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Anyone know what happened to Kensington Organic Ice Cream?

I was hoping to take advantage of yesterday's warmth and get a cone at Kensington Organic, but instead was greeted with a baliff's notice in the window. Anyone know what happened here, and if they are done for good or will try to relocate elsewhere?

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  1. I suspect based on their notice of eviction, etc., that they won't be back in another location. The past few weeks have seemed pretty desperate - the addition of the $2 grilled cheese to their menu definitely didn't seem like a good sign!

    1. I think what happened is that their ice cream flavours were way too subtle to keep many people interested.

      1 Reply
      1. re: deelicious

        Except the blue cheese ice cream...that was NOT subtle!!

      2. This is sad news. First Solferino, then Kensington Organic.

        3 Replies
        1. re: foxymoron

          Solferino closed? NOOO! That would be sad news, indeed. I won't miss Kensington Organic.

          1. re: foodiebear

            Yes, it's sad news about Solferino. I'm much more sad about it (the best coconut gelato!) than Kensington.

            Here's the discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/563926

            1. re: foxymoron

              Yes, the coconut...
              And the chocolate orange...
              And the Belgian chocolate...

              Boo hoo hoo.

        2. Are people really upset about this? I tried their ice cream on at least a half-dozen occasions. Of those, two were among the best ice cream experiences I've had in Toronto. the rest (the majority) were ruined by grainy, crystallized ice cream.

          I wanted to support local and organic. But, I couldn't abide shamefully poor ice cream.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Atahualpa

            I second that. The flavours sounded interesting but didn't taste very good, or even very much. The ice cream was poorly made, typically icy and grainy. It was very expensive and not worth it. They had recently gotten some distribution and were apparently having this product made in a real ice cream plant. I tried a carton from the Big Carrot, but it wasn't anything special.

            1. re: embee

              Kensington Organic is/was, by far, the best small-batch ice cream shop in the city. There are gelato shops in Toronto that make an infinitely smoother, more richly-flavoured product. But ice cream and gelato are two vastly different things. Sure, Kensington's product is often grainy and a bit crystallized, and not all the flavour combos worked. But anyone who tasted the vanilla-cardamom, lavender-blueberry or spicy chocolate-fig ice creams there new how special the place was. And where else are you going to find something as unique as the strawberry-black pepper ice cream made with goat's milk?

              Hopefully Kensington Organic learns to pay their bills on time and is able to reopen somewhere else in time for spring, because I'm sure I'm not the only one who's going to suffer for their loss.

              1. re: TOFoodFan

                Add me to those who agreed this was a bad product. It was far from the best place - only saved by some that were even worse!. Sure weird flavours - but just badly made ice-cream. Anybody can throw flavour components in a machine. But making ice-cream requires more than that.
                Allowing your product to thaw and then re-freeze is just bad ice-cream making (regardless of health considerations).
                In my travels I only found 3 places that were 'Unacceptable' - and this was one of them.

                1. re: estufarian

                  This is so interesting. I've had almost uniformly good experiences there, but I also always asked "what did you just make?" before ordering. Not because I was consciously trying to monitor for poor technique, but just because I was curious and wanting to learn what was new. (They often had a batch or two in the back that hadn't gotten packed for the front cooler yet.) Possibly that wound up giving me a skewed sample that didn't represent the quality of their ice cream overall. Who knew?

                  1. re: estufarian

                    The ice cream was icky. Glad to see it go. Grainy with unappealing flavors. Lacking creaminess and decadence. Baskin and Robbins wins by a landslide and thats' not saying much considering it was made in small batches.

                  2. re: TOFoodFan

                    I'm thinking maybe the flavours were a little too "special". The day I purchased ice cream in the shop, I found it hard to choose a flavour, and the one I had was terribly grainy, making the flavours difficult to appreciate. The cost to purchase a 500 mL container in one of the shops that carried their product was high even if guaranteed the product would be superb. Having eaten grainy ice cream from their shop, however, I was loathe to spend that kind of money (though I did, and was burned, several times). They were never predictably good, nevermind great, though I admit there were flickers of greatness. You may find a flavour or two you love, but how do you know if it's going to be in stock/grainy/worth the $$$? It seemed as though KO was selling product that was still in the experimentation stage; recipes and procedures should have been perfected before the results ended up in my cone or cup.

                    1. re: TOFoodFan

                      Best small batch in city......
                      You should try Xococava in Delisle Court, near Yonge and St. Clair. They make a number of ice creams, as well as some unearthly gelati. The caramel/licorice ice cream will knock your socks off and reset your opinion on best small batch in city.

                      1. re: TOFoodFan

                        Acceptable ice cream (i.e., not necessarily actually "good" ice cream) is NEVER icy or grainy. Period!

                        1. re: TOFoodFan

                          Good flavours do not, by themselves, make good ice cream. There many other considerations with texture being paramount.

                          Similarly, great toppings do not necessarily make good pizza.

                          --

                          I had KO's spicy chocolate fig on one occasion where it was not grainy. That was one of the times I really, really, enjoyed their product and saw hope in the business. But, numerous grainy, icy, almost gritty ice-creams made buying their products fool-hearty.

                          By a HUGE margin I would rather have plain-Jane flavours well made, than good flavours made very poorly (and I'd even contest the idea that, in general, they were good flavours -- most seemed quite thin/weak).

                          1. re: Atahualpa

                            Wow, looks like I've just been lucky with KO ice cream. I've had unacceptably grainy stuff from the place maybe two or three times, and flavours that were totally underwhelming twice. But that's out of many visits. The spicy chocolate fig - especially when it was made vegan - was an amazingly rich texture, let alone flavour.

                            Or, maybe I was just so impressed by their inventiveness in a city where Baskin Robbins seems to be too often seen as a benchmark for ice cream, that it clouded my impression of the consistency.

                            I'm going to have to try Xococava now...

                            1. re: TOFoodFan

                              Xococava is good but expensive. But the cartons are (or were) a good deal - less than the price of two scoops. But selection was very limited (about 6 flavours) last time I was there.

                    2. I read a blog item that said non-payment of rent. The author surmised that it would be difficult to find another location for that reason (ie. not enough customers).