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Posts Tagged ‘Jeni’s ice cream’

Jeni’s Ice Cream in Clintonville: Sundae Bar Blues

Posted by CMH Gourmand on October 3, 2010

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream officially opened brick and mortar store number six in Clintonville on October 1st. As a native Clintonvillian I am happy to have this addition to the neighborhood and even more happy that it is within walking distance of my front door. The presence of Jeni’s is good for our community and a needed culinary shot in the arm for north Clintonville/Beechwold.

I have been a fan of Jeni’s ice cream since before there was a Jeni’s. Back in the day, when she was Britton not a Britton-Bauer Jeni had a scoop shop called Scream in the Short North. It was good ice cream, but not the great ice cream she wanted so she stepped back, retooled and set out to build an ice cream empire. She has succeeded. It has been fun and filling to watch and write about the growth of Jeni’s.

Now it is time for me to whine. I received a few advance notices about the opening of the new store – via word of mouth, a press release, twitter and the usual suspects. One phrase burned into my mind: SUNDAE BAR. Oh, yes. I had visions of a sundae bar dancing around in my head. The whole concept seemed radical to me. A sundae bar could only mean one thing: a bar of ice creams and toppings set up for self service like a salad bar. Or maybe it might be called an ice cream trough. Whatever. I thought: Visionary, radical, gluttonous…..VALUE! Since this seemed like a bold idea, I did check my reality a bit and thought, well, maybe they just mean a bar in the style of an old pharmacy counter where one could saunter up to a stool, order a sundae (“Make that a double icecreamkeep.”) and watch the ingredients come together. That would be cool, not as a cool as the ice cream trough sundae bar, but cool. As a kid growing up in Clintonville, I would walk to the Beechwold Pharmacy where a 1940’s soda fountain counter was in place for sandwiches and scooping ice cream. The new Jeni’s was not so far from where the pharmacy used to be. This Jeni’s sundae bar would be a tribute to days of old when soda jerks reigned. GENIUS! I was psyched. I waited. I watched. I…longed. And the day came. I popped in for a preview on September 30th. Anticipation was high. While others screamed for ice cream, I stalked for the sundae bar.

I walked through the door, searched and scoured and found no sundae bar. I felt like a kid waiting for the best Christmas present ever but opening the box to get Garanimals. As the muse would say…meh. There is a workstation of sorts where employees have the space to create sundaes. That is it. That is the sundae bar. And that is why I have the Sundae Bar Blues. Meh.

The next Jeni’s are expected to open in Powell then German Village. If you hear about a Sundae Bar…don’t get your hopes up. However, do hope for sundaes because they are really good.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream website

home of the sundae bar……
4247 North High Street

Posted in Clintonville, ice cream, kid friendly dining | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Cow to Cone Tour: Local Foods Week Day Four

Posted by CMH Gourmand on October 6, 2009

If you have not heard of Jeni’s Ice Cream then you live under a rock with no access to print media, television, the webernet or me. I have been tracking the artisan ice cream crafting of Jeni Britton (Britton-Bauer now) since she scooped her primordial ice creams at Scream ice cream in the last decade. I have written and blogged about Jeni’s in many media over the years. Of course Jeni’s is pretty critical to my whole “ice cream capital of the world” campaign. So when I saw that a Local Foods Week tour was being offered at the Jeni’s plant I moved with haste to lock in my spot. I was one of twenty callers that called in time. Over 50 people were on a waiting list for the tour.

It is good to see good things in our world. Jeni’s is an example of a good person that did good work and as a result has achieved splendid things. Having the Bauer team on board helped a lot to build the business. I have often seen great success happen for people that were not so great. Such is not the case here. Jeni’s ice cream is one of the major pins that has places Columbus on the culinary map. You can expect to see a Jeni’s ice cream cart at any local event that promotes Columbus and good food, especially if there is a charity involved. I think the world of these folks. In the world of Ice Cream the baseline is good, so any ice cream maker can pretty much just show up and do well. Jeni has never been content with doing well, she constantly pushes the threshold for quality of product, service and flavor.

I am not cresting over the hump of Local Foods Week too well. It has been a massively busy time for eating and writing since August with almost daily events, meetings, dinners, etc., so I am starting to waddle and wane. Therefore for I am taking the lazy but timely approach of just posting photos and letting you fill in the gaps. More details on the tour just seems cruel to those that were on the waiting list.

(After the photos, I am recycling parts of a magazine article I wrote on Jeni’s years ago for people that do not know the Jeni’s Ice Cream history).

Jeni discusses and shows some of the fresh ingredients used in the ice cream recipes

Jeni discusses and shows some of the fresh ingredients used in the ice cream recipes

Fresh pumpkins delivered by Adam from Wayward Seed

Fresh pumpkins delivered by Adam from Wayward Seed

fresh beets

fresh beets

Ohio Organic Family Farms whipping cream and Ugandan fair trade vanilla

Ohio Organic Family Farms whipping cream and Ugandan fair trade vanilla

Ingredients end up in one of two tempermental Italian Carpigiani Gelato machines making ice cream in 10 gallon batches

Ingredients end up in one of two tempermental Italian
Carpigiani Gelato machines making ice cream in 10 gallon batches

ice cream samples galore including the exclusive Dean and Deluca flavor

ice cream samples galore including the exclusive Dean and Deluca flavor

reprinted by me with my permission:

Jeni Britton laid the foundation for her artisan ice cream career before she graduated from high school. She was among the first employees when Graeter’s premiered in Columbus. Later, Jeni walked across the parking lot to work at La Chatelaine where she learned the art and craft of making fine French baked goods and developed an appreciation for new flavors and culinary styles. Jeni opened Scream Ice Cream in 1996 with a passion for making ice cream her way. The shop had a good four-year run, but Jeni wanted to improve on her business concept and develop a craftsperson’s approach to fine ice cream. To advance her art, she took the famed Penn State Creamery Ice Cream course, studied with an Italian gelato maker and traveled extensively in pursuit of ice cream excellence. She then opened Jeni’s Fresh Ice Cream in 2002.

