Beloved St. Jacobs ice cream parlour closes up shop

The Caboose

A beloved ice cream shop in St. Jacobs, Ont., has scooped its final cone.

The family-owned Moser’s Ice Cream Caboose announced just days before they planned to open for the season that the business would be shutting down for good.

Judy Moser, who opened the ice cream parlour with her husband Dennis in 1985, told the Toronto Star that she received a letter from the landlord Mercedes Corp. informing her that the lease would be not renewed this year due to “pending construction in the area.”

The village of St. Jacobs, located along the Conestoga River near Waterloo, is a picturesque tourist destination brimming with cozy restaurants, antique shops, and Canada’s largest year-round farmer’s market. The Caboose, nestled inside a red train boxcar, was a fixture in the village.

Now, Mercedes Corp. wants to transform the area from a tourist hotspot to a town where people live, play, and work.

The construction involves “transitioning the property from a purely tourism-oriented property to a mixed-use property with some residential, commercial, and retail spaces,” said Mercedes Corp. president Marcus Shantz, in an interview with the Star.

On the Caboose’s Facebook page, Moser wrote that for years the developer had planned to build a condominium behind the boxcar. Now, the time has come and construction is imminent.

For 29-years, the Caboose was a must-stop roadside pit stop for drivers heading up to the cottage on Fridays, and if the kids were lucky, another stop on Sunday night. For locals, a visit to the farmers’ market wasn’t complete without a cone of one of the parlour’s dozens of flavours.

Unfortunately for the parlour’s longtime fans, there’s no news of a reincarnation of the Caboose just yet.

“Seeing ice cream running down their faces and arms and hands was just great,” Moser told the Star. “Everyone from young to old always enjoyed it. That, I will miss.”