The Charmery, an ice cream shop in Hampden, has been named the next tenant of Union Collective, the forthcoming manufacturing and retail complex spearheaded by Union Craft Brewing in nearby Medfield.
David and Laura Alima, owners of the Charmery, said they plan to open the 5,500-square-foot retail, production and events space by spring 2018. All of the shop's ice cream production will move to the new location, they said.
Opened in July 2013, the Charmery is known for housemade ice cream in standard and unconventional flavors. The original, approximately 2,000-square-foot shop — which will remain open at 801 W. 36th St. — also uses flavors closely associated with Baltimore, like Old Bay Caramel and Otterbein Sugar Cookie.
The owners had been looking to expand, but struggled to find the "right fit" for a second location — until they heard about Union's plans in Medfield.
"When thinking of how to make [expansion] happen, the road was always kind of muddied and difficult to traverse," David Alima said. "This presented a really clear path to get to where we wanted to be."
Scheduled to open next year, Union Collective is a 10 1/2-acre warehouse site located at 1700 W. 41st St. Union is working with Seawall Development to transform the area into a space for local businesses and manufacturers. Construction for the complex begins on July 1.
The new location will allow the Charmery to produce more ice cream while hosting and catering more events, according to the owners. The Charmery, though, has no plans to wholesale its ice cream.
"Our intention with this space, from a business perspective, is to have the ability to open more locations if the right location presented itself," Laura Alima said, "as opposed to wholesaling and going into grocery stores."
Relocating production will give the Charmery more space to create and sell new products at the Hampden location, the owners said. They plan to add an oven and other equipment they previously did not have room for. David Alima, the master creamer, envisions more products you'd expect to see in the "ice cream novelties" section of the grocery store.
"I grew up on Good Humor bars and things like that," he said. "I would love to put our high-end-ingredient twist on some of those."
Moving into Union's new space made sense to the Charmery's owners because the two companies are friendly, and have exchanged thoughts on business and the local market on a fairly regular basis, David Alima said.
He anticipates a collaborative atmosphere at Union Collective that should benefit all of the tenants, he said.
"I think there's going to be this really cool synergy among all of these businesses facing the same problem of 'How do we get to the next level?'" David Alima said. "I want to surround myself with people who are doing the same things and have the same passion and love that we do."