Each scoop of Jeni's ice cream is a masterpiece, a small-scale work of art dreamed up by Jeni Britton Bauer and brought to life with lots of help from lots of people. This year, we followed the process of a pint of Jeni's Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries -- a flavor that just screams Ohio, right? -- from a cow in Athens to a scoop shop in Clintonville. Here's a look at how the magic happens. The sweet corn of Sweet Corn & Black Raspberries fame is grown in Circleville on Rhoads Farm and delivered to Jeni's through a partnership orchestrated by Mike Hirsch of Hirsch Fruit Farms. "They have the perfect soil to grow sweet corn," Hirsch said. "At our farm in Ross County, it's all clay and rock." When Hirsch delivers a truckload of just-picked sweet corn to the Jeni's production kitchen in Grandview, the work is far from over. Kitchen staff still have to prep the corn by shucking it and cutting the kernels from the cob.

Because of Jeni's reliance on small farms, they're constantly facing production problems, whether it's weather-related or logistical. Britton Bauer never gets flustered. "It's a different way of looking at business, but that's the only way we've ever done it," she said. Last year, bad weather during growing season meant the strawberry crop wasn't up to par. "The strawberries were awful, so we had to adjust the recipe for our Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk," Britton Bauer said. "I still wasn't happy with it last year, even though the New York Times tried it and loved it." When she's dreaming up new flavors, Britton Bauer tries to incorporate local ingredients whenever possible. "I like to think about what is possible to grow here in Ohio," she said. But when it's not possible to use Ohio-grown, Britton Bauer doesn't balk at sourcing from other states, or even around the world. For her, it's about quality of flavor. Her Askinosie Dark Chocolate, for example, uses chocolate from a small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer in Springfield, Missouri. "You can't buy a lot of things these days direct, but we can buy not only single-origin chocolate but single-farm chocolate," Britton Bauer said. "We can support this farmer in the same way we can our Ohio local farmers. And we're keeping him able to do his dream, which is growing an amazing chocolate bar." "There are companies out there that go on about buying local. The definition of local to me and you is within 50 to 60 miles, or within your quadrant of the state, or, at the very least, within your state. For some of these big grocers in the Midwest, to them, local means east of the Mississippi, or within a 1,000-mile radius, or a product of the U.S.A.," Hirsch said. "Jeni's has it right. They know what local means, and they do everything they can to buy local whenever possible."