Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has been supplying pints of its ice cream to grocery stores and its 20 shops around the country for decades.
Adding to its rapid growth was the recent opening of its southwestern-most location in Old Town at the corner of Marshall Way and Fifth Avenue.
“We like to look for destination locations and Old Town Scottsdale is the perfect location to hang our hat on a brand-new market for us,” Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams CEO Stacy Peterson says.
Although Old Town Scottsdale offered an idyllic location with its vibrance of nightlife, art and food and beverage options set in a robust, rustic downtown environment, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Chief Retail Officer Dan Sierzputowski admits that the brand had also eyed other sections of the Valley and the city.
“Phoenix has always been on our radar screen since it’s hot — which makes it a good ice cream market — and it has all the elements of travel, both domestic and international, and it’s a mix of a young crowd and retirees,” Sierzputowski says. “We looked in Downtown Phoenix but there wasn’t anything that really stuck out to us. We then thought maybe Scottsdale Quarter or something like that.
“But when we found this location, it spoke to us in terms of our roots since it was classic-yet-nice, fun and kind of welcoming to everybody. It was a no-brainer to come here.”
With its shop open in an area flanked by art galleries, gift shops and restaurants, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams aims to offer a new flavor to Old Town — literally.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams was founded in the late ’90s by Jeni Britton Bauer, an Ohio State University alumnus who studied art history and fine arts. She started selling ice creams that featured appetizing essential oils.
In 2002, Bauer had generated enough success to merit her own store in Columbus, Ohio, birthing what would become Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
The shop boasts a selection of 18 flavors for customers to mix and match. Guests can put two to 10 flavors in bowls, cones or butter crisp waffle cones and bowls. Flavors range from buttercream birthday cake and gooey butter cake to fruitful concoctions like wild berry lavender to sweetly salty creations like salted peanut butter.
Although the flavors cater to the masses, it is the composition of the ice cream and the care it receives that sets Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams apart from the pack.
“Our ice cream is made with fresh, clean ingredients, there are no stabilizers and it’s put together with love,” Sierzputowski says. “In fact, when we make our ice cream, we have to keep it at -20 degrees all the way up until we serve it — which makes our supply chain pretty tough.”
Because of this, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams utilizes special freezers that keep the ice cream at a temperature that maintains a consistent texture throughout each scoop.
“We’re obsessed with the texture of the ice cream,” Peterson says. “No stabilizers means that we have to take a lot of care to make sure that the ice cream stays frozen and as it melts, you can really understand the quality of the ice cream.”
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams also prioritizes the scent, which kick-started the company nearly three decades ago.
“The scent is very important to us and ensuring that as the ice cream melts it releases a scent,” Peterson says.
Because of this, when customers enter the shop’s glass doors, they are greeted with the scent of sugary treats. The staff has a hand in choosing the flavors for the customers.
“Our training is pretty specific. We do what’s called flavor bolts, where we introduce our flavors to our team — who we call our ambassadors because they really are the ambassadors to the customer — and we really ask them, ‘How would you describe this?’ that way they love serving it,” Sierzputowski says.
With its staff trained and ice creams stocked, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ next task is scooping up a legion of faithful fans.
“We see a brand awareness opportunity with Jeni’s where we’re getting our name out there, both on the wholesale side and with the scoop shop business to where both have synergy and can explode brand awareness,” Peterson says. “That excites us to move into new markets where we can not only have our wholesale product on the shelf at the grocery store, but also invite people to visit this person in our school shop.”
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
7051 E. Fifth Avenue, Scottsdale
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