New York City-based 16 Handles is opening several locations this spring on the East Coast as part of four recently signed franchise agreements. It is part of the growth strategy under CEO Neil Hershman, 16 Handles’ largest franchisee, who recently acquired the brand in August of last year.
The first Boston location will open under the direction of Luka and Margaret Dow.
“Bringing 16 Handles to Boston is exactly what Margaret and I envisioned since we saw the city’s need for more tasty frozen dessert options,” Luka Dow said in a company press release. “16 Handles is not only a quality product, but also a quality experience. My wife and I are excited to bring this business to Boston in hopes of spreading happiness and becoming more involved in the community.”
The chain is also expanding to Naples, Florida, at 3367 Pine Ridge, thanks to Alex Nicholas and Jib Reagan, who were drawn to the brand’s innovation and the chance to better their community.
“The franchise support has been excellent,” Nicholas said in the release. “I admire that Neil is an experienced operator, so he will understand what Jib and I are experiencing as we open our stores. “I used to live in New York for 15 years, and the first 16 Handles I ever stepped foot in was the East Village store. I told myself if the brand ever expanded nationally and if it aligned with my life, then I would jump on the opportunity.”
Nearby in Englewood, Florida, 16 Handles investor, co-owner and comedic YouTuber, Danny Duncan, will open his first location at 505 W. Dearborn St. Duncan also serves as the brand’s chief creative officer.
Tamara Hamilton, who is originally from Russia but has lived in New York City for 12 years, will also open a store in Jersey City, New Jersey.
“Previously working in the finance and construction industry, the pandemic made me realize I wanted to start a new career, be my own boss and open a business in Jersey City,” Hamilton said in the release. “I wanted to open a place that people can come in to feel good and leave happy. There are so many local families here and 16 Handles has the most welcoming atmosphere to stay and make memories while having a delicious treat.”
16 Handles opened its first store in Manhattan’s East Village in 2008.