Deluxe ice cream in Reykjavik inspired by spiritualism

The ice cream is frozen to order using liquid nitrogen.

The ice cream is frozen to order using liquid nitrogen. Photo: Anna Kolbrún Jensen

Joylato is a perhaps one of the most interesting ice cream shops in Reykjavik. The ice cream is frozen with liquid nitrogen, everything is organic or locally sourced and almost everything sold is also available vegan. There are no additives, no corn syrup or refined sugar and no binding agents. It’s pretty much as healthy as ice cream can get.

Joylato is located both on Njálsgata 1, central Reykajvik, and on Laufbrekka 30, Kópavogur

The staff at Joylato makes just about everything from scratch, or as much as they can. The flavourings for the ice cream, the vegan base (from coconut, cashews or other). The dairy comes straight from a farm in West Iceland.

The ice cream is blended and frozen to order. There are seven flavourings, in addition there’s a special that changes every week (one in winter, two – three in summer). The ice cream shop is completely gluten free. There’s a wafer that comes with the ice cream, which is gluten free, you can also get gluten free waffles. It’s a nice place to come and sit down for a cup of something warm if you’re not in the mood for ice cream. There’s latte, tea, cocoa (which is available dairy free made from their own nut milk), and more.

There are minimum 8 flavours available each day at Joylato.

There are minimum 8 flavours available each day at Joylato. Photo: Anna Kolbrún Jensen

Faces of spiritual leaders decorate Joylato

Joylato is owned and run by Pranava Rúnar Gígja and is inspired by the ideals of spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy. Pictures of him and other spiritual leaders decorate the shop. According to Rúnar Sri Chinmoy spoke highly of ice cream and said that it brought out happiness in people, along with childlike joy.

Rúnar has been meditating and following the ideals of Sri Chinmoy since 2003 and is very fascinated by him, but first got the idea to open Joylato while participating in the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run in Australia in 2009. The idea evolved over the years and according to Rúnar, much of his inspiration comes through meditation. “The ideas just come to me when I meditate.”

Sri Chinmoy performed at a peace concert in Háskólabíó, Reykjavik

Sri Chinmoy performed at a peace concert in Háskólabíó, Reykjavik Photo: Jón Svavarsson

Rúnar also runs health store Mamma veit best (Mom knows best), health is something he has been interested in for a long time. “This has nothing to do with life expectancy, it’s about feeling better and aging better. Being able to do sports longer and better. To think better, have a better life. The ice cream that we serve is just food, healthy food with no additives and nothing bad for you.”

Meditation and healthy living go hand in hand.

“If you meditate, healthy living follows. Weather it is the external and internal. As soon as you look inside, you see what is good for you. It‘s common for people who start meditating to eat healthier to feel better. When you are conscious of yourself, you don‘t want to put anything in your body that make you any less conscious.”

Despite the amount of work and expensive ingredients, the price of the ice cream at Joylato is very reasonable. “This isn‘t something you get rich doing, but I like it. I don‘t want the ice cream to be very expensive, even though the raw materials and the liquid nitrogen aren‘t cheap. I just work harder myself. It‘s fun, and it‘s a part of my spiritual life.”

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland has also participated in ...

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland has also participated in Sri Chinmoy's Peace Run. Photo: APAGUHA Ondrej Vesely

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