Gettysburg Scoop Shop Sparkles with Sumptuous Treats
By Barbara D’Arienzo | Photography by Casey Martin
Don’t be fooled by Half Pint Creamery’s formal brick exterior. Walk in and catch the aroma of freshly made ice cream cones coaxing you to the ice cream case. It’s a carnival of colors packed with flavors bearing whimsical names like Sweet Heat and Coconut Paradise. The former bank building is now an ice cream wonderland.
Located at 1101 Biglerville Road in Gettysburg, Half Pint Creamery is celebrating its second year of serving cones, cups, floats, and shakes all made with owner Trish Motter’s handcrafted recipe. This is her second shop. She opened in McSherrystown three years ago, and her third location in New Oxford will open this summer.
Opening three shops in three years is challenging, but 25-year-old Motter is taking it in stride. “The more I put on my plate, the more things I’ll get done,” she says. “At first it was overwhelming,” she admits. There were nights she made ice cream all night and ended up sleeping at the shop. She has since trained others to make the 36 rotating flavors on the menu.
“Our ice cream is handmade with premium ingredients of the highest quality,” says the graduate of the Penn State short ice cream course. It’s made in small batches that are served within 72 hours. A few factors make Half Pint different from the rest, according to Motter. Not the least is the ice cream machine used to make the base. “I ordered it from Italy, and it took 6 months to get here,” she says.
Then there’s her proprietary recipe and the ability to craft a product that has a minimum of “overrun” or air making it pleasingly dense with a velvet-like texture. Additionally, she says, “It’s easily scooped and is not so cold that it freezes your taste buds so you can’t taste the flavor.”
As for flavors, Motter says she has the ability to taste something and make it into an ice cream. One morning she had a cinnamon bun for breakfast and decided to make cinnamon bun ice cream. No tedious experimenting; she just made it.
The second week after the McSherrystown shop opened, Travis Sentz, a nursing student at Penn State Mont Alto, walked in for some ice cream. It was the beginning of a relationship that led to Sentz joining Motter in the business. Together, they are parents to Wesley David Sentz and are planning a September wedding. Trish’s father, Gregg Motter, says, “They complement each other very well.”
Trish and Sentz opened the Gettysburg shop together. “I grew up on a farm and my dad taught me everything,” says Sentz, the self-described jack-of-all trades. Sentz has done a lot of the construction and painting at the shops, along with making ice cream. The couple works in harmony to create shops that are attractive, orderly, and customer friendly. Sentz describes his future wife as a “spitfire” for her dedication and drive. They both advocate being your own boss and credit their parents’ examples as strong influences. Trish’s parents have owned businesses for years and currently own both the Biglerville Laundromat and Biglerville Car Wash.
“When I told my father I was leaving Millersville University to go into business for myself,” Trish says, “he asked me, ‘Did you think this through?’”
“Today my wife and I work for Trish in Gettysburg. I’m extremely proud of her,” her father Greg adds.
Two scoops of two different flavors in a cone is the most popular order. The cones are freshly baked every day and are crisp with a hint of vanilla. Trendy Salty Caramel is the current favorite flavor. Apple Pie is like eating luxurious pie á la mode. Adventurous chocolate lovers, Sweet Heat is for you. After the smooth milk chocolate caresses your mouth, the cayenne pepper gently kicks your palate.
Lorraine Natalie of Biglerville follows Half Pint’s Facebook page, watching for her favorite flavors or specials. “I could come here every day. I enjoy taking my granddaughters here,” she says. “They love the Cotton Candy. My favorite flavor is Espresso along with the other coffee flavors.”
Signature Sparkle Dust is a simple topping. It’s basically edible glitter that comes in pink and blue and adds a bit of sugary sweet fun. Extra thick shakes challenge you to get the goodness through Half Pint’s extra-wide straws.
Half Pint Creamery also makes pup cakes and bone appetites for our canine friends. One of the most unusual special orders Trish fulfilled was for a dog’s birthday party. She made a pup cake for the guest of honor and an ice cream pie for the people attending.
Look for the glitter wall near the doors. It dazzles in extra bright sparkling teal, Trish’s signature favorite color. “It’s fun!” Trish and Sentz say simultaneously.
Elecia Hoffman of Gardners has worked at Half Pint Creamery since the grand opening. She says, “This is a fun job. I like serving customers. When you hand over their ice cream and they smile—that’s the best.”
Ice Cream Bread
1 pint (2 cups) melted ice cream
1 ¼ cup self-rising flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup rainbow sprinkles (optional)
¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and grease with a nonstick spray. Combine ice cream, flour, and vanilla in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
Add sprinkles and chocolate chips if desired and mix into the batter. Pour batter into loaf pan and spread evenly. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to fully cool before cutting. Top with ice cream.
Half Pint Creamery
1101 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily from late
February to late October
Take out pints, quarts, pies, sandwiches
Special orders of products and/or flavors