Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams — a Midwestern fave — opens its first San Diego shop

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams currently has 64 scoop shops across the United States.
(Courtesy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream)

The artisanal ice cream company with flavors like Everything Bagel and Powdered Jelly Donut has the grand opening of its Carlsbad scoop shop on Thursday.


Jeni Britton, the founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams said that the popularity of ice cream in America comes in waves. Now, she’s bringing a wave of quirky and creative flavors to Carlsbad by opening her first shop in San Diego County.

The scoop shop at 7740 El Camino Real in La Costa is the latest storefront for the Ohio-based ice cream company that has 64 shops nationwide. Britton founded the company in 2002 to reach adventurous ice cream lovers with her out-of-the-box creations like powdered Raspberry Jelly Donut and Wildberry Lavender in addition to the nostalgic chocolate and vanilla flavors.

Jeni’s concocts its flavors using direct and fair trade ingredients, without artificial coloring. The James Beard award-winning ice cream maker has written two cookbooks and she was at the forefront of the American, artisanal ice cream movement.

“I thought well, what about if we can make ice creams that inspired everybody ... more adventurous types, creative types, maybe moms and dads who wanted to show their kiddos other flavors,” she said.

Jeni Britton stands next to a Jeni's Ice Cream bicycle cart.
Jeni Britton founded Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002.
(Courtesy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams)

Britton said that they’ve been planning to open a shop in San Diego for a while because they knew there were a lot of Jeni’s ice cream fans in San Diego based on market demand for the product.

Besides its storefronts, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are sold online and at local grocery stores, including Whole Foods Market, Ralphs, Gelson’s and Valley Farm Markets. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams sell for $12 a pint and a little more than $5 for a single scoop with up to two flavors at the shop.

Britton said that her ice cream was popular during the pandemic and the company saw customers shift to buying pints online and at grocery stores instead of retail locations. Personally, she likes to pick up a pint of her favorite flavor of the moment — Brown Butter Almond Brittle — from the grocery store, but she loves the experience of going into the shop to try new flavors.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Grand Opening

Where: The Beacon La Costa, 7740 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92009

When: Thursday, April 14 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

What: The shop will be scooping free ice cream all night. Plus, the first 50 people in line will get a swag bag.

More info:

“It’s a whole different experience ... being in our stores means that you get to try all the newest stuff we have out,” Britton said. “It takes a long time to get something in grocery (stores) because it really has to be a tried-and-true flavor.”

In turn, she said the brick-and-mortar stores are a key part of their business as the customers become part of the flavor development process.

“I like to think that … our company is a conversation with our customers,” she said.

For example, she said the Everything Bagel — a cream cheese ice cream with everything bagel streusel — was a new flavor that went viral on social media. They made enough to last a few weeks and it sold out in three days. She said that kind of popular response by customers meant she had to bring the flavor to their stores.

In addition to their exotic flavors made in Ohio using local milk and shipped to shops nationwide, Jeni’s also offers a few dairy-free ice cream flavors so there’s something for everyone.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams said it saw a 45 percent increase in total revenue across scoop shops, wholesale and online in 2021. Additionally, the company said it more than doubled its revenue during the past three years and produced 23 percent more pints of ice cream in 2021 than 2020.

The company opened 15 scoop shops across the country last year and said it plans on continuing this growth in 2022. Britton said this includes a second shop in North Park that will open soon.

Ice cream lovers can grab a free scoop from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the grand opening of The Beacon La Costa location on Thursday.