Jeni’s Ice Creams Comes to Harrison West

By Gilbert Borlaza

Columbus is home to many well-known names, such as Jim, Terrelle, and Jack. In the field of gourmet foods, another Columbus name has become synonymous with exceptional, handcrafted ice creams: Jeni. As the namesake behind Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Jeni Britton Bauer has become known nationally for producing unique, signature ice cream flavors such as Salty Caramel and Queen City Cayenne as well as enticing seasonal flavors like Backyard Mint and Goat Cheese with Cognac Fig Sauce. With seven shops around Columbus, getting a scoop (or two or three) of Jeni’s ice cream couldn’t be easier. Each scoop begins with fresh ingredients, many of them local to Ohio, that are combined together by hand in a kitchen operated by Jeni’s. That kitchen is now located in Columbus’ Harrison West neighborhood.

The new Jeni’s kitchen opened in late November at 909 Michigan Avenue, the former site of Quality Meats. In choosing to locate her kitchen in Harrison West, Britton Bauer notes:

We were drawn to Harrison West for a lot of reasons, but mainly we wanted to stay near downtown if we possibly could. We also wanted to move into a place that suited our needs rather than build one. The former Quality Meats building is perfect for us. It’s spacious enough to accommodate not only our ice cream making but also our mail-order shipping department.

She adds, “Lots of our kitchen team members live within easy walking and biking distance of the neighborhood, which I love.”

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams originally housed its kitchen with the company office on Chesapeake Avenue in Columbus. In relocating the kitchen, the Jeni’s team considered a handful of sites, “but nothing serious came about until we heard about 909 Michigan,” notes Britton Bauer. “The building was right, the neighborhood was right and we’re very pleased to be there.” She adds, “Every ice cream we make will come out of Harrison West.” Jeni’s maintains the other kitchen at the Chesapeake site and plans to use it as a test kitchen.

While every scoop and pint of Jeni’s ice cream starts out in the Harrison West kitchen, customers cannot purchase ice cream directly from this location. Fortunately, neighborhood residents can quickly get to one of three nearby Jeni’s shops at the North Market, High Street in the Short North, or on Grandview Avenue. The North Market location, Jeni’s original shop, is a just a short walk from Harrison West. Customers also have the option of ordering Jeni’s ice creams by calling the office at (614) 488-3224 or by visiting Pints are shipped from the kitchen via 2-day or overnight delivery.

Asked what she likes about the neighborhood, Britton Bauer replies, “I like Harrison West for the same reasons I like the other neighborhoods where we have shops: it’s pedestrian-friendly, it’s got a rich history, it’s deep-rooted to Columbus.” Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a wonderful addition to Harrison West, and while neighborhood residents can’t buy a scoop of ice cream at 909 Michigan Avenue, a taste may be in the near future. Britton Bauer mentions that “next year (most likely spring) we’ll open our doors to the community for a tour and some ice cream and have a little Harrison West ice cream social.”

Splendid, indeed.

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