Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Urban Churn sweetens local presence with reopening, expansion plan

Urban Churn owner Adam Brackbill stands outside his Midtown Harrisburg shop.

Harrisburg’s homegrown creamery is scooping up an expansion plan, with a new west shore location and the reopening of its city shop.

Owner Adam Brackbill said that Urban Churn plans to open a second location later this spring in the Silver Creek Plaza, a Smith Land & Improvement retail development on the Carlisle Pike outside Mechanicsburg.

In addition, the existing Midtown Harrisburg shop will be revamped with new seating and decor and re-opened to the public following an extensive closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because of COVID, I had to close but had time to think about things, about where Urban Churn is going,” Brackbill said on Monday. “So, there definitely was a silver lining to 2020.”

Urban Churn began making small-batch craft ice cream in 2014, originally located in snug space behind Midtown Cinema, and opened its N. 3rd Street scoop shop and production facility in 2019.

Last year, it sold ice cream on a takeout basis for the months when it temporarily reopened.

Brackbill said that Urban Churn also plans to rebrand, with a new logo, color scheme and web presence. He’s been helped in this effort by two new investors familiar with the central PA sweets scene—Duck Donuts’ Russ DiGilio and Betsy Hamm.

DiGilio and Hamm also have helped Brackbill craft a longer-term plan, including the new Carlisle Pike location, he said.

That space offers a much larger production facility, which will allow Urban Churn to offer an extensive menu of 22-plus flavors, including four rotating vegan flavors. The location will also have a commercial oven to bake cookies, brownies and lemon bars, among other treats to pair with ice cream.

In addition, the new, bigger store offers a highly visible spot on the Carlisle Pike with proximity to the outdoors and sporting goods company REI, a new anchor tenant for Silver Creek Plaza, replacing Toys R Us.

Ultimately, Brackbill said that he’d like to expand further, adding more scoop shops and perhaps selling wholesale, as well.

“I want to be the East Coast brand,” he said. “That’s my long-term goal. How we get there—that’s part of the ride. That’s part of the fun.”

For more information about Urban Churn, visit their website.

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