Today, I ate ice cream. A lot of ice cream. As a blogger writing about downtown Columbia, I felt like it was my obligation to order delivery from The Charmery. Tough life, eh?
It was delivered to my door by the folks that will soon be scooping up cones, sundaes, ice cream pies, shakes and floats in The Merriweather District. This delivery also puts me one away from getting BINGO! in the Downtown Columbia Partnership's game in which some pretty sweet prizes can be won if you order take-out, delivery, or a gift card 5 times this month from any number of downtown establishments.
I am not a food critic, so let's just say that this ice cream made my family of four all scream Yum! Icy, creamy, goodness. The delivery minimum is four pints, so it definitely is helping me on my way to gaining my Covid-19. Fortunately, I went for a run this afternoon and along the way scooped out the future location (it's where the "Fun Seeking" banner ad is).
Out of the 30+ flavors available, we choose Salty Caramel (Caramel base w/ a hint of salt), Ice Cream Sando (Sweet cream base w/ ice cream sandwich cookie pieces), Boombastic (Oreo Cream Cheese base with Otterbein Chocolate Cookies), and Saturday Morning Cartoons (Frosted Flake base with Luckry Charmes Marshmallow) for our delivery, but the flavors on offer constantly change. The Charmery offers ten regular flavors that are normally always available (Tell Tale Chocolate, Pure Vanilla, Salty Caramel, Pistachio Toffee, Mint Mountain, Old Bay Caramel, Maryland Mud, Malty Vanilla Chip, Otterbein Sugar Cookie, and Toasted Coconut [vegan]), but at any given time 20+ other flavors can make a "guest appearance" on their menu. The Charmery certainly has fun creating new flavors, and they are constantly rotating their selection, so a flavor might be in stock for only a day or so before it's gone. In fact, the website's flavor biography of all past flavors is over 300 flavors long.
The first The Charmery opened in 2013 in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore. A second opened in Towson in 2018, and a store and production facility (where they make most of the ice cream now) opened in 2019 in Medfield. A "walk-up" window concept was set to open in Federal Hill prior to coronavirus, which will now wait to open until ?. The Columbia location will be the fifth from husband and wife team David and Laura Alima.
The Charmery is delivering to Howard County each Wednesday and over 60 orders were placed in Howard County during last week's deliver. Go us! Last week, the Baltimore Business Journal wrote a great article covering The Charmery's transition to takeout and delivery explaining how even a brisk takeout and delivery business selling pints does not come close to the revenue (and jobs) that are provided by in store sales of cones and cups.
Soon enough, the joy of eating an ice cream cone while sitting outside of a proper ice cream shoppe while laughing with friends and family without a worry in the world will be feasible again. Until then, at least we got delivery!