If you have ever lived in, or driven through Columbus, Ohio…and you love ice cream…chances are high, you’ve heard of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Then again, if you love ice cream enough, it probably doesn’t matter where you live…you’ve probably still heard of it. (and her!)
In another life, before I lived on a small farm in Western Pennsylvania, I spent about fifteen years in Columbus, Ohio. Shortly after I graduated from college, a few of my friends started talking about this fantastic ice cream they’d had in the Short North at this little shop called “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.”
They started throwing around exotic flavors like “Salted Caramel,” Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet,” and some variation including rose petals. I was intrigued. A few weekends later, down we went and my love of Salted Caramel ice cream and Queen City Cayanne (dark chocolate ice cream spiked with some serious kick from cayanne pepper) was born.
Jeni’s isn’t an every day kind of ice cream. Small amounts will do you just fine. (Which is good, because the stuff is NOT cheap.)
Of course I haven’t lived in Columbus for three years now, so Jeni’s is mostly just a memory to me. Then one day, I spotted a cooler of Jeni’s pints at a Giant Eagle Market District. Who knew? They’ve expanded! In fact, according to the store locator on the Jeni’s web site, they’re accessible in pint form in a large portion of the U.S.
So when my birthday rolled around a few weeks back, and I posted to Facebook about how much I was craving Jeni’s, Hair picked up on the not so subtle hint and came through for me in a big way, showing up at my house with a pint of Salty Caramel and a pint of Queen City Cayanne.
Unfortunately, when we broke into the ice cream and I took my first spoonful of Salty Caramel deliciousness, I was smacked in the face with the taste of burnt sugar. Not the yummy caramel taste of burnt sugar, but “ew!” burnt sugar.
Crestfallen, I asked Hair to taste it, since she’d been to Jeni’s in the past few months while on a trip to Columbus. Sure enough, she made the same face.
Wow, talk about bummed. We switched gears to the Queen City Cayenne, but it just wasn’t the same.
Until my mom suggested sending them an email to let them know. After all, Jeni’s is known for extremely high quality standards. If a bad batch slipped through, they would probably want to know. And hey, there was a chance they’d send me a coupon to go pick up another pint to replace this one. (Because at $12 a pint, I wasn’t really ready to go buy another one to replace the one that was bad.)
So I took a picture of the label, including the batch number and sent a message off to the Jeni’s team. Before the day was out, I received this response:
Hello Jennifer!So sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with Jeni’s Ice Creams, and thanks for the picture of the pint- that should help us to track that batch. If you could forward your mailing address, we would be happy to send a pint of Salty Caramel, as well as another pint of your choice directly to your home, so that you could give them a try!
Thank you, and have a great week!
Now…THAT is good customer service! They could have simply thanked me for my email. They could have even gone a step above that and thanked me and emailed me a coupon I could go use myself. Instead, they promised to ship me a new batch.
THAT’s the kind of company I have mad respect for. It’s also demonstrative of why Jeni’s is so beloved. Great product, great business practices.
So I fired back a response with my address and chosen flavors. Two days later, a package arrived on our doorstep.
The side of the box gave me directions that I certainly wasn’t going to ignore…
Of course I’m a sucker for good packaging, so when I opened up the box and saw this on top, I had to smile.
Inside the styrofoam cooler was a smaller box containing my two flavors (Salty Caramel and Brambleberry Crisp) as well as a nice size chunk of dry ice.
On a sidenote, it will never cease to amaze me how well dry ice works. When the ice cream arrived, it was still so stinkin rock hard that I could barely scrape away a taste with a spoon.
Go dry ice! Get down with your bad sub-zero self!
Scrape away I did though, and sure enough…there was the deliciously creamy, salty sweetness I remembered as Salty Caramel. I honestly haven’t broken in to the Brambleberry yet. I’ve had my own adventures in ice cream making going on over here, so it’s just sitting snuggly in my freezer waiting for me to get to it.
Job well done Jeni, job well done.