The votes are in and we at The Metropreneur are pleased to announce our first-ever Entrepreneur of the Year: Jeni Britton Bauer, founder and president of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
In the last 12 months, Britton Bauer and her team have accomplished quite a bit, opening three new shops and continuing to collaborate with local producers, like Middle West Spirits and The Olive Orchard, to create tasty new ice cream flavors.
This year’s first and second runners up are Joe DeLoss, chief sandwich officer at Freshbox Catering, and Eric Ralph, president of Milton, respectively.
The Entrepreneur of the Year selection process began with a call for nominations last month. Then, a panel of 10 judges −from local organizations like the Columbus Chamber, The Economic and Community Development Institute, and the Ohio Small Business Development Center− ranked all the nominees and named their top three picks for the award.
The judges on…
“Who knew that there could be another way to sell ice cream? The story of Jeni Bauer’s business is a classic one of seeing a product and making it better.”
“While Jeni does get recognition nationally, she also does not forget where she started. Jeni partners with many local businesses to help them succeed and help grow recognition for all.”
“Joe has taken a fantastic concept −taking Columbus’s displaced and giving them not only a job, but also the skills to succeed− and brought it to life in a way that only could have been accomplished by him.”
“Eric Ralph has done a phenomenal job planning, creating, and ramping up Milton. It began at a Startup Weekend event at TechColumbus and soon after the business plan was in full swing. Eric is a clever innovator and has a unique branding knack. Already the business has grown rapidly and I expect the success to accelerate!”
Congratulations to our honorees and thank you to our nominators and judges!
Photo of Britton Bauer provided by Chris Walker Photography.