We've already got double digit coffee drinks and $18 plates of carrots so why let something like a $13 price tag stop you from enjoying what may be some of the best ice cream in America? We're talking about Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, a line of premium ice creams hand-crafted in Ohio and shipped to specialty markets around the country. Like many other cool local purveyors, Jeni's rocks funky flavors like Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Salty Caramel and Brambleberry Crisp, each lovingly crafted step by painstaking step.
There were a lot of satisfied sighs heard at Gothamist HQ after some pints of the stuff magically appeared in our mailbox. It wasn't until a pint was spotted at a nearby gourmet food shop retailing for the aforementioned double digits were our feelings slightly changed about our new favorite frozen treat.
— John Del Signore (@johndelsignore) July 23, 2014
We spoke to Jeni Britton Bauer herself, who told us she "doesn't get any push back" regarding the price of her pints. Bauer says there are many contributing factors to the price point, including the pricey grass-fed milk they use and the artisan nature of the product, which is made the old-fashioned way instead of using flavored syrups and other artificial agents. The operation employs 30 people in a baking kitchen—where they toast marshmallows, make the homemade caramel and prepare other components for the ice cream—and another 150 in the production facility where it all comes together.
According to Bauer, the company actually makes very little profit, despite operating 17 stores and producing 20,000 pints per week to sell to retail outlets nationwide, thanks in part to the company's B Corporation status, meaning they've made a commitment to "meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency," often at the expense of raking in the big bucks.
So should you be picking up one of those pints? There's no consensus here, but Gothamist contributor Scott Heins accurately pointed out that New Yorkers regularly shell out $13 for a glass of wine, so why not a pint of ice cream that'll last longer than one drink? The taste can't be beat: rich, creamy and just unusual enough to warrant a look over your same-old weekly Häagen-Dazs Cookie Dough habit.