Our affinity for Jeni’s Ice Cream makes it our December Brand Crush on the blog.
My love at first sight moment with Jeni’s was at a friends wedding in Nashville. I was mid cupid shuffle when I turned and saw the silver portable ice cream truck setting up next to the tent. Jumping at the opportunity for free ice cream (I didn’t know, nor care, who it was made by) I speedily shuffled in line ready to receive complimentary creaminess. Two cups of Salty Caramel later, I had completely forgotten about the dance floor and fell in love with Jeni’s.
Being strong believers of work ethic and whimsy, we were drawn to Jeni’s Ice Cream and the brains behind the splendid-ness: Jeni Britton Bauer. Like her ice cream, Jeni has spun splendid into every aspect of her brand and infused it with “talent, hustle, guts.”
Jeni was an art student at Ohio State University with a penchant for mixing essential oils. Ice cream served as the perfect conduit for Jeni’s essential oil experiments, one of which by happenstance, became the catalyst for Jeni’s Ice Cream beginnings – Queen City Cayenne. Quickly, her ideas and recipes took shape and gave inspiration for countless more. (We are especially grateful for the invention of Brown Butter Almond Brittle!) Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams opened in 2002 in Columbus, Ohio’s historic North Market and hasn’t stopped scaling since. Now, Jeni has shops in 8 states in the US and her ice cream has even reached places like New York and Dubai.
Jeni’s Ice Cream is packaged in a way that’s like ice cream for the eyes. They release their new print design for their signature flavors this October. It’s simple. Tweaks like paper instead of plastic, and their new hand lettered font add a distinct new twist to their pints. Their signature Pantone 172 orange takes center stage with a stark white background, making it clean and expressive. You don’t even need to squint to read the ingredients – they’re blown up to expose the locally sourced, hand crafted creaminess. You like it before you even finish reading it. Jeni’s still maintains its branding whimsy with limited edition flavors, designing pints with the ingredients and seasons in mind to bring maximum joy.
Anytime you see a Jeni’s storefront, you know their round orange and white sign is a beacon on good things to come. Or maybe that’s because your pupils have just turned into hearts and your mind mentally drunk at the thought of your near future sugar high. Don’t dismay at the line to get in the door, it’s usually longer than a club on Friday night, and for good reason.
When you step into one of Jeni’s splendid shops you instantly feel the open space complimented with white tile, chalkboard menus and wood accents. Round marble top tables are filled with happy people tasting a menagerie of flavors. It’s the type of atmosphere where a stranger might hug you or you might get a hankering to go buy a balloon. As you take in your surroundings, the smell of waffle cones and warm sugar fill the room like your grandmother’s cookies. This is just an ice cream shop, and you know it, but it feels like so much more. Six samples in and they promise that it’s okay to keep taste testing. Faced with the best of problems (what to order!), you’re informed that it’s fair game to pair as many flavors together as you want.
Here you go: “Salty-caramel-whiskey-pecan-torrone…and gravel!” *squeals internally*
Not only is their brand crushworthy, so is their heart. Jeni’s is a Certified B Corporation which are “for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” On Jeni’s Certified B Corps profile it states that, “being a certified B-corp allows Jeni’s to be a company that is not just about marketing one big idea, but a living, breathing company of real people who believe in pushing forward each day in order to achieve many big ideas and ultimately, to change the world.”
As part of Jeni’s B Corps standards, they publish an Annual Report detailing awards, store opening, book launches, company collaborations, milestones, and stats on their ingredients and environmental impact. The culture of care and intention put into everything from the relationships with the farms and suppliers to the process of making a flavor is indicative of the brand quality. Their story and heart fuels their actions and relationships, leading to a next level experience for everyone involved. They truly are the cream of the (certified B corp) crop.
Jeni doesn’t stop at good, she goes for great and gutsy. Since her success with Jeni’s, she’s expanded her creativity into cookbooks, and a sister company called EatWell. In a day-in-the-life interview written by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, Jeni said, “Our team is loaded with talent, hustle, and guts, and that’s why our ice creams are so good, and why we can pull off the things we do. Just a scrappy little ice cream company from the middle of Ohio.”
So, by now, I’m sure you are crushing pretty hard too. To get your hands on a pint, visit their website or run to find your nearest store in Columbus, Cleveland, Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta, Charleston, LA or Saint Louie. They change flavors seasonally which means that the Splendid Holiday Collection is yours for the tasting!