“They’ve experienced a situation that any entrepreneur any business could go through,” Rick Malir, the CEO of City Barbeque, told a room full of budding entrepreneurs at the Garden Theater.
He was talking about a situation Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream CEO John Lowe says put leaders at Jeni’s in “crisis mode.”
“We can’t serve pregnant women and grandmas. That’s just not acceptable,” Lowe said Tuesday morning.
It’s been almost 2 weeks since a pint of Jeni’s Ice Cream tested positive for listeria.
The company shut down its kitchen production facility, closed all its scoops shops nationwide, and issued a recall, dumping tons of frozen products.
“The way they handled it and I’ve watched them handle it is quite admirable,” Malir said.
Leaders of the company took a step back to investigate the source and through swab tests tracked the bacteria down to a spout that was used to fill portions of pints.
NBC4 tried to speak one on one with Lowe at Columbus Start Up Week but he did not want to do an interview at that time.
Lowe did say it was an easy decision to put the safety of customers first.
“There was no debate,” he said. “There was nobody around the table arguing the other way.”
In response to the company’s moral decision and hardship comes support from businesses like Hot Chicken Takeover, City Barbecue, and even a farm.
Jeni’s says Val Jorgenson of Jorgenson Farms has offered full time work to displaced Jeni’s employees who can’t work while the kitchen and stores are closed.