Vegan ice cream shop Sweet Ritual has permanently closed its doors after 10 years of service, according to an Instagram post made by owner Amelia Raley on Wednesday, June 1. The closure comes after a brief return to operations following a six-week hiatus earlier this year.
Raley listed a number of reasons for the decision to close, including increases in food costs, the rising cost of living in Austin, a personal health situation, and ingredient shortages, noting that two of Sweet Ritual’s ingredients were sourced from the Ukraine. The COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 winter freeze also created substantial difficulties for the shop, resulting in less foot traffic and a drastic decrease in sales.
“We are exhausted from pivoting,” Raley told Eater via email after she announced a suspension of operations and sales on January 31. On March 16, Sweet Ritual reopened with limited hours and slimmer menu options, but unfortunately, the shop couldn’t find its footing.
Raley first opened Sweet Ritual in a Hyde Park JuiceLand in 2011 with founding partner Valerie Ward, who left the company in 2021 to attend business school. In 2016, Sweet Ritual moved to its Airport Boulevard location, where it’s been since.
The shop grew in popularity for its unconventional ice cream flavors and mix-ins pairings, like fig with olive oil or spiced mango with jalapeno jelly and ginger. While Raley hasn’t publicly stated any plans for other ventures, she did recommend other places to get dairy-free ice cream in Austin, including Luv Fats Ice cream, Yummi Joy, and Gati.