McSherrystown Teen Opens Pennsylvania Ice Cream Shop With Unusual Flavors

Ice cream is the perfect summertime treat, and at Ripleigh’s Eat It or Not Creamery in McSherrystown, 15-year-old owner Ripleigh Maring changes things up a bit.

It offers unusual ice cream flavors, spectacular milkshakes, freshly baked waffles and more.

Following in the footsteps of her enterprising mother, Ripleigh learned how to run a small business as a child, even though she never expected to open her own business, and at such a young age.

Her mother, Laura Maring, owns two businesses and guided her along the way when she expressed interest in opening her own business.

“I watched my mom at work and saw what it was like to own a business.” Ripleigh added, “I wouldn’t be who I am without her.”

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The inspiration for her ice cream shop came from her passion for creativity and her love of travel. Coming from a family that loves to see the world, the globetrotter has taken Ripleigh to places like London, Greece and Iceland – to name a few.

“In Iceland they had this rye bread and black licorice ice cream, and I thought that was pretty cool,” she said.

Two years ago, with the support of her parents, Ripleigh decided she wanted to open her own business – an ice cream shop.

So last summer, the business started as a seasonal food truck concept in Emmitsburg, Maryland, with operations shut down during the winter months.

Audrey Burns, 15, puts mint chocolate chip ice cream in a malt mug while making a Grasshopper Freak Shake at Ripleigh's Eat it or Not Creamery on Thursday, June 23, 2022 in McSherrystown.

With the intention of having a year-round business, the family decided to open an outlet in their hometown, located in Adams County, just outside of Hanover. This grand opening took place in early June.

“We thought, why don’t we bring something fun to McSherrystown,” she said.

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Ripleigh’s Eat it or Not Creamery

The name of the shop is a play on words, inspired by Believe it or not by Ripleyan American franchise that brought strange and unusual world events to light, through television and books.

At Ripleigh’s Eat it or Not Creamery, Ripleigh set out to create unusual ice cream flavors and concoctions that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the area.

“Sometimes we sit around the dinner table and just come up with some of these flavors and then try to make them work,” she said.

In partnership with a local dairy farm Apple Valley Creamery in East Berlin, Ripleigh’s makes its ice cream with A2 milkwhich is more digestible for people sensitive to lactose.

Owner Ripleigh Maring stacks scoops of Oreo cheesecake ice cream on a freshly baked waffle as she makes a customer an Oreo Overload pop-it waffle at Ripleigh's Eat it or Not Creamery on Thursday, June 23, 2022 in McSherrystown.

“Some of our ice creams are made with milk so fresh it comes straight from the cow in less than 72 hours,” she said.

The shop serves up a menu of classic flavors like strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate, while offering a rotation of bold flavors like sriracha mango, flaming cheeto, or pineapple-spiced avocado.

But hand-dipped ice cream isn’t the only thing they serve.

Ripleigh’s also offers specialty freak shakes, an over-the-top milkshake made with their homemade ice cream, and a variety of mixes and toppings.

Their most popular shake on the menu is Strawberry Cheesecake. Four scoops of homemade strawberry ice cream are tossed into a shake before being drizzled with strawberry sauce and topped with a whole slice of cheesecake and a dollop of whipped cream.

Freak shakes are one of the best sellers at Ripleigh's Eat it or Not Creamery in McScherrystown.  The 20-ounce shakes come in several varieties, including Funky Monkey, Death By Chocolate, Reeses Overload, and Strawberry Cheesecake (pictured).

“I love being able to put my creative mind to work and constantly create things for the public to see,” said Ripleigh, a sophomore at Delone Catholic.

Inspired by his travels to Florida, the shop also serves pop-it waffles, which are taco-shaped Belgian waffles filled with two generous scoops of ice cream and an assortment of toppings.

Ripleigh also recommends the Campfire s’mores waffle, filled with vanilla or chocolate ice cream and topped with graham crackers, a Hershey’s chocolate bar and whipped cream.

Owner, 15, Ripleigh Maring, laughs as she chats with new customers Stacey Burroughs, right, and Shirley Bailey at her ice cream shop Thursday, June 23, 2022 in McSherrystown.

Although running a business is a big job for the 15-year-old, Ripleigh said the shop was her second home and being there didn’t always feel like work.

“I work with my friends, and it’s so convenient to always be around and hang out together.”

Ripleigh plans to continue working at the shop when school resumes in the fall. And she is looking to further her education by attending college after graduation, hoping to open another business one day.

Ripleigh’s Eat it or Not Creamery is open daily from noon to 9 p.m. and is located at 2 S. Sixth St., McSherrystown.

Lena Tzivekis is a central journalist pa. Do you know a local restaurant she should check out? Email him at etzivekis@gannett.comor message him on Twitter at @tzivekis!

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