Man Don’t Live off of the Hype – Behind the Instagram Frenzy “Sweet Jesus”

July 8, 2016

Guest Article By: Kavita Sonea


Like everyone else in the GTA, if you have Instagram, you’ve probably heard of Sweet Jesus. The derivative establishment of La Carnita opened last September as stated by an employee, and currently has 2 locations, one downtown and one in the east end. If you haven’t heard of the dessert restaurant taking Instagram by storm, the headlining attraction at Sweet Jesus are the incredibly decorated “Pimped Out Soft Serve” ice creams that come in massive portions. Naturally I had to sweet jesusinquire how many cones were being sold on an average day, and a staff member estimated approximately 1000.

The unique and memorable menu is part of the niche market being targeted that includes anyone looking for the perfect #foodporn pic. These artful cones are perfectly harnessing the power of user generated content, even though that’s not all Sweet Jesus has to offer.

While soft serve begins at 12, Sweet Jesus opens at 7 to serve drinks from their equally extensive coffee menu. The less-known part of the menu includes items such as paletas (Mexican popcicles), soft serve cones with dairy-free options, a coffee menu, and an assortment of hot and cold crafted beverages.

Before planning this visit I dove into some Yelp reviews in hopes of finding a recommendation through testimonies of other Torontonians who have tried the product. A shocking amount of reviews were showing disappointment with the quality and taste of arguably the most hyped up ice cream of summer sixteen. With an open mind I grabbed a friend and planned the visit to investigate the hype. Upon arrival at 12:30 we stood in line outside with 6 people ahead of us, and even more lined up inside.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 7.38.09 PMOn nearby benches there were customers enjoying the sunshine along with their purchases (100% of customers had a Pimped Out Soft Serve). The lighting on this day was perfect to model your cone in one hand and aim your cellphone camera at it with the other hand.

We ended up handing over $7.35 per cup, and walking away with a “Red Rapture” covered in red velvet cake pieces, and a “Birthday Cake” covered in birthday cake pieces, topped with a candle. As much as I would like to be able to say the experience was lit, this was probably the most subpar tasting ice cream I’ve ever had. To summarize the experience, the pimped out cones are as flavourless as they are photogenic. #DidItForTheGram. Even with countless reviews on various sites advising against the ice cream at Sweet Jesus and recommending other parlours in the city, the hype for these cones is not looking like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Judging by the comments on the Sweet Jesus Instagram page, there are hundreds of Torontonians and residents in the GTA still looking to line up and experience the beautiful desserts for themselves.

Happy birthday, Gemini! Make a wish, you're making us melt. 🎂

A post shared by Sweet Jesus (@sweetjesus) on

On that note – behind every great marketing campaign comes a great advertising firm. Perhaps one of the factors in relation to the explosion of this dessert restaurant can be credited to co-owner Amin Todai, who is also the President of the advertising firm – One Method.
Real ting eh?


Kavita Sonea is a part time foodie with a love for house music, Manchester United, and California Sandwiches. She is currently a first year marketing student at George Brown College with a background in Human Resources. Find her on Instagram, (unless you’re a Liverpool fan).

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