by Mabel Suen
St. Louis' ice cream-driven caloric count just keeps getting higher. Our growing list of favorites includes everything from the fun flavors at I Scream Cakes and Ices Plain and Fancy to newcomer Clementine's Creamery. Add to that frozen bucket list a recent contender for the place we're most likely to get fat at this summer: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (389 Euclid Avenue; 314-367-1700), which opened the doors of its brand new Central West End shop last night for a public debut, featuring free scoops.
See also: Jeni's Will Open in the Central West End
As its superfans could (and will) happily explain, Jeni's is a thriving independent chain based out of Columbus, Ohio with more than ten scoop shops throughout the country in cities including Los Angeles and Nashville.
Owner and founder Jeni Britton Bauer has roots in and around St. Louis. The ice cream mastermind grew up in Peoria, Illinois, and her husband is from the river city itself. But though grocery stores including Straub's and Dierbergs have carried Jeni's products in their freezer cases for some time, the Central West End shop is the first dedicated storefront in Missouri.
"It's just a really good ice cream experience," Bauer says. "We make all of our ice cream with grass-pastured milk, incredible ingredients and better flavors and mix-ins. We work with lots of smaller farms and our ingredients, many of which are fair trade or direct trade, really shine in the ice cream."
Jeni's features fifteen signature gourmet flavors, including salty caramel, darkest chocolate -- which utilizes Askinosie chocolate from Springfield, Missouri -- and sun-popped corn. Bauer's personal favorites, the frozen yogurts, are made from a tart and fresh biodynamic (organic grass pastured) yogurt from Seven Stars Farm in Pennsylvania. Choose from flavor options including mango lassi, passionfruit, black currant and raspberry. Other varieties will also rotate throughout the year.
From the specialty sundae list, try combinations like the "Gooey Butter" with brown butter almond brittle ice cream, honey butterscotch sauce and salty caramel sauce as well as "the Charleston" with sweet cream ice cream, salty caramel sauce, blackstrap molasses and Virginia peanuts. Alternatively, build your own with any of above toppings as well as extra-bitter hot fudge sauce.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. For the full menu and additional information, visit Jeni's official website or follow the Central West End location's Facebook page.