When opportunity knocks, you open the door.
At least, that’s what The Screamery’s Kenny and Linda Sarnoski plan to do when they open a third Screamery location in downtown Tucson, just months after the scheduled opening of a second location in midtown.
While the Sarnoskis announced plans just months ago to open a second location of their popular, pasteurized-on-premise ice cream shop at 2545 East Speedway – which is on schedule to open in early April – a third location was already brewing.
“We never planned to move downtown this soon,” said Linda Sarnoski. “It’s kind of like having twins. You don’t plan for it, but you do it, of course. The spot opened up and it was a great opportunity. We took that leap and we just did it.”
The third Screamery will be located at 250 East Congress, across the street from Ronstadt Transit Center.
Originally, opening downtown was the goal for a second location.
While making a scheduled ice cream delivery to downtown local foods burger joint Diablo Burger, Kenny Sarnoski noticed an availability sign on the vacant shop on Congress and called the number, only to be told that a deal was already under negotiation, but to leave a number just in case.
That deal did not end up working out and the Sarnoskis ended up securing the space.
“Seeing the growth downtown has always been exciting for us,” said Linda. “When we saw the (downtown) space vacant and available – and being that we’re entrepreneurs and open-minded people – we just felt like there’s room for more brand awareness downtown.”
The downtown Screamery location will feature many local reclaimed design elements, such as the old Cactus Bowl bowling lanes repurposed as countertops.
“I want to bring another fun atmosphere to downtown,” says Linda. “When you walk in, I want you to get lost in the space. It’s going to feel old-fashioned and handmade. People might think we actually have a cow in the back.”
While rapid growth is typically a good thing, the Sarnoskis want to ensure they remain true to their roots and never lose the mom-and-pop-shop feel that has defined them. At the same time, expansion has always been a goal for The Screamery.
“We never intended to stay small,” said Linda, who indicated that a hopeful future expansion into Phoenix is also a possibility. “At some point, we’ll probably move the ice cream making operation out of the Broadway store and into a dedicated commissary.”
Downtown Tucson is no stranger to ice cream. Hub Ice Cream Factory, which opened in 2015 as a standalone ice cream parlor after enormous success inside Hub Restaurant is walking distance from The Screamery’s newest location.
“There are so many restaurants downtown but only one dessert spot,” said Linda. “Why not have an alternate choice? We make ice cream in a completely different way. Hub has a lot of unique and trendy flavors while we’re more old-fashioned. Whether Hub was there or not, we would’ve chosen that area because it just makes sense. I think there’s room for both of us.”
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The Sarnoskis opened The Screamery in 2014 when they couldn’t find an ice cream that offered the quality of ingredients they desired.
The Screamery’s ice cream is made completely from scratch with all-natural ingredients and milk from grass-fed cows.
It’s a signature process, and one that the Sarnoskis assure will not change with growth.
“We will always make it the same way,” said Linda. “We just might do it in a larger capacity.”
“Making ice cream is a simple process, but highly detailed,” said Kenny. “We’ll be doing the same thing, but on a larger scale,” Kenny said. “Our flavor, quality, and the way we make the ice cream is different. That will never change.”
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Similar to the Speedway location, The Screamery’s downtown location will offer 24 original handcrafted flavors, such as Blueberry Cheesecake, Sweet Cream Honeycomb, and Orange Dreamsicle.
In addition to ice cream, The Screamery will serve custom blends of Savaya coffee and espresso drinks.
Look for an early June opening for The Screamery’s downtown location. While finalized hours of operation are still under review, Linda said most likely they’ll open at 11am daily, closing at 10pm during the week and midnight during the weekend.