It wasn't exactly business as usual this afternoon at Columbus' North Market, where Jeni began making ice cream from scratch in 1996.
Just after 3:30 Vice President Joe Biden, in Columbus to address the high cost of college tuition, as well as audiences at two other speaking engagements, stopped by during a break for refreshments.
Accompanied by a small army of Secret Service members and Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman and his entourage, Biden strolled the market, shook hands and said hello to any and all. After a stop for coffee at A Touch of Earth and chats with several merchants, V.P. Biden and company made their way to Jeni's.
As they leaned on the counter and peered into the dipping cabinets, Mayor Coleman, no stranger to Jeni's, said to Mr. Biden, "This is the best ice cream. I'll put this ice cream up against any ice cream in the country."
"Do you have chocolate chip," Vice President Biden asked Jeni.
"No, you're in the wrong place for chocolate chip," said Jeni and laughed.
"Oh. Well, okay, then how about vanilla?"
Clearly the Vice President was in for a quick Cliffs Notes lesson on the finer points of the new American ice cream movement.
Jeni suggested Salty Caramel.
Turns out the Vice President isn't a fan of caramel in general.
In the end Jeni served Mr. Biden a scoop of Dark Chocolate and Ugandan Vanilla Bean in a waffle cone and Mayor Coleman a scoop of Ugandan Vanilla Bean in a cup.
Despite the lack of chocolate chip on the menu, the Vice President seemed more than pleased with his ice cream. "That is good," he said, then listened intently as Jeni answered his questions about how she imports free-trade vanilla beans direct from Ndali Estate in Uganda and other elements that set her made-from-scratch ice cream apart.
As Jeni and the Vice President spoke, Mayor Coleman quickly protested when Mr. Biden presented the cash to cover the duo's ice cream tab, but Mr. Biden insisted: "No, no, you got the coffee back there. I've got this."