Community has always been a key ingredient in the success of The Charmery—the celebrated ice cream shop that husband-and-wife owners David and Laura Alima opened on the Avenue in Hampden five years ago.
“Our dream with The Charmery has always been: ‘How do we make Baltimore a better place through ice cream?’” David recently told us. “It’s become a celebration spot for people who come to see us from all over the city and the state. To be able to expand that into another community is really amazing.”
This summer, the owners are widening their footprint to the Towson area with a new shop opening at 6807 York Road. In keeping with their local focus, the team is hosting a special “Community Scoop” event outside of the new storefront on Wednesday, April 18 from 5-7 p.m. (A rain date is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24.)
During the event, staffers will be serving free baby scoops to the public in an effort to get to know patrons in the surrounding area, and give the neighborhood a taste of what the shop will offer when it cuts the ribbon in the coming weeks.
“We’re really looking forward to meeting all of our neighbors,” David said. “One of the things I love most about our shop in Hampden is that it’s this neighborhood unifier. We want to be what the neighborhood wants us to be.”
Set in the former home of a convenience store, the renovated shop’s interior will mirror the whimsical aesthetic of its flagship, and offer David’s creative ice cream flavors including Old Bay Caramel, Maryland Mud, Mint Mountain, and Malty Vanilla Chip. The 2,057-square-foot digs will boast significantly more seating—both indoor and outdoor—than the Hampden shop.
“When we left the first walkthrough, it was just this visceral moment where it felt right,” Laura said. “It was just like, ‘That’s it. That’s the next Charmery.”
The Towson opening comes in the midst of a major expansion for the owners, who are currently in the process of moving all ice cream production to the new Union Collective warehouse in Medfield. Slated to open later this month, the ice cream factory will feature its own a retail space, as well as a large kitchen with dry storage, an oven for baked goods and sundae toppings, and a freezer that is about three times the size of the unit in Hampden.
“The real beauty of this space is that it allows us to think about our future in a way we really haven’t before,” David said during a hard-hat tour of Union Collective last month. “We have been making ice cream for the past five years in what amounts to a walk-in closet space. This is going to be our central hub, and it’s going to enable us to create enough ice cream for all three locations. It’s our dream come true.”