I like to think of myself as a vegan ice cream aficionado. I’m from Vancouver, Canada where vegan restaurants and ice cream shops are abundant, and I had firmly believed that I had tried the best of the best. But Sharbets, a new vegan ice cream and gelato shop in Medellín, has officially proved me wrong.
I discovered Sharbets while searching for a gluten-free dessert option for a friend that was visiting (hint: there’s not many!). By chance, we walked by their shop and the friendly smile of one of the co-owners, Julianna, lured us in. This ended up being one of the best (or most dangerous!) decisions of my life.
Sharbets: Dairy-Free and Vegan Ice Cream and Gelato
As a flexitarian always on the lookout for vegan options, Sharbets exceeded my expectations. A scoop of vegan ice cream at Sharbets is the definition of guilt-free goodness. Each flavor is loaded with fruits and veggies for natural sweetness, beautiful color, and addicting texture.
Sharbets Vegan Ice Cream and Gelato: The Story
Originally fueled by a passion to create a healthy and delicious dessert targeted to families, co-owners and long-time friends Sergio and Julianna set out to create popsicles made from fruits and vegetables. Why? The natural sweetness of nature’s candy makes for some delectably interesting flavors, without the extra calories and the sugar crash.
The two friends didn’t have formal food experience under their belts (in fact, Julianna is a dentist and Sergio is an industrial engineer by trade!). But they were motivated by their collective desire to create a healthy and delicious sweet for children and families to enjoy.
Inspired by American brand Veggie Mama Garden Pops, with the help of an ice cream expert from Medellín, they started to make healthy popsicles.By the end of 2017, they were delivering their product around Medellín — but only by delivery. Logistics became a problem and so they pivoted their idea to launching an ice cream shop instead. Sharbets opened up shop in January 2018 in the middle of El Poblado.
Sharbets Vegan Ice Cream and Gelato: The Flavors
Sharbets currently offers five flavors, with many more on the way. Four of the flavors contain absolutely no milk products or eggs, and one contains yogurt. After one spoonful, there’s a distinctive sweetness and refreshing texture that’s different from regular ice cream. It’s obvious that the majority of the sweetness comes from natural fruits, and not added sugar.
Ingredients: Naranja, Pepino, Limón, Hierbabuena, Espinaca
(Orange, Cucumber, Lime, Mint, Spinach)
If you’re looking for a way to freshen up or cool down, this is the perfect flavor. The ingredients in this concoction are nature’s recipe for pure freshness. Cooling cucumber, lime and mint is mixed with the slight hint of sweetness from orange and a natural healthy boost from spinach. Not too sweet, but cool and refreshing.
Ingredients: Mora, Fresa, Uva, Remolacha
(Blackberry, Strawberry, Grape, Beets)
This is a berrylicious treat, with a perfect balance of sweet and slightly sour. The ingredients are packed with zinc, magnesium, Vitamin C and A to promote blood circulation and brain oxygenation hence, its name. The explosion of color also makes you feel like you’re eating a berry salad.
Ingredients: Mango, Banano, Zanahoria, Cholupa, Espinaca
Mango, Banana, Carrot, Cholupa (Passionfruit), Spinach)
This flavor is a unique combination of cholupa, a type of passionfruit grown only in Colombia. Not to be confused with the popular maracuya or gulupa, cholupa is special and is grown in Sergio’s home region in Huila. All my girlfriends tend to prefer this flavor, claiming it tastes just like a green smoothie in ice cream form. The perfect balance of fruits and spinach make a health yet pleasurable experience.
Ingredients: 70% Chocolate, Zanahoria, Naranja
(70% Chocolate, Carrot, Orange)
Chocolate-lovers don’t fret. There’s something for you too and it’s healthy, vegan and full of chocolate. The mix of chocolate, carrot and orange is pure chocolate goodness. In my opinion, this flavor not only rivals non-vegan chocolate ice cream – but is better. Even after I ate two scoops of this, I had absolutely no sugar crash and didn’t feel too heavy afterwards.
Ingredients: Guanábana, Colifor, Lychee, Yogurt Natural, Yogurt Greigo (Guanabana (or Soursop), Cauliflower, Lycee, Natural Yogurt, Greek Yogurt)
This is the only non-vegan ice cream flavor on the menu right now. They use two types of yogurt instead of milk. The result is creamy and cool, and this is often my second go-to flavor.
Juliana and Sergio are also creating more flavors in the near future. Not surprisingly, it’s quite a process to whip up new flavors and each new flavor can take up to ten different prototypes until perfection. Even their expert ice cream-maker has admitted to “never making ice cream like this before.”
Sharbets: The Vision
Julianna and Sergio are out to prove that food can be delicious and healthy at the same time. Their goal is to be the bridge between a food that makes everyone happy (gelato), and a food that may not necessarily make everyone equally happy (ahem, vegetables).
Launching Sharbets in Medellín was no accident either. Although Sergio is from Huila, Julianna is from Medellín. They both knew Medellín was the perfect spot to launch Sharbets as they believe that the people of Medellín are the most open-minded in Colombia — possibly all of South America.
“The people of Medellin have gone through so much transformation and are incredibly open-minded. Despite the history, the problems, and the stories of Medellín, people here are forward-thinking, resilient and open to new ideas. We knew this would be the perfect place to launch Sharbets,” says Sergio.
The grand plan is to open a bigger shop with even more products that punch a fruit and veggie punch. Think: breakfast gelato bowls, and Instagram-worthy brunch and dinner options.
“We will always have a minimum of at least one vegetable in all our products,” says Sergio. “Our hope is to create that cakes and cookies that are so delicious – it’ll be hard for people to realize there are vegetables in them.”
I can’t wait!
Sharbets: The Shop
Sharbets is located in a corner inside Hortensia. Inside, it feels like a mini-sanctuary, a respite from the craziness of El Poblado, with custom-designed interiors and a cozy, comfortable ambiance that makes customers feel relaxed and comfortable. I appreciate the extra care they take in their packaging. They encourage customers to use paper spoons so they can be recycled.
How to Get to Sharbets: Vegan Ice Cream and Gelato
Sharbets is located beside popular Home Goods store, Hortensia. Sharbets is a twenty-four minute walk from the large Exito in Poblado (located on Calle 10) or a 12-minute walk from Parque Poblado on Calle 10.
Address: Cra. 36 ##8a-12, Medellín, Antioquia
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 7:00 pm, Sunday: 2:00pm – 6:00 pm
The Bottom Line: Sharbets
I stand by my opinion that Sharbets is the best vegan ice cream and gelato I’ve ever eaten in my life.
If you stop by Sharbets, say a quick hello to Sergio and Julianna. They’ll lovingly allow you to sample all their flavors before committing. Warning: it’ll be hard to make up your mind. Good luck trying to restrain yourself. Remember – they also sell mini popsicles as a take-home treat. You’ll probably want to stock up for hot days like I did.