Two Annapolis brothers whose family owns a longtime ice cream shop on Main Street have opened a new location in West Annapolis.
Mark and Adam Cohen, co-founders of Always Ice Cream, held a grand opening in mid-July for their store at the corner of Annapolis Street and Melvin Avenue. The venture is an offshoot of Annapolis Ice Cream Company located downtown, which the brothers’ father Ross Cohen purchased about a year-and-a-half ago. The shop has consistently won best ice cream in Annapolis over the last two decades.
The brothers joined the business last year after working for Annapolis Bus Co., which their father previously owned. They soon began planning a westward expansion, landing on the corner property that previously held a juice bar and a deli before that.
They chose West Annapolis because of easy parking and convenient access to the quiet residential neighborhood, plus West Annapolis Elementary just across the street, said Adam Cohen, 30.
“You talk to people all the time like, ‘I love your ice cream and I would come down there (to Main Street) but parking is a nightmare,’” Mark Cohen, 27, said. “Here it takes them 10 minutes to come get ice cream versus trying to find a parking spot for 10 minutes.”
The shop opening was delayed several months due to pandemic-related supply chain issues but so far the response from residents has been very good, he said.
The interior features a black and white color scheme, a mural splashed on one wall, polished granite on the others and neon-lit signs of the Always Ice Cream logo.
It offers a wide variety of hard ice cream flavors made in-house at the Main Street location. Among their most popular flavors are “Blue Angels,” a mix of fresh blueberries and marshmallows, a coffee flavor made with a Rise Up Coffee brew and cake batter.
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There are vegan offerings, including chocolate-chocolate chip and coconut chocolate chip and a gluten-free cone.
Carlson’s Donuts provides donuts that can be piled with ice cream to create “Icy Bunz” and fresh-baked cookies from Double T Diner are used to build ice cream-filled “Icy Wichz.”
Milkshakes, root beer floats and hot chocolate can be had along with pints and quarts of ice cream.
Always Ice Cream also has an ice cream truck that tours the area to serve cold treats at local events, food truck parties and other gatherings. The truck’s weekly schedule is posted every Sunday night on social media.
Even though the new shop is just a few weeks old, the co-founders are already eyeing additional stores in Edgewater and Severna Park later this year with hopes for rapid expansion next year. In the future, they plan for the Edgewater shop to be the factory that provides ice cream to all the locations, the brothers said.
“We’ll have three locations and a food truck this year,” Adam Cohen said. “Hopefully next year we’ll have another three.”
“We want to build our career out of it,” Mark Cohen said. “Have our families and settle down and pass (the business) down.”