The Carytown ice cream scene is heating up.
Kilwins, a franchised chain with 130 locations nationwide, is preparing to open its first local outpost at 3115 W. Cary St.
The Michigan-based company makes ice cream, chocolate, fudge, candied apples and other confections. Its nearest locations are in Charlottesville, Williamsburg and Alexandria and it’s looking to add more.
Chief creative officer Ron Brunette said Kilwins does not put stores in malls or strip malls, making Carytown an ideal fit.
“We started exploring Richmond about three or four years ago,” Brunette said. “We typically go into older blank boxes. We’re looking for exposed brick walls, tin ceilings, things like that.”
Franchisees Derek and Valerie Poh are putting their shop in the western half of the former Carey Burke Carpets space, which closed last year.
The Pohs could not be reached for comment by press time.
The shop would join at least three frozen treat slingers in Carytown. A few doors down is a Sweet Frog location at 3137 W. Cary. Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream is at 2911 W. Cary St. and NarWhals Rolled Ice Cream recently opened at 3313 W. Cary St.
Kilwins’ space is being gutted for a complete renovation, Brunette said. The shop mostly will be a retail operation, with a few tables and counter seats.
“There’s an open kitchen in every store, right up in the front of the store. That’s where we make fudge, caramel apples, brittle, caramel corn and things like that,” Brunette said.
The company’s chocolates are made in Michigan, while its ice cream, of which it typically serves 36 flavors in store, is made in Ohio.
The Carytown shop is slated to open in July. Brunette said they typically open with a staff of 15.
While Kilwins is taking one side of the former Carey Burke space, the other half is now home to The Jasper, a bar that opened in February.