented chef and entrepreneur behind Jeni’s Splended Ice Cream, a burgeoning artisan ice-cream company centered in Columbus, Ohio, with national distribution. Before Jeni began making ice creams, she studied art at The Ohio State University, worked in a bakery, and had a serious hobby blending perfumes and collecting essential oils. Jeni left college to do her own thing from scratch, opening Scream Ice Cream in 1996 in Columbus, Ohio’s North Market. This would set the foundation for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ opening there in 2002. Today, Jeni and her kitchen team makes every ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt from the ground up with grass-grazed milk, local produce, American bean-to-bar chocolate and select ingredients from around the world, including exquisite Fair-Trade-Certified African vanilla and Dutch cocoa. When Jeni isn’t developing new flavors, working on a book, or art directing new campaigns, she devotes time to Local Matters (the fresh-food-for-all Columbus-based non-profit she co-founded), serves on the boards of the Wexner Center for the Arts and Columbus College of Art & Design, and gets into trouble with her husband and two children at their home in Columbus. This program was sponsored by The Greenhouse Tavern.
“I really think of ice cream as edible perfume and a multi sensory experience, which is art — or can be.” [02:00]
“We built our business a different way than I’ve ever seen. The word company means community. We have 400+ people who work for our company and about 150 people who work in our kitchens making ice cream.” [09:00]
“People think there’s a lone creative genius sitting at a drafting table and that’s where great ideas come from – that’s not true it all.” [10:00]
“Looking back – we have never once sacrificed our believes and values for anything – which I think is very neat. We move forward every day. I thought it would be easier, cheaper…etc. It’s been really hard and I think that’s why we’re all still so passionate about it. I certainly never saw my self as a mom and pop shop in a market for the rest of my life.” [12:00]
“Our goal is to be as much direct trade as we can. Who knows how long it will take – the goal is 100% direct trade. We want to work directly with farmers.” [15:00]
–Jeni Britton Bauer on Heritage Radio Network