Over time she has made the business a family affair by adding her husband Charly Bauer and brother-in-law Tom to the fulltime team. Collectively, Jeni’s has continued to develop a loyal local and national following with an innovative concoction of flavors. Instead of relying on a lot of syrups and sugars, Jeni’s combination of special recipes and unique ingredients allow the natural flavors to come out to your taste buds. There are seasonal variations and signature flavors; an appetizer of flavor examples includes Sweet Corn with Black Raspberries, Bartlett Pear with Riesling Sorbet and Strawberry Rose Petal. These cutting edge creations caught the attention of the culinary critics on both coasts resulting in a Food and Wine Tastemaker Award in 2005, an appearance on Roker on the Road and numerous magazine articles.

Constantly cooking up these creative flavors allows for challenges and opportunities. The focus on local, natural, and seasonal ingredients causes Jeni to constantly forage for new purveyors and products. She has developed strong relationships with local farmers to obtain items such as milk and honey to meet her specific requirements. This quest for fresh ingredients led Jeni to be chef chair for the local branch of the Chef’s Collaborative, an organization that promotes chefs and farmers working together to create markets for local foods.

Preparing the components for an ice cream recipe is labor intensive. Everything is made in house including the marshmallows, pralines, sauces, and such. Interns from the Graham School mix the hard work of separating mint leaves with reminders from Jeni about how important math is to getting the right combination and ratio of flavor in each batch of ice cream. Jeni even experiments with the OSU diary science program in her quest for ice cream perfection. One day, she would like to own her own organic diary – she is that passionate about her product and what goes into it….. from Cow to Cone.

Posted in ice cream, tour | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Jeni’s Fresh Ice Cream – Lick it Up!

Posted by CMH Gourmand on October 19, 2006

Jeni’s Link

North Market
59 Spruce Street
614 228 9960

1281 Grandview Ave.
Grandview Hts
614 488 3224

Jeni’s Fresh Ice Cream is gourmet ice cream for gourmands. And it is plain old great ice cream for the rest. Jeni Britton scoops out creative flavors made with the finest ingredients that can be found – and about 50% of the time these are obtained locally in central Ohio. Jeni is an ice cream artisan and craftsperson. The mix of ingredients that combine in her Carpigiani Gelato machine are her medium for artistic expression. Fortunately, this “art” is greatly appreciated and led her on the path of a successful businesswoman. Her dedication stirred her to take the respected Penn State Ice Cream short course as well as to study with an Italian gelato maker. Jeni knows ice cream. It is nice to see a sweet person and product achieve sweet success as well.

Flavors vary by season and inspiration. The quality of Jeni’s ice creams earned accolades from the national press including Gourmet, Food and Wine, various web sites, some TV programs, every local media outlet, and at least two books. Jeni’s has melted the hearts of culinary critics on both coasts and put Columbus on the culinary map for ice cream. There is strong buzz that Columbus is the ice cream capital of the country – (an argument that this writer can support with scoops of objective facts and subjective tastes). Putting Columbus on the gourmet radar is due in part to the raves that Jeni’s ice cream continues to receive, which in turn is supported by a growing online ordering business to supply the demand for this treat.

OK, so maybe I sold you on the possibility that this ice cream is fantastic and worth taking a lick at. Lucky for us – we just need to drive to get our fix. For people afraid of things like candied beets, Kentucky bourbon, lavender and other exotic extracts infused in their dairy products, Jeni’s also dishes out more mundane tastes for the Midwestern palette.

One customer favorite flavor is Salty Caramel – other flavors come and go based on the season and Ms. Britton’s creativity. These are a few of the signature flavors you can expect to see each time you peek in the ice cream cooler.

Dark Cocoa Gelato
Pistachio & Ashland County Honey
Black Coffee
Thai Chili
Queen City Cayenne

Depending on the season or sometimes, the day – you can expect up to 30 flavors to choose from – hard choices. However, another advantage we have here in ‘Cowlumbus” is that we can get free tastes of these ice creams before deciding on a scoop. Jeni’s also does combined half scoops to cater to those wanting to sample with abandon.

An added bonus, at least at the Grandview parlor, is the ability to order an ice cream sundae – consider this little treat as a preview of sundae attractions.

One Night in Bangkok
Thai chili ice cream
caramel sauce
sliced bananas
a bit of white chocolate
(billed as the ultimate phad thai )


Jeni’s is served at several fine restaurants in Columbus but is best experienced in an ice cream cone while strolling around the North Market or in a sundae dish in Grandview.

Ice Cream for Icy days and coughing nights –

Some think only hardcore ice cream hounds eat ice cream in the winter – if that is how you feel – it is time to review that life choice – Jeni’s serves up – Influenza Sorbet (fresh lemon juice, whiskey, and honey) as a preemptive strike for the common cold. (Note – I have not seen this flavor around for a while and not yet this season – so keep call ahead if you are hoping for this flavor – it may have just been a flavor fling of the past.)

Jeni's Fresh Ice Creams on Urbanspoon

Posted in Columbus, ice cream | Tagged: | 1 Comment »