As the dog days of summer approach, Catonsville has a new spot to beat the heat.
John Corbitt, owner of the popular Opie's soft serve ice cream and snowball stand on Edmondson Avenue at The Junction, enlisted his sister, Christy Corbitt, to start a new location, which had its grand opening on June 1.
"I've always talked about doing another location," said John Corbitt, who started Opie's 30 years ago as a simple, 16-square-foot snowball shack at the junction of Edmondson and Dutton avenue.
He said the new stand, located where Edmondson Avenue intersects with Nunnery Lane, came about quickly and unexpectedly.
He thinks the site, less than 2.5 miles from the other Opie's, is in a good spot.
"I rode by (in March) and saw that building for sale and called my sister, who is a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker," John Corbitt said. "I think within 12 hours, we had a contract in on the property."
"I thought it would be a great location," he said. "It's a good neighborhood. (There's) a lot of density there, a lot of walk-up potential."
"I wanted to try something new," Christy Corbitt said. "And my brother had a great idea so I figured, 'Why not?' "
Since the opening, she said, business has been going well and she is getting to know residents in the surrounding neighborhood.
"Everybody was super positive and the neighbors were very welcoming," Christy Corbitt said.
She enlisted the help of her children, 19-year-old Sean Urban and 16-year-old Liv Urban, to help her run the stand. The stand will also have numerous other high-school age employees.
The Nunnery Lane Opie's will serve the same snowballs and soft serve ice creams as the original, she said, but may eventually introduce some new products, including "Opie-ccino," a frozen mocha coffee drink similar to a Starbucks frappuccino.
They are also selling T-shirts Christy Corbitt says were designed by her niece and nephew's roommate. The shirts say "Opie's" with the "O" resembling the Orioles' "O" cursive font.
She said her brother owns the Opie's name, but she has purchased the property herself and will manage the new business on her own.
The store will operate independently from the existing Opie's at The Junction, where Beth Reymann is the manager.
John Corbitt said he doesn't think the two will compete for business.
The original Opie's already has competition, he said, as it is located just one block away from Tastee Zone, another ice cream shop.
"If you look at those two that are so close, they're both doing a good business," he said of the original Opie's and Tastee Zone.
"I think there's room for another one," John Corbitt said. "I think initially, some people are going to come to the new Opie's that want to come and take a peek and see what it's like."