Sunday is National Ice Cream Day and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by officially announcing our collaboration with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (and eating ice cream out of the new mugs, of course).
Founded in 2002, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams began offering ice cream made from fresh ingredients more than a decade before the artisanal ice cream trend hit the country. Rather than using commodity ice cream mix, flavors begin with a base of milk from grass-pastured cows, then transform into selections like Salted Honey Pie, Brambleberry Crisp, and Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet—using only fresh ingredients.
Gifted entrepreneur Jeni Britton Bauer is the heartbeat of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Her introduction to ice cream business came in high school when she worked in an ice cream shop. In college, Britton Bauer became familiar with essential oils through her interest in perfumery, then used the oils to flavor ice cream. Friends loved the infused ice cream so much that Britton Bauer ended up leaving school to pursue ice cream as a business.
Jeni Britton Bauer shows off a creation at one of her scoop shops.
Though her first shop closed after four years, Britton Bauer used the insights gleaned from customers to begin building a plan for her next endeavor. She enrolled in an ice cream–making course at Penn State and further perfected her craft. Her then boyfriend—now husband—Charly Bauer gifted her an ice cream maker (a much more affordable option than the $14,000 gelato machine she was unable to raise funds for) and she started crafting ice creams out of her home kitchen. Word got out that Britton Bauer was again making ice cream, and a steady stream of past customers returned, eager to once again get their hands on Jeni’s inspired creations.
Skip ahead to present day and Britton Bauer now operates scoop shops in 10 cities across the United States and sells her products in thousands of grocery stores and online. Oh, and did we mention she won a James Beard Award for her cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home? Bad. Ass.
Needless to say, we were beyond excited at the opportunity to collaborate with Jeni. She is a true creator—a thought leader, a disruptor, an artist. When we met her at a trade show, she lit up at the sight of our Crescent Mugs, gushing over how perfect they were. Not for coffee, but for ice cream.
A few phone calls and emails later and we’d come up with a design for the new ice cream mugs featured in Jeni’s scoop shops. Why a mug? As Britton Bauer explained to us, the handle prevents the warmth of your hands from melting the ice cream in side. The sloped sides of the Crescent Mug are the opposite shape of most bowls, making it easy to scoop ice cream onto your spoon.
Where many people saw a coffee mug, Britton Bauer saw the perfect ice cream vessel. Projects like this inspire us to continue creating and collaborating with our customers to find new, innovative ways to serve the creative community.
Happy National Ice Cream Day!