Ice Cream Brand Provides the Scoop on Values and Trust

November-December 2022
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It usually starts with a dream. Great entrepreneurs dream of an idea so big and enlivening that they’re compelled to bring it to reality. And their visions are often rooted in personal values.

Such was the case in 1996, with Jeni Britton Bauer, then known as Jeni Britton, a 22-year-old Ohio State University student. Jeni couldn’t get the idea of fragrance and flavor out of her mind. 

One day, she decided to add cayenne pepper to chocolate ice cream. And her artisanal brand, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, was born. Her dream became a reality in a public market in Columbus, Ohio, with just a counter, Jeni’s ice cream creation, and Jeni herself wielding an ice cream scoop. 

Since then, much has changed for her company, but its core values — buying fresh milk from family-run dairies and using only Fair and Direct Trade chocolate — have not. Walk into one of the ice cream maker’s 65 scoop shops that have expanded across the country and you’ll be taken back to a time when neighborhood businesses and values still mattered. 

We can all learn from Jeni Britton Bauer’s evolution from a curious college student into the owner of a multifaceted retail business that has retained a neighborhood feel in its shops, along with its core values. Some lessons from her success:

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