Toronto branch of Israeli gelato eatery Solato hit with one-star review campaign

Days after opening in Canadian city, gelato chain hit with negative Google reviews slandering its gelato and origin as an Israeli company.

Dan Verbin ,

Photo: PR

A newly opened Toronto, Canada location of gelato eatery Solato was targeted with negative reviews for being an Israeli company.

Solato began in Tel Aviv and Ma’alot, where it has its headquarters. Its research and design department is in Tel Aviv.

Solato is unique for using a pod-based system to produce Gelato on the spot.

It has an older location in Montreal, Canada.

A few days after Solato opened its new downtown Toronto store in late June, it was hit with an anti-Israel negative review campaign where it was given one-star reviews and nasty comments, reported blogTO.

The company had nearly 800 Google reviews. While a majority of the reviews were five stars, the second most common rating became one star. The low ratings decreased Solato’s overall rating to 3.9 stars. By Friday morning, over 200 negative reviews had been posted but by the afternoon, the eatery had removed itself from Google, and the reviews disappeared, reported the National Post.

One-star reviews left comments such as “Great if you want a side of apartheid,” and “Horrible ice cream and not even real taste.”

There appeared to be a trend to claim that the store’s gelato was uncleanly, with several suspiciously similar sounding reviews saying they had found hair in their gelato “after the first lick.”

As of Monday morning, the company is back up on Google with a clean slate. It now has two positive four-star reviews.

The campaign against Solato follows a wave of anti-Semitism in Toronto in the last few months.

On June 17, Toronto Liberal member of parliament Ya’ara Saks tweeted photos of deck chairs in the city’s Downsview Park that had been spray painted with swastikas.

In early May, a Jewish-owned brand new business in Toronto’s Kensington Market was vandalized by several people with anti-Semitic graffiti referring to gas chambers.

In an earlier incident in the Market, in late April graffiti saying “Boycott Israel’s zionazi apartheid” was spray painted below the front window of the Big Fat Burrito restaurant.

In response to the rise in anti-Jewish hate crime, a Toronto chapter of Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer civilian patrol, was launched in mid-May in Jewish neighbourhoods in the city and surrounding suburbs.