Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams is hitting the road with LA's Hedley & Bennett Founder Ellen Bennett to meet new people and exchange new ideas.
About the Adventure
Ellen Bennett, Founder + Creative Director of Hedley & Bennett, andJeni Britton Bauer, Founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, are kicking off an epic multi-city road trip, visiting five citiesin nine days. The reason forELLEN + JENI'S ICE CREAM AND APRON ADVENTURE?To bring together everyone they know from Columbus to Birmingham, meet as many new folks as possible, collaborate, create, and see what happens when you pile into the back of an RV and pound the pavement doing ice cream and apron pop-ups.
In Columbus and Nashville they'll host "Meet the Makers" socials at Jeni's scoop shops, Ellen will tell her founder's story and they'll field any and all questions. In Atlanta they'll do a pop-up shop at the Grant Park Farmer's Market with proceeds going to local charityThe Giving Kitchen. They'll visit local West Elms for ice cream sampling and apron selling, too. In each city chefs and their kitchen teams will be surprise "ice cream and apron bombed" plus more TBA shenanigans!
To begin the adventure, Ellen and Jeni picked each other's brains about their respective businesses.
Ellen to Jeni:
EB: How have you grown your business using social media?
JBB: We see social media the same way we see a customer over the counter at the North Market. It's all about making people feel good, even if the "counter" is a lot bigger. In that way, we can serve ice cream to somebody on the other side of America by shipping it to them. Social media allows us to open a window into how we do things. We can show how different we are from other ice cream makers. I always think of these online efforts as "hope confirming" - we believe that none of it matters if our ice cream doesn't live up to it. The ice cream quality is first. But if you get to our website, we want you to be pleasantly surprised that the ice cream you just fell in love with is made fairly by a community of people devoted to making great stuff. We want you to feel how we feel about our ice cream-then invite your pals.
EB: How do you pick and choose partnerships that feel true to the brand? What are your guidelines?
JBB: If I like them, then we work with them. Simple as that. We don't make ice cream just to slap symbols on our pints, even if that makes an easy sale. We like to work with people and grow with our partners.Building this kind of company is complex beyond words. We use a lot of ingredients making upwards of 65 flavors per year. And we often have a completely different relationship with each supplier of an ingredient, and one ice cream can be three or more unique ingredients that we need to source.
EB: What's your favorite part about social media?
JBB: That it connects people into their communities, and welcomes them in. It's easy now to have true friends all over the world. We are no longer limited to our neighborhoods, schools, or communities to find belonging. And that has changed how people feel in the world and how we treat each other. Barriers are falling and people are expressing themselves and celebrating differences instead of trying to cram everyone into the same little buckets.
Jeni to Ellen:
JBB: As a growing company, do you have a dedicated team for social media?
EB: Yes, we do!
JBB: Why or why not?
EB: I think its really important to show people what's going on inside the company as well as everything we are involved in. You build a community within first and we really believe in that. There are so many ways to share everything that's going on in the Apron HQ and the different events we host or are a part of, charities we attend, and on and on. So we really encourage different members of the squad to take the reigns on the Instagram Story and share their bit of the apron adventures.
JBB: How do you differentiate between Hedley & Bennet's social media accounts and your (Ellen's) personal accounts?
EB: My personal Instagram is all about my own adventures but the truth is, my life is 95 percent aprons so you get to see both worlds. Its colorful, full of food, jumps and our Apron Squad mascot pig, Oliver and it gives you a peek into my crazy apron life. On Hedley & Bennett's Instagram, we like to share what our Apron Squad members are up to, good eats and really dive into the community that we've built. We're really lucky to have amazing people in community who love to share their apron adventures with us!
Jeni Britton Bauer and Ellen Bennett
Jeni Britton Bauer opened Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in 2002 with the idea that ice creams could be better and more interesting. Today, Jeni continues to craft one-of-a-kind flavors-made with grass-grazed Ohio milk and Direct Trade ingredients-in partnership with some of the world's best makers, producers, and growers.
Ellen Bennett is the founder and creator of Hedley & Bennett, the Los Angeles based apron company founded in 2012 at at 24. Bennett has collaborated with SpaceX, Google, Lexus, Delta, Four Seasons, Food & Wine and thousands of others to craft functional aprons for their specific needs.
Of course, Jeni and Ellen will be documenting and sharing everything athedleyandbennett.com/blogs/apron-squad-adventures/tourand on Instagram at #IceCreamAndApronsForAll.