Sweet Jesus occupies a corner unit squished between Union Juice and the third outpost of La Carnita (which can also be found on College and Queen East ). Follow the trail of dropped toppings from the sidewalk on John north of King to find it.
Opening at 7am daily, this place isn't just a soft serve parlour, but an espresso bar too. A beautiful teal La Marzocco is positioned up front and the coffee program developed by Bruce Ly ( Neo ) showcases a signature dark, chocolatey blend from de Mello Palheta as well as a rotating monthly roast.
The compact walk-up counter features industrial elements accented by marble countertops and pops of teal. Owners Amin Todai ( One Method ) and Andrew Richmond ( La Carnita ) tapped their design expertise for the branding, while the interior is a collaboration with Ian Rydberg ( Solid Build & Design ).
As with all of Richmond's projects, this new venture boasts an urban style by promoting street artists. The coffee cups and staff uniforms feature illustrations from @johnnycrap and @midnite_tremors with commissions from other artists likely to be added in the future.
The ice creams are of course the main attraction, and while there are six soft serve flavours available plain ($3.75) or dipped ($4.75), it's the pimped out cones ($6.75) that have ignited a frenzy of Instagram activity .
A dozen variations include selections like the Lemon Coconut Cream Pie, a swirl of soft serve decorated in tart lemon curd and rolled in toasted coconut crumble.
The Rocky Road Rage starts with a twist of chocolate and burnt marshmallow soft serve dressed up with chocolate sauce, marshmallows and crunchy crushed cashews.
Krusty the Cone (lead photo) is an ultra sweet cotton candy-adorned offering, while The Elvis boasts banana soft serve drizzled with peanut butter and finished with candied bacon bits for a sweet and salty effect.
Aside from cones, you'll find Paletas ($4), Mexican popsicles in flavours like key lime pie, chocolate peanut butter, Cookie Monster, and an ever changing daily feature.
They're doing churros ($4) too, offering three long cinnamon sugar dusted donuts at a time in a cup of dulce de leche. It's a classic treat that pairs perfectly with an espresso.
Whether stopping in for a morning cup of joe, or capping off a taco feast next door, Sweet Jesus will indulge you, and maybe even have you bowing your head in reverence.
Photos by Hector Vasquez