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JENI BRITTON BAUER

10 Things I Can't Live Without

Jeni Britton Bauer is an American ice cream maker and entrepreneur. A pioneer of the artisan ice cream movement, she introduced a modern, ingredient-driven style of ice cream making that has been widely emulated across the world, but never duplicated.


Jeni opened her first ice cream shop, Scream, in 1996, then founded Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002. Her first cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, won a coveted James Beard Award in 2012 and became the de facto bible for anybody making their own ice cream or thinking about opening a new-style ice cream shop. Her second cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts (2014), took ice cream to the next level with an array of incredible plated, layered, and piled-high ice cream-centric desserts.


Today, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a Certified B Corporation with 34 scoop shops, an online shop at jenis.com, and distribution in top grocery stores across the country. As Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Jeni remains the beating heart of the company, and is in charge of all creative output—from the ice cream itself to the supporting details that enhance the experience of eating it. Jeni is a 2017 Henry Crown Fellow and has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business today.



1. My car. I have a Volkswagen GTI. It’s where I think. I’ll drive west on Broad Street for 15 - 20 minutes, get on the country roads, and soar around as fast as I can through London to get a coffee at a little shop (very few stop signs out there). And then head to work with a clear head. It’s a fast little car with a bunch of mods to make it perform better.

2. My phone. My community lives through it and I love being able to speak to people around the world, hear their stories, and gather inspiration no matter where I am.

3. Sleep. I am on the road a lot so there is nothing better than coming back home to my own bed. I also need my brain to work efficiently everyday or my 10 hour days can easily turn into

14. So, I sleep 8 hours a night and I read for one or two before. In summer I am often in bed while it’s still light out.

4. Art. Old, new, all. History is the perspective that someone decided to remember after the fact. And the moment we live in is depicted in the media in a sanitized and unreal way. But art is the window into the other side of that. I would say the real side of the world. I need to get into it everyday. From activism to true beauty, art opens my eyes to the world. That’s how I keep my scrappy, don’t take anything for face value perspective.

5. Team Jeni’s. Someone said if you want to do epic things, surround yourself with epic people. That’s my team.

6. Block heel pumps—walk fast, look good. Pound the pavement.

7. New experiences—tell me when/where. I’ll be there.

8. Old experiences—I’m a tourist of history. I read between the lines of history and try to bring it to life in my imagination. It’s not about studying history to become an expert, it’s about going into history for fun, which takes a different type of study and focus.

9. Vision. This is important in every part of my life. I don’t even go to the grocery store without a vision—knowing what I want and how to accomplish it. The world I want to build, the community I want to live in, the company I want to build, the person I want to become.

10. My heart. Sometimes I want to turn it off and then I remind myself that it’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t, then we’d take all the lovely things for granted. Plus feeling history is how I time travel. How I meditate. How I get outside of myself. How I try not just to treat others the way I want to be treated but the way THEY want to be treated. It takes practice to get outside yourself and your feelings. But the more you do it, the better and stronger you get.


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