Folks hungry for the big collaboration between Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Dolly Parton went unsatisfied Thursday when website issues prevented people from ordering the limited-edition ice cream online.
Ohio-based Jeni’s began teasing its partnership with Parton in early March, eventually revealing that the flavor Strawberry Pretzel Pie would be released in extremely limited quantities on April 8 and would benefit Parton’s Imagination Library.
This is how Jeni's described the flavor:
Strawberry Pretzel Pie is a throwback to the triple-decker classic of the potlucks of our youths. Layers of salty pretzel gravel, subtly sweet and effortlessly sweet-tart cream cheese ice cream, and lipstick red strawberry sauce.
Only 10,000 pints of Strawberry Pretzel Pie were created and would be available in Jeni’s scoop shops and online (Jeni’s ships nationally).
But despite the many, many emails and social reminders from Jeni’s about the launch, the creamery apparently was unprepared for just how badly people would want to get a taste of something blessed by Dolly.
As soon as the online launch began at noon April 8, users encountered a variety of error messages, bad links and repeated demands to log in. “This is more stressful than Ticketmaster,” one user said on the Jeni’s Facebook page. “I got my [COVID-19] vaccine appointment easier than this,” said another. “It would be nice if they would say when the website is expected back up so we don't keep sitting here refreshing all day,” yet another frustrated user said.
The Jeni’s team shared an update about an hour later, saying “To those of you trying to order Strawberry Pretzel Pie online, we are so sorry. This sucks. The flavor is NOT sold out. Our website issues have lasted longer than expected, but we are working on it and will let you know via email and social media when we’re back up and running.”
Jeni’s posted a longer missive to Facebook later, explaining that its website had “50 times more users than it sees on average,” and the company promised to try the online launch again soon with 48-hour notice via email and social media.
In Facebook comments, some customers shared that they were able to obtain Strawberry Pretzel Pie pints at scoop shop locations, though lines were long.
Jeni’s has no scoop shop locations in Greater Cincinnati, but area grocery stores carry pints, plus the company ships nationwide. The Dolly Parton flavor is not available in grocery stores. Learn more at jenis.com.
Read the full explanation from the Jeni's team below.