The cold, hard truth: is Sweet Jesus worth the hype?

Photo by Brit Kovacs

If there’s one thing that I know, it’s ice cream. So, when a new ice cream shop opened its doors just down the road from Laurier, I knew that I had to try it.

Sweet Jesus, a fast-growing brand from Toronto, has a new home in the University Shops Plaza. Since the store’s inception, it has come under fire by religious groups that feel that the name and branding are blasphemous. According to Sweet Jesus, however, the name “was created from the popular phrase that people use as an expression of enjoyment, surprise or disbelief,” and is not meant to offer commentary on anyone’s beliefs.

The bright blue of the storefront is difficult to miss. Inside, the bright colours and mouth-watering photos of the ice cream cones create a fun atmosphere. The store is small and quickly filled up with people waiting to order. While there’s no seating inside, there are chairs and tables outside to enjoy your dessert, provided that the weather is nice.

The ice cream shop offers soft-serve in a range of flavours, including chocolate, vanilla and vegan coconut. The brand is known for its Instagram-worthy cones– colourful creations with names like Red Rapture, Krusty the Cone and Bounty Killah.

Photo by Brit Kovacs

Unfortunately, the Waterloo location doesn’t serve the full menu, so if you’re looking for one of their milkshakes or hot chocolates, you’ll have to go to another location.

At $6.75 for their smaller size (and even more if you want the regular size or a waffle cone), the prices are a bit steep. However, their sizes are generous, and their ‘kids’ size was enough ice cream for me.

I tasted three of their creations: Bangin’ Brownie, Hella Hazelnut and Cookies Cookies Cookies & Cream. Each one was attractively presented, featuring a base of soft-serve ice cream with a variety of toppings. Without a doubt, these toppings were the best part of each of the cones. Brownie bits and caramel sauce, hazelnut-chocolate sauce and toasted pistachios or cookie crumbs and cookie dough chunks livened up the ice cream and made it more than your typical soft-serve cone.

Unfortunately, underneath those toppings, which disappeared too quickly, was regular ice cream that left much to be desired. The ice cream was standard soft-servegood, but it did not compare to some of the other local ice creams that I’ve tried. The cone was similar to what you would get from any fast-food restaurant. Overall, I was satisfied with my order, but I won’t be rushing back anytime soon.

Sweet Jesus is a fun and unique alternative to the regular ice cream cones you’re used to, but seems to be overpriced and overhyped. While it’s an enjoyable place to try a combination you haven’t before, or snap a pic to show your friends how amazing your dessert looks, it definitely won’t become my go-to creamery.

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