Episode 19 | The story of Jeni Britton Bauer and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams


On today’s episode we’re fortunate enough to sit down with Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Some of the key areas we cover are Jeni’s childhood, how crucial her sense of smell has been in her life, how she made it into Ohio State with a hand-written letter (in pencil), how she lived out of her car for 3-months while trying to start her first business, how and why her first business failed, how Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams overcame their recent recall, her feelings on Columbus, and what drives her to keep going.

Show Notes:

00:00 – Patreon plug, Conquering Columbus intro, AWH sponsorship plug, pre-episode summary
02:20 – Jeni’s intro and background
02:50 – A typical day in Jeni’s life
05:25 – Where are you originally from and what was your childhood like?
08:35 – Jeni’s path to Central Ohio
11:30 – Jeni’s background with cooking and quality ingredients
13:10 – Ice cream making is all about… scent and your sense of smell?
15:35 – Experience at Ohio State
21:30 – The key is not knowing what is possible and what is not possible
23:30 – Everyone will give you their opinion of “what you should do”
25:00 – The orange scone
26:30 – The “crave-able reason to return”
28:30 – We wouldn’t be the company we are today without the North Market
30:00 – Jeni’s first hire and the companies growth over the last 14 years
31:00 – AWH middle-episode plug
31:30 – Bringing on our “attorney-friend” John Lowe as CEO
35:00 – Expanding the business outside of Columbus
36:15 – It’s all highs and lows… The highs are VERY high, and the lows are VERY low
37:15 – “I wouldn’t go back to the moment before the recall…”
39:30 – Turning entire fields of produce into ice cream
41:00 – Recovering from the recall
42:45 – Handling growth while maintaining quality
44:30 – The vision for the future of the company
45:30 – What are your thoughts on Columbus?
47:30 – Significant mentors that have influenced Jeni and the company
49:30 – What can Columbus do better?
50:30 – Where do the ingredients and flavors come from?
52:30 – What does the phrase “Live Uncomfortably” mean to you?
54:00 – What drives you to keep going?
54:45 – Closing remarks, AWH plug, Conquering Columbus outro


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
The North Market
The Short North Tavern
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