You may have seen it from afar. You’ve heard people talk about it; you’ve seen it in the news. You see photos all over social media of these ice cream creations layered with all sorts of toppings, each on looking more individual than the next! And as of reading this, you have less than 3 weeks to try a boutique ice cream parlour experience in the middle of Toronto!
The Magnum Pleasure Store wants to change the way Toronto looks at ice cream. There’s the ice cream you knew from when you were a kid — your parents would bring home a huge tub or you’d run up to the guy in the ice cream truck as he rolled through your neighbourhood, bells a-ringin’.
That’s not what this is.
As you got older, your relationship with ice cream changed. It was that thing you avoided to get that beach body, or something you’d eat in solace after a bad breakup. While it was a comfort food, somewhere along the line, you learned that while it was delicious, you should never have too much of it, because your dentist, physician and/or personal trainer would not be impressed with you.
That’s not quite what’s going on here, either.
Opened at the beginning of July, the Magnum Pleasure Shop is a pop-up from Magnum Ice Cream (not the other Magnum) right near Toronto’s Yonge/Bloor intersection. With 2 flavours of ice cream, 24 toppings and a $6 price tag, the Magnum Pleasure Shop markets itself as a luxury ice cream shoppe for female clientele, aiming to counter the idea of ice cream being a guilty pleasure that makes us fat with the idea that it’s luxurious and that you deserve it.
You enter the Pleasure Shop to a crew of friendly staff — the Magnum Pleasure Makers — ready to help you create your personalized ice cream bar in a few easy steps:
- COAT IT: In the finest Magnum chocolate: White, Classic or Dark
- TOP IT: Taking your choice from a unique and especially selected range of classic, special and experimental toppings
- DRIZZLE IT: Select a Magnum Chocolate drizzle: White, Classic or Dark
- SET IT: Take a moment while your freshly made Magnum develops the special Magnum crack
- SHARE IT: Share your creation with friends and fellow pleasure seekers online
- LOVE IT: While perched at the bar, or while relaxing in the pleasure lounge
Foodies would definitely enjoy trying to find the perfect combination of toppings to complement their ice cream bars! Mine was admittedly a bit of a hot mess, as I randomly sought out flavours I knew I’d like and not which flavours would work well with each other. Next time, I’ll let Sarah put mine together for me, because hers was on point! (But no matter what anyone says, chopped hazelnuts, chili flakes, sea salt, culinary rose petals, bacon bits and white chocolate vermicelli combined is the business.) The full list of 24 toppings is split into three categories:
- Crushed Popcorn
- Chopped Hazelnuts
- Crumbled Biscuit
- Chocolate Flakes
- Chopped Almonds
- Chocolate Rice Crispies
- Toffee Bits
- Goji Berries
- Culinary Rose Petals
- Dried Coconut
- Dried Strawberries
- Macadamia Nut Pieces
- White Chocolate Vermicelli
- Crumbled French Macaroons
- Canadian Maple Fudge
- Popping Candy
- Rock Sea Salt
- Grape Nerds
- Chili Flake
- Bacon Bits
It’s a fun process to watch as you see everything come together, but I guess you’re all asking the question — does it live up to the hype?
Well — maybe I’m not the right person to ask!
Why does anyone buy a Louis Vuitton bag or a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes? Why does anyone bother keeping up with the latest trends? We do it to feel good — to add extra value to ourselves — and that’s what Magnum’s going for. From the fancy decor to the decadent toppings to the free golden nail polish if you ask for the “golden touch” (that has real gold dust in it), it all screams:
“This is a treat. You’ve earned this.”
So does it live up to the hype? In a city where food culture isn’t getting any cheaper, $6 is a meager sum to pay for an ice cream experience. The worst thing you’ll likely face are the lineups to get in, but face it — it’s a small price to pay to say you experienced the Pleasure Shop while you could!
HYFR and YOLO,
[Disclaimer: Magnum Ice Cream Canada was kind enough to give myself and a group of friends early access to the Pleasure Shop and free ice cream. While we weren’t explicitly asked to write blog posts or take photos, I figure one good turn deserves another, so here we are. If you’re still reading this, you should really go try their ice cream before you miss your chance.]