Community is at the heart of everything we do at Jeni’s. When we first started shipping ice cream in 2004, Los Angeles quickly became our largest shipping destination—it’s what brought us to open our first LA scoop shop in Los Feliz. When National Ice Cream Day rolled around this year, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with our West Coast community and quickly whipped up a plan to bring ice cream parties to some of our favorite women entrepreneurs and their teams.
We landed at LAX and hustled to our first stop at Baby2Baby headquarters near Beverly Hills. Baby2Baby provides low-income children (from infants to 12-year-olds) with diapers, clothing, and more basic necessities that every child deserves. Their team was crowded around a projector screen cheering on the England versus Croatia World Cup game and we joined right in on the camaraderie. The office was small but mighty, packed to the brim with stacks of diapers and various supplies for children. Co-president, Norah Weinstein, helped Jeni scoop for the team. Darkest Chocolate (and Croatia) were the winners that day.
We were welcomed into Sugar Paper’s Brentwood office, which looks more like a cute stationery shop with desks, and found they had designed their own cone wraps and sundae cups just for us. Co-founders Chelsea and Jamie started their personalized stationery business almost 15 years ago after ordering an old letterpress off eBay. The same letterpress still sits in their office as an inspiration of the passion that spurred the business. Chelsea taught us that stationary and ice cream are more alike than we thought—both spread joy and help spur conversation and friendships. They even sent us home with a heartfelt Sugar Paper thank you card with sprinkles taped inside which officially makes them our new favorite people.
We have a special place in our hearts for ban.do. Not only did the founder, Jen Gotch, and Jeni become great friends during an entrepreneurs trip to Hawaii, but HR & Culture Specialist, Reika Kadlec, used to scoop for us in the old days! One corner of the office is affectionately named, “The Chill Zone” and is adorned with a disco ball ceiling. Ban.do is as fun as they seem online. Jen sat down with Jeni to discuss her new podcast and her business as it turns 10 years old this year. Frosé was the hit flavor.
Visiting Hedley & Bennett’s Apron HQ is its own experience in and of itself. The warehouse has a treehouse—which also doubles as an office for two employees—and a zipline. The ice cream party we brought was just a fun bonus. Jeni taught founder, Ellen Bennett, how to make waffle cones using our new Buttercrisp Waffle Cone mix. Our Lemon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt was the crowd favorite.
We sat down with fashion designer, Clare Vivier, from Clare V. in the secret garden (aka the patio) at Jeni’s Larchmont. Clare designs bags, clothes, hats, and now … ice cream. We collaborated with her to create our latest dairy-free flavor, Almond Milk Cortado. She wanted to make this flavor sans cream since it’s her favorite drink at any cafe.
Joy Cho, founder and creative director of Oh! Joy, has been a longtime friend and fan of Jeni’s. We love looking forward to her Instagram posts as proof of her frequent visits to Jeni’s Larchmont. We found out that Joy holds a special place in her heart for our Rainbow Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt—she even wore the perfect pair of pants to match.
Jeni and the team spent the morning riding around Venice in some awesome Linus bikes and the afternoon outside their Venice location. We even got to hang out with co-founders Adam McDermott and Chad Kushner who started the company back in 2005. Jeni was actually one of their first customers, purchasing her first Linus Bike back in 2007 and later outfitting her family with their own from her favorite bike shop in Columbus, Paradise Garage.
After our stop at Linus, we rolled on over to the local Abbot Kinney Memorial Library. People of all ages stopped to enjoy a scoop. We even got to nerd out on our favorite children’s books with their librarians!
Bob Baker Marionette Theater was the perfect place to close out our National Ice Cream Day celebration. The Enchanted Toyshop puppet show was a recreation of their original “Toyland Review” performance from 1963! And we got to throw a pretty epic ice cream party afterward for kids and parents alike.