After more than a decade in business, vegan ice cream favorite Sweet Ritual has permanently closed its doors.
The announcement, shared on the shop's website and Instagram on June 1, cited several factors that contributed to the closing.
“The pandemic has been a wild ride and hasn’t been kind or easy for small businesses,” writes Sweet Ritual owner Amelia Raley in the statement. “We’ve done our best to pivot, but it’s clear it’s time to move on.”
On top of the pandemic, Raley noted the increasing cost of both food and living in Austin, as well as a personal health situation and ingredient shortages (two of Sweet Ritual’s ingredients were processed or grown in Ukraine).
Opened in 2011, Sweet Ritual was originally housed inside the Hyde Park location of JuiceLand before moving to its brick-and-mortar location at the Concorde shopping center on Airport Boulevard. The store has been a mainstay for Austin vegans and non-vegans alike, and its scrumptious banana split was listed among PETA’s top 10 vegan sweet treats in the U.S. in 2017.
Like many Austin businesses, the store suffered due to COVID closures and restrictions, closing again for six weeks earlier this year as it struggled with pandemic-related supply chain problems.
In her farewell statement, Raley thanked Austinites for allowing her business to be part of date nights, celebrations, and birthdays for the past 10-and-a-half years. She also lists other local businesses who produce dairy-free ice cream, including LuvFats, YummiJoy, and Gati.
For vegan ice cream fans who want to bid a bittersweet goodbye with one last delicious scoop, Sweet Ritual will sell its final stock in a liquidation sale this week. Consisting of 60 ice cream buckets and a few hundred pints, as well as merchandise, equipment and furniture, the sale will take place at its factory on 8711 Burnet Rd. It starts on Wednesday, June 8, and runs through Friday, June 10, from 3-7:30 pm daily.
All items will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.