by Steve Haruch
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is proud to announce the official opening of its first full-size scoop shop in Tennessee. Doors will open at 11 a.m. Friday, June 24, at 1892 Eastland Ave. next to the Silly Goose and Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea in East Nashville. A sneak peek of the new shop — with free scoops to the public — will be offered from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Jeni’s President and Founder Jeni Britton Bauer will also be on hand that evening to share stories behind the flavors.
“I love spending time in Nashville,” says Jeni. “There are simple reasons why do-it-yourselfers like Emil Irwin and Imogene + Willie are thriving in Nashville and why the city has such a tradition of supporting long-running businesses like one of my favorite places on the planet, Hatch Show Print. The place has such a great environment for living, working, and doing something from the ground up — and doing it the way you want to do it. There’s a fantastic creative community and vibe throughout the city and, thankfully for us, Tennessee is a wonderful state for agriculture.”
This is as good a time as any to mention that Jeni's book Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home (Artisan) comes out today, and that you can buy it. I'm not just saying that because Jeni's sent us a big ol' crate of ice creams today. But they did.
Not surprisingly, the salty caramel was the runaway favorite, though the strawberry buttermilk — early batches of which featured the sweet fruits of Tennessee's wonderful agriculture — kept it from getting too far ahead. Other highlights, for me, included the dark chocolate, which was intense like a truffle and ridiculously rich, and the riesling poached pear sorbet, which tastes exactly how that sounds. Oh, and the brown butter almond brittle — wow. You get the idea. I can't remember the last time I tasted nine kinds of ice cream in the same day, much less the same 20-minute span, but since Jeni's first Tennessee scoop shop is opening less than a mile from my house, I have a feeling it's going to happen again soon. Like maybe eight days from now, even.
I don't know what it is about Nashville that attracts people from Ohio, but something tells me Jeni's is going to fit in just fine, and really gets the neighborhood:
“Over the years in Ohio, as we’ve created flavors by reaching out statewide to farmers to help us execute whatever idea we came up with,” Jeni says. “We’ve come to think of Ohio as one big sustainable community working toward one goal: to bring delicious food to the people. We could not be happier to open the doors and become part of the great Nashville community and its dynamic food scene.”
Columbus, Ohio-based Gieseke Rosenthal Architecture & Design and Jeni designed the new shop in East Nashville with the neighborhood’s own Powell Design & Construction Studios acting as general contractor. Though the “rustic chic” layout and decor recalls that of other Ohio Jeni’s shops—barn wood; marble; stainless steel; chalkboard menus — East Nashville’s Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams shop is no replica.
“The only consistent thing about our shops is our attention to detail in making our ice creams and making sure the people who buy our ice creams enjoy themselves every time they are in our shops,” Jeni says.
I don't think that last part is going to be a problem.