6.16.2009

sweet creamery: great gelato in cabbagetown

sweetcreamery001


Yesterday we finally visited Sweet Creamery, the new gelato and ice cream sensation in Toronto's Cabbagetown neighbourhood.

The gelato is a knock-out. Rich but light, sweet and refreshing, popping with flavour. The newest flavour may be my favourite: watermelon. It takes like a watermelon melted into cream. And it's watermelon, the fruit, not watermelon flavour.

The lemon-mint is another stand-out. As with all Sweet Creamery gelato, this is made with fresh, authentic ingredients: real lemon and real mint, not mint flavour. Passion fruit is also a crowd favourite. There's also raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, and a raspberry-strawberry mix.

If you don't care for fruit flavours, try the vanilla bourbon, chocolate, or pistachio. If you're a bit more adventurous, there's spicy chocolate, blending rich, creamy chocolate with the bite of chile peppers. It's very interesting.

If you can't decide, whoever is scooping will be happy to offer you a free taste of any and all flavours. Customers will typically sample three or four before making the difficult decision.

If ice cream is more your thing, Sweet Creamery serves a wide variety of flavours made by Kawartha Dairy, a locally-produced favourite. The ice cream is very dense and super creamy.

Allan loved the banana and chocolate-peanut butter flavours, and the steady stream of customers all seemed very happy with their cones. It's very good, but when there's gelato around, I'm not eating ice cream.

Sweet Creamery also features home-made cakes and pastries. That part of the business is just getting going, but it promises to be delicious.

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Why am I writing about ice cream, you may ask? Sweet Creamery is the labour of love and devotion of two of new Canadians, Tom Smeraldo and Emilio Ojeda, who some of you know through the blog Canadian Hope.

Tom and Emilio came to Canada after living with years of frustration and fear in the US. Emilio is not a US citizen, and because their relationship is not legally recognized in the US, they were unable to secure Emilio's status. Every day the couple lived under the threat of deportation. They finally gave up on the US and moved to Canada to enjoy a peaceful life together, equal to their neighbours, accepted fully as who they are.

Tom and Emilio are not only my friends and fellow immigrants, they're some of the best people I know. They have been active supporters of the War Resisters Support Campaign: Tom told me that the war resisters' struggle to live in peace as their conscience dictates really resonates with them. When Sweet Creamery was ready to add an employee, they went to Supporting Our Youth (SOY), a mentoring and resettlement program for young gays and lesbians.

Tom and Emilio opened Sweet Creamery only a few weeks ago, and it's already become a neighbourhood fixture. Tom works full-time, then joins Emilio at the store for the evening rush. And what a rush it is! They thought they'd close at 9:00, but Emilio couldn't bear to turn so many customers away. Even with a 10:00 p.m. closing, they still see sad faces at the door, many of them making their second Sweet Creamery run of the evening.

Our mutual good friend Kim - a fixture of the wmtc community, who writes My Canada Includes Justice (at least occasionally!) - often can be seen behind the counter, scooping away. Nick and Mason - who used to write Life Without Borders - also volunteered long hours in the early going. Adam and Eric of Canadian Boomdiada have volunteered their time, as has other friends. Tom told us Sweet Creamery never would have made it through its first weekend if these guys hadn't pitched in. Community. What an amazing thing.

* * * *

Sweet Creamery is located at 521 Parliament Street, in the heart of Cabbagetown, between between Carlton and Winchester.

You can find them on Facebook, on Twitter, and on the web.

But most importantly, find them in a cup, a crunchy cone, or in a container in your freezer.

16 comments:

Amy said...

Well, now I HAVE to get to Toronto! You know how I feel about good ice cream. It may be a toss-up between the Red Sox and ice cream as to which one I would be more willing to live without....

James said...

With a new gelato place, I always start off testing their lemon or raspberry. I'm happy to say the Sweet Creamery raspberry was excellent. :)

It's also very handy to the Riverdale off-leash park for dog people.

Kim_in_TO said...

I took some of the pastry home last night. (Emilio packed it up for me and then tried to push me out the door. I had to go back and pay when he went to clean up outside.) The caramel cheesecake is incredible!

Adam and Eric have been helping out too. Another friend of theirs, Scott, has been helping out Monday evenings; I didn't even know until we saw him there last night. Talk about a great community.

Lunchtime said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harrison said...

This pos makes my heart warm and fuzzy.

These two guys have struggled so much that seeing them finally having "normal" lives gives me hope and joy.

L girl you ROCK. Thanks for all you do!

L-girl said...

Thank you!!

Kim, thank you for reminding me about Adam and Eric. I will add them to the post right now.

L-girl said...

"It's also very handy to the Riverdale off-leash park for dog people."

Also near Allan Gardens, which we visited yesterday for the first time.

James said...

Also near Allan Gardens, which we visited yesterday for the first time.



Aw, you shoulda dropped by. :)

Tom said...

Thanks for the great review. It was so nice to you yesterday as I did my Lucy impression with the batch freezer.

Stephanie said...

Oh I wish I had known about this while we were in TO. David, Felipe and I would have loved to check them out on Sunday. We are all very happy to try out a new ice cream OR gelato place.

While I did hear your discussion about wanting to write about this on Friday night, it didn't occur to me that it was in the heart of Toronto (so close to us when we are visiting).

Next time, I will be sure to get to the Sweet Creamery. I will pass on the word, thanks for the post!

L-girl said...

Oh, bad timing on my part! But I have no doubt that the next time you're in TO, Sweet Creamery will be around, and probably bigger and better than ever.

West End Bob said...

Glad to see you and Allan made it by Tom & Emilio's place.

With it being "relatively" convenient to you, I'm sure you'll be back. Wish we had one in our 'hood.

Perhaps a franchise potential, Boys ? ? ? ?

Note to James: I had a scoop of lemon and a scoop of raspberry on our visit the day after they opened: They were both great!

James said...

I didn't see lemon when I was there, but I was very happy with the raspberry.

impudent strumpet said...

It's also very handy to the Riverdale off-leash park for dog people.



Things They Should Invent: dog ice cream!

L-girl said...

"Things They Should Invent: dog ice cream!"

Done!

MSEH said...

Yup, Boz was once a FrostyPaws addict. We helped him overcome and he's still a happy camper. Maybe Emilio should make his own version. Emilio?

BTW, I highly recommend the lemon-mint and I loved the Cappuccino ice cream. Mmmmmm!