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The Charmery, an ice cream parlor, opens in Hampden

By Richard Gorelick

The Baltimore Sun

4:00 PM EDT, July 18, 2013

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Laura and David Alima opened their Hampden ice cream shop, The Charmery, on July 20.

The Charmery will serve the Alimas' hand-crafted, made-on-premises ice cream in fresh scoops and in sundaes, sodas and milkshakes. The ice-cream menu includes traditional flavors as well as "distinctly Baltimore" flavors like Old Bay Caramel, lemon-stick sorbet and Zeke's Coffee. 

The Alimas describe The Charmery as their dream project. They met in summer camp, when they were counselors at Bel Air’s Habonim Dror Camp Moshava Camp Moshava, familiarly known as "Camp Mosh.” Laura was headed that fall to Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. David ended up transferring from the University of Maryland to nearby Ithaca College.

Laura has the background in the hospitality business. She graduated with a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Cornell University and now serves as Marketing Director at the prestigious Chef’s Expressions, a Lutherville-based catering company.

Davis is the emperor of ice cream. His first experiments were on a home ice-cream maker that Laura received as a graduation present and quickly abandoned. He has since immersed himself in the world of ice cream, including training at Penn State’s Ice Cream Short Course and the Frozen Dessert Institute in St. Louis. 

The Charmery occupies a Hampden corner building that was once the Chestnut Pharmacy, which, for the Alimas, was a bit of destiny. Both have a grandfather who was a pharmacist. David and Laura learned, after they had started dating, that their grandfathers were in the same year of pharmacy school in New Haven, Conn.

"And then we walk into this place, and it's a pharmacy," David said. "And we're like, this is it."

The Charmery is at 801 W. 36th St. It will be seven days a week at 11 a.m. and stay open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.