Building flavor from the ground up requires patience, determination, skill, and a sense of adventure. To create our ice creams and frozen yogurts, we use grass-grazed Ohio milk from a family of small farms within 200 miles of our kitchen. To that exquisite base, we add ingredients shipped directly to us from local farms and from around the world. Please meet a few of our favorite collaborators.
We work in tandem with small Ohio family farms within 200 miles of our kitchen to create the delicious foundation of our ice creams. Our milk comes from cows who eat grass, which is more flavorful than conventional milk.
Bean-to-bar guru Shawn Askinosie supplies the cocoa and chocolate we use in Askinosie Dark Milk Chocolate. We love Shawn’s chocolate and we love the way he procures it. Shawn makes his own cocoa butter (using the fat in the cocoa liquor he also makes), and he shares the profits with the men and women who cultivate and harvest the beans.
Lulu Sturdy’s Fair-Trade-and Organic-Certified farm in Africa grows what we consider some of the finest vanilla on earth. The beans are rich, full-flavored, and exude a heady scent with notes of jasmine and honey. We use Ndali Estate’s incredible vanilla to make Ndali Estate Vanilla Bean, a voluptuous vanilla ice cream like no other.
Hirsch Fruit Farm, an hour’s drive south of our kitchen, has been growing apples, pumpkins, and more for 125 years. Owned today by fourth generation farmer Mike Hirsch, the farm provides the wonderful, ruby berries for Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk, corn and berries for Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries, blueberries for Lemon & Blueberries Frozen Yogurt, and the heirloom pumpkins we use to make our pumpkin ice cream.
Intelligentsia Coffee buyers source and develop naturally sweet coffees from some of the best producers in the world. The company, founded in 1995 and based in Chicago, is recognized as an industry pioneer for its creation of the Direct Trade purchasing model, groundbreaking coffee bars, and award-winning baristas. We could not be more proud to work with them to make Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso ice cream.
The Columbus, Ohio, micro-distillery’s OYO vodka and whiskey are made with 100% soft red winter wheat grown in Ohio. (Oyo—“Oh-WHY-Oh”—is the American Indian name for the Ohio Valley.) Middle West’s oak barrel-aged whiskey—with notes of butterscotch, honey, coconut, and vanilla—is the one-of-a-kind spirit we use in Whiskey & Pecans ice cream.
There’s nothing like the fragrance, flavor, and texture of fresh, in-season, tree-ripened Georgia peaches. Thanks to Stephen and Jessica Rose, owner-operators of the Peach Truck, we’re able to get our hands on some of that wonderful bounty to make the Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam ice cream—which is Southern comfort spoonful by spoonful.
Photos of The Peach Truck provided by Hart + Honey.
The main ingredient in our frozen yogurts is naturally tangy, biodynamic-certified organic yogurt from Seven Stars Farm in Pennsylvania. Blended with grass-grazed Ohio milk and exquisite fruits from around the world, Seven Stars’ super-creamy, incredibly fresh-tasting, grass-grazed yogurt makes our yogurts as flavorful as any ice cream on our menu.
Our friends at Yazoo in Nashville make beer the way we make ice cream: from scratch, by hand, and from the ground up. Their mellow, smoky, high-octane Yazoo Sue porter is the fuel for our Yazoo Sue With Rosemary Bar Nuts, the very popular, two-fisted flavor your old man might make in his garage.
One of our most popular flavors each summer is Backyard Mint, which we make with fresh, organic peppermint grown, hand-weeded, and hand-picked for us by registered nurse Val Jorgensen at her certified-organic Jorgensen Farms. Val’s mint—a variety known as “Robert Mitchum”—is sweet, cool, and refreshing, and it’s literally grown in backyard beds surrounding Val’s farmhouse just outside Columbus’ city limits.
Columbus’ Krema Nut Company, one of the longest-running nut companies in North America, supplies almonds (Brown Butter Almond Brittle), pecans (Whiskey & Pecans), and most everything else that calls for nuts. Krema, whose staff expertly roasts quality nuts and grinds them into butters, has worked hard for its stellar national reputation. We’ve worked with Krema from the earliest days of Jeni’s, back when Jeni herself made her first batch of Bangkok Peanut (originally “Thai Chili”).
Northeast Ohio’s Mackenzie Creamery, headed up by Jean Mackenzie, churns out the naturally tangy goat cheese we use in Goat Cheese With Roasted Red Cherries. With a strong, fresh flavor and clean finish, Mackenzie’s goat cheese is made in small batches with 100% hormone-free rBST milk. Simply put, it’s some of the best goat cheese we’ve ever tasted.