Loblolly Creamery has become Little Rock’s favorite small batch ice cream producer since opening five years ago. During that time their official public facing space is a collaboration with the Green Corner Store on South Main in the historic soda fountain spot. It was a partnership that worked very well for a startup ice cream producer, but Loblolly quickly outgrew the shared space. After about a year of looking for a new home they found the perfect spot right next door.
The new space at 1423 South Main (former Studio Main space) will open in January and will allow Loblolly to expand their offerings and build their unique vision for an ice cream shop.
“We really want to create our own space and aesthetic from the ground up, we do not plan to carry anything over from the Green Corner Store,” Owner Sally Mengel tells us. “We are going for a unique ice cream and coffee shop vibe. We will be able to expand to as many as 32 flavors in store, up from only 10 that we have room to carry right now, and offer more coffee and more of our baked goods to go with it.”
Mengel hopes the additional flavors will increase consistency with their core flavors while allowing them to be more creative and experimental with the additional flavors. The new space will still launch with around 10 flavors, but will be able to grow over time once they are in.
With the addition to coffee, Loblolly hopes to get a liquor license in the near future for the new space. They have experimented with a number of liquor and beer floats and shakes, including a current collaboration with O’Looney’s, that have become extremely popular. They hope to be able to make everything fresh in the store before long.
The biggest addition may be the ability to expand hours. Currently the Green Corner Store closes at 6 pm during the week, 5 pm on the weekends. Mengel sees the new Loblolly shop as an integral part of SOMA night life.
“The new space will allow us to be a spot to grab a coffee in the late afternoon and be open late,” Mengel continues. “We hope that the neighborhood will be excited for an ice cream place that they can walk over after dinner and we can help create that type of nightlife for SOMA.”
The short move next door also allows Loblolly to continue a relationship with the Green Corner Store and continue to serve the customers that frequently visit them there.
“It is really a win-win for both Loblolly and the Green Corner Store, they really wanted to expand their shop and we knew that we needed a space of our own,” Mengel says. “It has been a fantastic 5 year relationship with the Green Corner Store and have been able to partner and do events with them. Thankfully being right next door we can still partner and collaborate.”
Loblolly hopes to have several special events and previews of the new space when open, along with a ton of hot chocolate for the cold months.