Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Set To Sail

The Ice Cream Sandwicherita

First-ever food boat in the nation to efficiently deliver Jeni’s extended line of award-winning ice cream sandwiches to residents along the southern Ohio leg of the Scioto River.

(COLUMBUS, OHIO) — Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is thrilled to announce a new public/private collaborative venture concept/partnership in downtown Columbus. As of noon today, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Mayor Coleman and the City of Columbus will begin their tenure as co-owners and operators of Columbus’ historic floating landmark, the Santa Maria.

The beloved replica of Christopher Columbus’ historic vessel, dubbed the Sandwicherita, sits gleaming at its dock in downtown Columbus after a $1.5 million overhaul that has included the installation of 1,492 tiny milk bottle-shaped lights, three commercial-grade freezers, masts made of repurposed barn wood from the farms of all 88 Ohio counties, and most important, 25 Mercury Outboard Motors that allow the girl to glide through the waters at upwards of 20 knots (23 m.p.h.).

Jeni’s Ice Cream Sandwicherita, the first-ever ice cream boat in America, will begin wending its way toward Portsmouth, Ohio, following a christening at noon today at its dock at Battelle Riverfront Park (25 Marconi Boulevard between Long and West Broad streets). On hand for the historic event will be Jeni Britton Bauer, Mayor Coleman, Experience Columbus President and CEO Brian Ross, and longtime Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams super-fan Lyle Lovett, who will play a special version of If I Had a Boat.

“As a kid, I lived near Port au Prince, Rotterdam, Singapore, Acapulco, Reykjavik, Brisbane, Dakar, Montevideo, Cape Town, Karachi, Murmansk, Perth, and Osaka,” says Jeni Britton Bauer.

“Everyone knows I love ice cream, but the world of ships and life on the open waters runs 1,000 fathoms deeper in my blood.”

Everyone at Team Jeni’s, she says, is beyond excited to share the maiden voyage of America’s first-ever mobile ice cream boat with the people of Ohio.

“If it weren’t for our loyal customers these past 10-plus years and the deeply progressive nature of every single person in central Ohio, the Sandwicherita would have remained an idea that existed only on paper,” Jeni says.

“And I’m terrible at predicting trends, but fifty years from now, I’m certain that the Sandwicherita will be known in the mobile food world as the mother of all food boats.”

Along the route, the Ice Cream Sandwicherita will dock at the ports of Circleville, Chillicothe, Waverly, and Piketon. Customers can order the ice cream Time called “America’s best” via:

  • Shouting: Those not inclined to use modern-day, non-artisanal modes of communication can order the truly artisanal way—by arriving in port and shouting their order at the ship’s swashbuckling young crew of friendly and knowledgeable ambassadors.
  • Text, email, snail mail, telephone: Just let Jeni’s know what port is most convenient.
  • The Message in a Bottle smart phone app (99 cents) & Sandwich Cannon: Beginning October 14, 2013 (Columbus Day), using the groundbreaking new Message in a Bottle Google Earth app (99 cents), customers can input their information and order from any spot along the banks of the Scioto. Once the information is received (barring certain jurisdictions with constringent noise ordinances), Jeni’s crew will launch the order from the Sandwich Cannon to within 7.5 ft of the intended target (your phone). Ordering the 100-sandwich Party Pack? Just park your full-size pick-up along the river.

“No other city has anything like this,” says Mayor Coleman. “From the original idea to the innovative funding, this is going to put Columbus on the map. The swagger of our city will finally be noticed by the rest of the world!”

Jeni’s CEO John Lowe says that, “as with most things that come from Jeni,” the idea of converting a replica of the Santa Maria into a motorized food boat didn’t initially register with him.

“It took me awhile to understand the genius of her idea,” he says. “We know we’ll have a negative margin on the sales from our sails, but we plan to make it up with volume.”

What’s more, Lowe adds, the Ice Cream Sandwicherita is merely the tip of the iceberg of the 10-year-old company’s mobile food plans in 2013.

“For now we’re merely testing the waters with the Ice Cream Sandwicherita. By year’s end we hope to begin the phase out our Street Treats Trucks and institute the launch a flotilla of amphibious ice cream boats.

“The new, more powerful flotilla of food boats not only will have the capacity to sail down or power upstream America’s major rivers; they will also be able to traverse the banks of any waterway or water area whatsoever. There’s no reason why the spot on the map you call home should mean it’s difficult for you to enjoy Jeni’s ice creams. We’re going to sail the good stuff right into your freezer.”

James Beard Award-winning former Momofuku sous chef Teller Christensen, editor at Mobile Food News, says the Ice Cream Sandwicherita is shaping up to be the pioneer in the word of mobile food.

“I see enormous opportunity and potential for food boats,” says Christensen. “And if anyone is going to trailblaze the move to use a once-outdated but extremely regal food transportation and delivery system it’s Jeni Britton Bauer. I’ve known her for years and I’ve never seen a person captain a company with so little fear.”

Christensen adds that the Ice Cream Sandwicherita “is positioned to mark a sea change in the way foodies order ice cream, enjoy the experience of eating ice cream, and share their love of telling other foodies about the ice cream they’ve experienced and enjoyed.

“Moving forward the next five, six, seven years, I’m seeing the food truck craze going the way of the dinosaur. It’s the food boat that really taps into all things foodie/artisan. Nothing is more linked to artisan modes of food delivery than a sailing vessel. Period.”

JENI’S ICE CREAM SANDWICHERITA MENU

ORCHID VANILLA
Ugandan Vanilla Bean ice cream and black currant jam between almond macaroons. A drop-dead, delicious beauty.

SALTY CARAMEL WITH SMOKED ALMONDS
Salty Caramel ice cream (Jeni’s flagship flavor) bedazzled with chopped smoked almonds between golden almond macaroons.

CLOVERTON MANGO
Soft, light, and creamy small-batch Cloverton cheese from Southern Ohio’s Laurel Valley Farm. Luscious, grass-grazed Ohio milk and cream. Sweet and intensely flavorful, made-from-scratch mango jam. Sunny almond macaroon cookies. Like a tropical cheesecake.

* Special Columbus Day Menu Addition (Available Columbus Day — Oct. 14, 2013):

CROQUE MONSIEUR HARD TACK MACAROON
Inspired by a recipe used by those aboard the actual Santa Maria in 1492, the Croque Monsieur Hard Tack Macaroon features a scoop of Salty Caramel ice cream, studded with single-origin Ohio rum-soaked grass-grazed beef jerky nibs set between from-scratch, every-so-slightly chewy hard tack cracker-bread.

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