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20 years of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams can be found from California to North Carolina, and many states in between. It’s a favorite of celebrities like “Euphoria” star Zendaya, and with its roots in Columbus, we have some rich history to scoop up.

Meet Jeni 🍦

Jeni Britton, the founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, had her first exposure to ice cream while working at an ice cream parlor in high school. After high school, Jeni was a Buckeye studying fine art and art history at The Ohio State University. Her experimentation with oils and scents at this time led her to a life-changing ice cream journey.

Jeni spent time in college mixing essential oils and creating perfumes, with the help of a friend who was a chemistry graduate student + provided her scented chemicals. After deciding to mix the essential oil cayenne pepper into chocolate ice cream, Jeni took a bite and realized immediately she wanted to make ice cream for her career. She dropped out of OSU weeks later to start her ice cream business.

The beginning phases 🍦

Before it became Jeni’s, the ice cream shop had been given the name “Scream Ice Cream.” In 1996, Jeni earned a spot as a vendor in the North Market downtown serving up Scream.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams officially launched in November of 2002, where they continued as a vendor in the North Market. Jeni worked at the counter in the North Market for years, building relationships with customers that turned into long lines waiting for their scoop. Some of the classic flavors of today — like Salty Caramel, Wildberry Lavender, and Brambleberry Crisp — all originated in the early years at the market.

In 2005, Jeni opened her first scoop outside of the market, which was the start of a major expansion for her ice cream company.

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Gooey Butter Cake is made with cream cheese ice cream, crumbles of vanilla cake, and caramel-butterscotch sauce. | Photo via @jenisicecreams

Growth + current success🍦

As Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams continued to grow, the business built a reputation for their rich flavors and scents that you can smell from down the street. Their ingredients — with milk from family-run dairy farms and chocolate, vanilla, and coffee from fair and direct trade — have created a buttercream texture that customers have fallen in love with. There are now 37 delicious flavors available, including Gooey Butter Cake, which is City Editor Hanna’s favorite, and many seasonal + limited-time only flavors that make appearances throughout the year.

There are 65+ scoop shops across the country, including locations in Nashville, TN, Austin, TX, Tampa, FL, and Washington D.C. In addition to the in-person stores, pints of Jeni’s can be shipped to all 50 states via the online store. Pints are also available in some of the top grocery stores in the nation. You can find a store with the grocery locator online.

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