This spring, rumors were afloat that Columbus, Ohio-based Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams was coming to Atlanta in the form of a shop in Ponce City Market or the Westside. Now, those rumors are (half-)true: Jeni's is coming to Westside Provisions District later this summer. The scoop shop will open next door to Star Provisions at 1198 Howell Mill Road. Below, owner Jeni Britton Bauer talks about the expansion and what Atlantans can expect.
Well, two years ago I was at Star Provisions on book tour— we'd been working with Star Provisions for a long time already, and I kind of fell in love with the neighborhood, with everything that Anne [Quatrano] has done and places like JCT Kitchen. A space became available back then, but we couldnt make it happen, so when the opportunity came up again, we went for it.
When I was down in Atlanta on tour, I was able to go to the Atlanta History Museum. I got to explore the history of Atlanta and got to know the city a bit, which is a great. I like history and historical places, and Atlanta has so many. Learning about it makes it really special to me, and I'm looking forward to learning more.
There have also been rumors that Jeni's will open in Ponce City Market. Any truth to that?
How cool is Ponce City Market? It's such an amazing thing that's happening, but we don't know— we're a tiny company, so we have to take things slowly. We're open to the idea [of expanding] certainly. The idea of neighborhoods is really important. We want the location to find us.
What are some of your favorite places? Star Provisions, obviously..
Yes, and I also like that sandwich shop in Decatur— Victory Sandwich Bar. They have this one with beets that I love. And JCT Kitchen, I've eaten there a few times.
What can we expect from the scoop shop?
It's going to be very pretty. We'll have a bright, airy beautiful shop. Very friendly, very clean. This is my favorite part of what we do (besides making ice cream)— the service. It's just as important as the ice cream. We'll have all of our flavors, and we'll change them every month or so. We do a lot of seasonal flavors, and we already have a few from Atlanta. We're working with a company called the Peach Truck and we've worked with Batdorf & Bronson for a while now.
One of the things that I love is finding the treasures of different regions and sharing them with everybody, with all of our shops. Our stores are really, really special to our company. We have local people running the Atlanta shop, and I'll be down often. It's only an hour flight from where I'm sitting right now [in Columbus], an hour and five minutes. I can come down in the morning and fly back at night.
Stay tuned for details. And if you can't wait until the shop opens— they're shooting for August 2013— for a Jeni's fix, do check out the pint selection at Star Provisions, Fresh Market, and both Dancing Goats locations. You can also follow 'em on Facebook or on Twitter.
· Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams [Official Site]
· All Jeni's Coverage [-EATL-]