• Sweet Moses in the News (Fresh Water Cleveland)

    Hidden Cleveland: Ice Cream Secrets

    By Hollie Gibbs, Fresh Water Cleveland

    June 15, 2017

    When Jeff Moreau fell in love with the lost era of the soda fountain, he decided to bring the magic back piece by piece. Now Clevelanders can relive a bygone period in Gordon Square at Sweet Moses.
    “We’re using all authentic soda fountain equipment,” he says. “The soda fountain we have is from the 1940s. It was the largest soda fountain that they made. Our back bar is over 100 years old. We use the authentic triple spindle milk shake machines. Anything that looks like an antique in our shop is an actual soda fountain antique. I decided early on that anything that was an antique in there needed to be a usable functional part of the business. I don’t want bicycles hanging on the wall and antiques collecting dust.
    “The front marble soda fountain bar was in a drug store in Virginia that had closed in the 70s. The actual soda fountain itself was originally in a candy store in Kentucky. The back bar was in northeast Pennsylvania. Our blackboards are from an 1869 schoolhouse from Mansfield. Our chairs all match but they’re actually from a four-state area. I collected them all two - three - four at a time, took them all apart, had them sandblasted, powdered coated and reassembled them.”
    The vintage and antique equipment lends itself to a variety of specialties that other shops are incapable of making. Sweet Moses produces its own sodas and root beer, carbonating it all by hand. The process, which they even use for their Cokes, involves pouring syrup, adding carbonated water, and stirring it by hand. It allows for unique flavor combinations as well.

    “We’re not just a scoop shop,” Moreau explains. “Our phosphates actually contain acid phosphate. That is what they used to use before bottling companies started using citric acid to make all of their pops. A lot of times what people call phosphates are more like Italian sodas — syrup and carbonated waters. By adding the acid phosphate, it adds a little bit of tartness. It cuts a little bit of the sweetness. We’re probably one of only six soda fountains in the country that actually makes true phosphates using acid phosphate.
    "Phosphates are a true drug store drink. Acid phosphate was almost like a quack medicine (people used to say it would help you with indigestion or vertigo), but it had a tart taste to it. So the pharmacist who also ran the soda fountain started using acid phosphate to put that tartness into their drinks because they couldn’t get citrus year-round.”
    Sweet Moses also makes going out for ice cream an event.

    "What I wanted to do was create a unique experience and someplace that people would want to go to after dinner that would feel a little bit special – to me the old soda fountain was such a great vehicle for that,” he says, adding that the old fashioned way requires time and attention to detail. “Things take a little bit longer when you’re using a milkshake mixer that’s that old or when you’re scooping instead of using a flurry-type machine.

    "You can hide a lot in a cup under whipped cream, but when you’re using glassware, you have to make sure the presentation is right.”


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