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Jeni Britton Bauer empowers local kids, presents entrepreneurial summer challenge




Long before she was famous throughout the United States as the face of her James Beard award-winning brand of expressive, artisanal ice creams, Jeni Britton Bauer cut her teeth selling another kind sweet treat: homemade pixie sticks.

“I actually managed to sell a lot of them,” Britton Bauer said. “As a kid in middle school, I never got an allowance, so I would borrow money from my dad’s change jar and buy Kool-aid and sugar, and mix them together in straws. We would even come up with different names for the different colors.”

And while a clandestine pixie stick operation headed by middle schoolers (one of her many youthful hustles) doesn’t equal the scope or prowess of the ice cream empire Britton Bauer has established with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, she believes this young flair of entrepreneurship is critical to cultivate in the younger generation.

Photos: Toby Hamel & Erika Clark

“For me, entrepreneurship is a lens I see the world through. When a lot of these programs geared toward younger people talk about entrepreneurship, they only talk about business, but there’s so much more to it than that. Forget pitches; forget what you’ve seen on Shark Tank,” Britton Bauer says, stressing that the entrepreneur embraces his or her image, passion, drive, and creativity to latch on to something they love or can do well. “I want to make sure kids are taught to see the world through this lens before they get too old.”

And to achieve this goal here in Columbus with its youth, the company is launching a first-year program this summer, entitled Jeni’s Made Stand. A reference to the all-American, by-the-bootstraps lemonade stand, the initiative challenges local youngsters to turn $10 into $100 dollars, by crafting and selling anything they’re interested in or that they can create. There aren’t prizes or strict guidelines, but Britton Bauer believes pushing kids to engage in the project will stoke their entrepreneurial fires.

In her important bid to redefine entrepreneurship, especially for a younger generation of budding and potential talent, Britton Bauer also extended a set of refreshing views about money and the power of self- motivation.


“I think there’s a misconception about money. Yes, it’s important, but it isn’t the most difficult resource to acquire, or the most important,” she says. “Things like perseverance and creativity can be harder to come across and a lot of times are more useful.”

The program encourages participants throughout the city to engage with her and Jeni’s via social media, particularly Instagram. This allows Jeni’s to not only see the progress kids are making, but it also affords the youngsters a chance to be seen and feel appreciated. Britton Bauer may even take the steps to visit some of this Summer’s Made Stands in action, but she also noted that this may have to wait until next year. The initiative might eventually spread to other cities and states in the future as well.

And if the project seems a bit undefined at first, that’s because in some important ways, it is. “There aren’t a lot of rules, and we wanted to keep it that way on purpose,” Britton Bauer says.

This open-ended approach to the Made Stand should in no way be considered negatively. It’s just another facet of her dynamic, iconoclastic views on business and what defines success. And we should be listening.

Where so many successful con-temporary businesses are meticulously concerned with public image and appearing perfectly polished and complete, Britton Bauer is embracing a project that’s still evolving and figuring itself out, and she owns this. She’s eschewing optics for progress; she wants her business to help, and that, more than anything else, is apparent. In fact, she prefers the term “company” over “business,” as the former implies a working, breathing community.

And ultimately, this is what the Made Stand is about: community. It’s about helping the future generations of Columbus harness their own capabilities, some that many of them didn’t even know they had.

“It could be anything; you could start with $75 borrowed from your parents and finish with a lot more. It’s about getting young people started here in Columbus.”

If you would like to try your hand at entrepreneurship and start a Made Stand, visit

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2 tiny Columbus Zoo babies bring big hope for endangered species

614now Staff



The newest babies at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium may be small, but they bring big hope for one of the most endangered species on the planet.

On November 1 and 3, reptile keepers at the Zoo’s Shores region successfully hatched two rare yellow-headed temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii), the first ever hatched in an indoor zoological environment. The breakthrough is critical in efforts to boost the numbers of temple turtles, which are facing extinction, according to a release from the zoo.

Keepers note that the two hatchlings are "very active" and "very healthy." They are being cared for in behind-the-scenes habitats as they continue to grow stronger. Right now, the hatchlings are about the size of a racquetball and weigh approximately 80 grams–the same weight as a small tomato. They will grow to be up to about 2 feet long and weigh about 35 pounds.

These two turtles were the only ones to survive out of their mother's nest. Of five eggs, one turtle hatched on its own, and the care team helped another break out of its shell when it was experiencing some difficulties. Two other eggs did not contain viable hatchlings, and the fifth egg did not hatch.

“Our team is extremely proud of hatching these turtles, as well as being able to do so inside the Columbus Zoo’s Reptile House," said Becky Ellsworth, Curator of the Zoo’s Shores region. "This is a wonderful achievement as our Animal Care staff has been able to learn more information about this rare and important species, contributing significant knowledge to the zoological community working to help protect these turtles."

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Local attraction makes “World’s 50 Coolest Places of 2019” list

614now Staff



Today, TIME For Kids revealed the first-ever World’s 50 Coolest Places of 2019 list, and among other international attractions, a Columbus business found itself in the mix.

Otherworld, which shook up the local entertainment scene when it opened earlier this year, was named one of the "World's Coolest Places" because of its quality, originality, sustainability, and accessibility. 

For those who haven't made the trip out to 5819 Chantry Dr. in southeast Columbus yet, Otherworld is an immersive and interactive art installation, featuring dozens of adventures, mysteries, and puzzles throughout its 47 rooms. Read more about it in our (614) Magazine coverage.

See below for the Otherworld write-up by Ellen Nam of TIME For Kids:

"Otherworld is an art installation built by more than 40 artists. They filled a 32,000-square-foot facility with large-scale works, secret passages, and playgrounds that blur the line between virtual and digital. Each of Otherworld’s 47 rooms is designed to resemble a science-fiction fantasyland. Visitors are encouraged to explore freely. Kids can fill in magical coloring books and solve puzzles. Those who are feeling adventurous can crawl into the mouth of a giant fuzzy monster."

To see the full list of the World’s 50 Coolest Places of 2019 and to learn more about how each attraction was chosen, visit

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Sonic Temple announces full lineup for 2020

Mike Thomas



Update: Sonic Temple has announced the full lineup of performers for the 2020 edition of the fest. Check it out below, via the Sonic Temple Facebook page:


Exit light, enter night: Sonic Temple Fest has announced all-time metal legends Metallica will grace the stage for the first time ever in 2020.

One of the "big four" of thrash metal, Metallica have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have sold more than 125 million albums worldwide. The group is currently the only act announced for the second year of the hard rock festival formerly known as Rock on the Range.

Sonic Temple 2020 is scheduled for May 15, 16, and 17 at Mapfre Stadium. Passes go on sale on October 14 at noon, with layaway options available. For more information, visit

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