Photo by Tayhlor Stephenson / Lifestyles Editor
Story by Kristen Brothers / Contributing Writer
Nestled in the heart of downtown Nashville is the home rink of the Predators hockey team along with an abundance of country music history, local eats and the sweet and wholesome flavors of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
When you walk through the doors of Jeni’s, it is apparent that quality drives the business. From the welcoming atmosphere to the uniquely crafted flavors written in chalk, Jeni’s is a must-visit for any Nashville local or tourist.
Determined to produce an ice cream free of synthetic flavoring and one that doesn’t derive from an ice cream mix, Jeni Britton Bauer founded the booming ice cream shop in Columbus, Ohio in 2002. With the help of dairy from grass-fed cows, Bauer made plans to use wholesome ingredients only. Her vision was pretty revolutionary, as the push for quality ingredients wouldn’t start its trend until nearly ten years later.
Though originally founded in Columbus, Jeni’s has expanded their business to 15 storefronts. Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Charleston, along with the six storefronts provided by Nashville and its surrounding suburbs, all feature Jeni’s ice cream.
Though expanding from city to city, Jeni’s is still a pretty hot and rare commodity. For the ice cream enthusiast whose city is without a Jeni’s ice cream shop, they do ship their pure and wholesome by the pint.
The Jeni’s that I had the pleasure of visiting was the Jeni’s Hillsboro Village location, located on 21st Avenue South in Nashville. Upon arriving, I was soon met with a difficult decision: which flavor would I choose to assist in cooling me off?
The selection of available ice cream flavors was almost overwhelming. Even more impressive, though, was that none of them were your typical cookie dough or cookies n’ cream, which was what my closed ice cream mind was looking for. Instead, there were the likes of Watermelon BFY (which stands for Butter Frozen Yogurt; don’t worry, I didn’t know either) and Sweet Cream with Peanut and Molasses Curd.
Needless to say, I had to ask the ice cream scooper for her suggested flavor, which she cheerfully shared with me. And as all great ice cream shops do, she handed me a tiny sample of the flavor I was interested in. Best-sellers Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Salted Peanut Butter and Salty Caramel rounded out the top three flavors to choose from at Jeni’s.
I couldn’t let the Salted Peanut Butter flavor pass me by, and it was evident within the first bite how much higher quality the ingredients were. The first word that rushed my mind was “rich.”
The butter base made the texture of the ice cream thicker than your average ice cream, and the peanut butter taste was smooth and pure throughout. If you love peanut butter, this is the ice cream for you.
However, while extremely tasty, the ice cream was so rich that even the single scoop was almost too much for me to finish. But, I did really enjoy the wholesome ingredients, as do many other customers.
When I arrived at Jeni’s there were only three or four tables occupied, but by the time I got ready to leave, a line had formed and Jeni’s was abuzz with laughter and chatter from college students and families alike. In my opinion, this speaks as a testament to the true character and devotion of Jeni’s to Nashville, and it is as Jeni’s boasts, “splendid.”
For more information on Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, click here.
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