Celebrating Women: Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Local News

COLUMBUS  (WCMH)  –Jeni Britton Bauer was just 22 years old when she opened her first ice cream shop, “Scream” in the North Market. The experience from that first adventure would be the foundation for one of the most iconic brands in central Ohio, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

“Like everybody, I thought I knew what I was doing, and I didn’t know anything about anything. Every single thing I tried failed. Every single thing,” says Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. “And then when I closed Scream and opened Jeni’s, that was then our launch pad, all of that experience.”

The company has grown from that small spot in the North Market to 34 scoop shops in nine states and a nationwide distribution chain. So how does this mother of two find balance between home and work? She says she doesn’t.

“I have no good answer on balance because I kind of feel like I get to do all of this,” said Bauer, “and my children are going to be children for such a small sliver of my life. I want to attack all of it and I don’t want to miss any of it.”

That’s not to say it’s easy to Jeni. It’s just something you get used to.

“You get used to every day, every second of the day. You have to work. You make it count”.”

Jeni may not worry about balance but she does worry about the effect of social media on all of us, especially the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“I try not to be too perfect and too polished, both in what I say and what I believe. My opinions change and that is an important part of life, evolution. I never hold anybody to something they said so long ago because we evolve, and all of these things are very important to me because I know that there are young people and people watching,” said Bauer.

Her advice to the next generation of entrepreneurs is simple: “Put your head down and do the work. Listen to people learn. Try things. It isn’t about showing. It’s about doing it.”

For more about Jeni Britton Bauer and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, visit Jenis.com

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