Here’s something most Baltimoreans can agree on: What’s better than one Charmery? Two Charmeries.
If you concur, here’s some happy news: Hampden’s popular ice cream shop plans to open a second outpost next spring in Medfield to serve more customers, concoct new flavors and, most importantly, ramp up production.
The business is the second announced tenant for Union Collective, the locally focused retail complex being built by Union Craft Brewing in a warehouse at 1700 W. 41st Street in Medfield. Union Collective will have room for about eight merchants, and sit adjacent to Union Craft’s new 50,000-square-foot brewery, taproom and event space.
The Charmery’s second location, called “The Ice Cream Factory,” will occupy about 5,500 square feet, leaving room for co-owners David and Laura Alima to host events, in addition to serving and making more frozen goodies. They’ll be moving all of their production into the new location.
The Charmery opened up at the corner of Chestnut Avenue and W. 36th Street almost exactly four years ago. The shop has since gained a loyal following, with lines spilling out onto the sidewalk on a nearly nightly basis.
But with high demand comes growing pains.
“We’re just barely able to keep up [with demand] with what we have – the amount of machines and storage in the freezer,” said David Alima, who’s also the shop’s master creamer. “I can’t wait to see what our team can do with some freedom.”
He envisions the new location having “the same spirit, but kind of a cool, different vibe.” While patrons now can get an ice cream cone and walk down The Avenue, guests at The Ice Cream Factory will be able to look in or climb at Earth Treks’ new rock climbing gym next door, or stop by Union for a beer, he suggested. There will also be ample parking, he noted, a perk seldom available to their crowds on W. 36th Street.
Room to host events is another major bonus, Alima said. The shop has hosted plenty, but in some cases, like that of “Chez Charmerie,” an attempted multi-course ice cream dinner on Valentine’s Day, “we just couldn’t make it work in the shop; it was too tight,” he said.
Others in mind include hosting more guest scoopers – past ones have included electronic musician Dan Deacon and singer-rapper-producer TT The Artist – and, potentially, movie nights with accompanying treats alluding to film themes.
The Alimas have offered a sneak preview of The Ice Cream Factory space in this promo video, in which a silent skateboarding mascot named Sir Scoops-a-Lot cruises down The Avenue to Medfield to see the new spot (and have a beer with the Union guys).
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