Ice cream lovers will have one less place to visit in Central Phoenix for a cool treat. The Sweetness, the ice cream shop located inside Fair Trade Cafe's First Avenue and Roosevelt location, has shuttered. Or, as owner Jesse Robinson explained on his website, "It's not out of business. It is just homeless for the time being."
Opened last November and closed last week, The Sweetness made its own waffle cones, stayed open late on weekends, and featured ice cream from Karen's Kreamery, a local, small-batch provider also used by The Pink Spot in Central Phoenix.
So what happened?
From The Sweetness' website, Robinson had this to say:
"I'm still trying to figure out the exact answer to that myself. In the meantime, I'll just leave you with the short version. July and August were rough months for The Sweetness (as I'm sure a number of downtown businesses noticed. I attribute this to the intense heat, all my beloved ASU downtown students being gone, and maybe even an increase in my prices, though I'm not certain yet). What I do know is I saw less than half the customers I did the prior months. I fell behind in the agreed-upon payments to Fair Trade Cafe. They decided they could no longer afford to carry the cost of me being in the cafe. And on Wednesday evening, they exercised their right to kick me out."
Robinson says he still has ice cream to sell and has lined up some ways in which he hopes to do so. One of them is Cupcakes from the Crypt, a pop-up tour featuring Johnny Cupcakes, the clothing brand that uses cupcakes as a signature design on its merchandise. The event, which encourages costumes, starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 19, at The Lab at 137. There, in addition to limited edition t-shirts and treats from Johnny Cupcakes, Robinson plans to sell his ice cream along with New Orleans-style snow cones from New Orleans Snoball.
On his company's website, Robinson offered these final thoughts:
"I just want to say how grateful I am for all the love and support everyone has been showing me over the past 48 hours. I actually have to work to find the downsides to this situation. That's the best problem to have. I really am blessed."