New location and new beginnings for the Queen City Creamery

08/23/2023| Anna Mishonova

New location and new beginnings for the Queen City Creamery

08/23/2023 | Anna Mishonova

Queen City Creamery staff show some team spirit

Walking by the McMullen building in Downtown Cumberland as a child, young Rhiannon Brown could never imagine participating in its redevelopment. But now, years later, she is a successful business owner planning her company’s latest expansion.

Rhiannon’s entrepreneurial path started in 2015 when she and co-owners, Chelsea Boyle and Dustin Freas decided to purchase the old Queen City Creamery , which at the time was a business in need of attention and new ownership. While the team kept some custard flavors and the company’s name, Rhiannon set to work on an innovative new path, adding more flavors, desserts, and even some new distribution locations. Born and raised in the Cumberland area, she already knew exactly what the customers wanted – an insight that has kept her business intact for years. Despite the COVID pandemic and fluctuating economy, people were still coming back for more.

The personal relationships the business has formed over the years is a special feature of Queen City Creamery – the majority of its advertising is done through its customers via word of mouth, creating a tightly-knit community of support. Such activity has been crucial to Cumberland during its ongoing revitalization, helping the region to flourish thanks to the efforts of companies like Queen City Creamery. The company’s expansion comes right on the heels of the continuous revitalization efforts of Reimagine Cumberland , the city’s redesign and renovation project of Baltimore Street, Cumberland’s Historic City Center.

Another key factor in the development of the region is funding, and Western Maryland has recently received a substantial boost from the George C. Edwards Fund . In May this year, 13 projects in Allegany County and six in Garrett County received $13.2 million in funding aimed at stimulating the economy and creating jobs, and Queen City Creamery was a top contender. With a grant of $200,000, and additional support from Opportunity Zone Microgrant Funding , the company’s future is looking bright. Rhiannon is planning to use these funds for business development: an upgraded freezer truck to prevent melted custard, general improvements of merchandise, facility, and production, as well as updated packaging.

These plans all tie in with her desire to expand operations. With the new location at the heart of Downtown Cumberland, Rhiannon hopes to give customers the opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes. The 1,500 square-foot McMullen facility will be used to organize production, packaging, and distribution, with an open style storefront, so all of the yummy custard-making action is available to the public eye. In addition to opening another storefront in the McMullen building, the Queen City Creamery maintains a seasonal location at Rocky Gap State Park and distributes its delicious treats with an ice cream truck and other mobile units at numerous local markets and events, even vending at Frederick Keys baseball games.

One of Queen City's most popular flavors: Old Bay Caramel!

Small businesses are participating in revitalizing downtown as well; for example, Rhiannon described a fun initiative she introduced for the business. “I sometimes hide frozen custard packages in local shops and post about it on social media, and customers who find them and take a picture can receive a discount for products in the Creamery,” she said. This way, customers are inspired to visit local small businesses and learn more about the area.

Community support and close connections, according to Rhiannon, is at the heart of Cumberland and the reason she chose to keep her business there. So make sure to swing by and try all the fun flavors Queen City Creamery has to offer! And a little hint from Rhiannon – her favorite is Cookies and Cream.

Keep up with the latest.

Sign up for e-mail notifications.