Committed to Local Businesses like Half Pint Creamery

Every Business Has a Story

Trish Sentz in front of the ice cream counter at Half Pint

Posted on Jun 02, 2021

From help opening new locations to financing a major renovation, Half Pint Creamery owner Trish Sentz knows ACNB Bank always has her back.

Every business has a story, this one is about scooping up happiness.


Ice cream makes people happy

“You wake up in the morning and you know you are going to make somebody’s day,” said Trish. “The most meaningful thing about ice cream is it makes people happy. Whether they’re having a really bad day and they need ice cream or they’re here to celebrate something wonderful that just happened, no matter what, ice cream is there for them.”

And the Half Pint Creamery team serves up a lot of happiness.

Across their three locations in New Oxford, Gettysburg, and McSherrystown, they produce between 100 and 150 gallons of ice cream a day. In addition to a rotating daily selection of 40 flavors, they also offer no sugar added and dairy-free options.

Not your average ice cream shop

The ice cream case, a cone, flavor being made, and Trish decorating a cake

Half Pint makes all flavors, and many of the mix-ins like cookie dough, in-house with high-quality ingredients. They also use a unique production process that creates a creamier signature texture.

“I feel like Half Pint ice cream is by far the best ice cream in the world,” said Trish. “We have our very own process of making ice cream and I don’t know of anybody else that has done anything quite like we do. If you’ve never been here before, your first taste of Half Pint is very exciting.”

Every part of the process is designed to give customers the best ice cream experience. From production, to the shape and depth of the serving pans, to the way they make their cones, cakes, and shakes.

Not only can you taste the difference, Trish and the team have the accolades to back them up. They’ve won several awards from the National Ice Cream Retailers Association. They recently took second place wins in the Best New Flavor category for both their Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg and their Chocolate Éclair.

Trish is the creative mastermind behind the classic recipes and new combinations. She draws inspiration from everywhere, including local restaurants, the grocery store, and even from TV.

“We put a lot of care, attention, and love into all the flavors that we make here. I don’t want it to be just an everyday ice cream shop. I want it to be the best ice cream shop. Our flavors are very different than you can get at other shops.”

Renovating the Schoolhouse in McSherrystown brings Half Pint Full Circle

Renovations at Half Pint Creamery in McSherrystown

Half Pint’s most recent undertaking was transforming the Little Red Schoolhouse location in McSherrystown. But their connection to that building actually goes back to before they opened the doors of their first location.

“My grandma is the one that told me about it,” said Trish, thinking back. “She said, ‘You have to come home, you have to look at this building, it’s beautiful. It’s for sale.' And so, I came home and looked at it and I did fall in love with it. At that time, it just wasn’t the right timing. But once the timing came, I knew that it was meant for us to have.”

Half Pint purchased the schoolhouse in 2018, after an electrical fire left the building severely damaged. Where others may have seen nothing but challenges, Trish saw tremendous opportunity.

“As I was standing in this building before we bought it, we had a ton of visions. We had tape on the floor, we had a million different ideas of what we could do. We put our heart and soul into making sure that the building’s structure stayed as relevant to the history as it could. But, that it still had our touch to it.”

Help from ACNB made the project possible

With this large undertaking, Trish turned to ACNB Bank and commercial lender Gary Rappoldt for support. Gary had previously helped Trish finance the opening of Half Pint’s second location in Gettysburg, including securing equipment financing for machinery from overseas.

Because of this relationship, Trish knew ACNB would understand her vision for the schoolhouse renovation.

“Like a lot of other renovations, it turned into much more than we originally anticipated. So, after we secured our first bank loan, we had to go back to ACNB and explain how we wanted to make this building perfect. They believed in it and they loved our vision and they came through for us.”

With financing help, Half Pint took the building down to the dirt floor and built it back up. They reconstructed the roof, put up new drywall, installed outdoor firepits and community seating, updated the interiors, installed new equipment, and more.

“I think that one of my favorite parts of the building is the bell tower, which we recreated. I think that is the biggest thing that kind of creates how the schoolhouse and the ice cream shop morph together.”

The bell is fully functional, and rung to signal the start and end of each ice cream season.

After renovations

Local businesses and local banks are a sweet combination

The right banking relationship is key for small business success. A local bank understands not only the local economy but also the unique vision behind each business.

“ACNB has been there since about three to four months into my business journey. And I would not be near where I am today without ACNB. They were very confident in our business plan and confident in my personal abilities to make this business work.”

When COVID-19 delayed the opening of the schoolhouse location and put a pause on normal operations at the other locations, Half Pint counted on ACNB Bank.

“Last year was very, very challenging for us. ACNB was able to help us through that, helping us through the PPP loan and helping us get through a very, very tough time. It meant the world to us that the bank had our back, especially during the year of COVID. Knowing that ACNB was going to be there to support us and make sure that we got through such a tough time was a huge deal for us.”

Both Half Pint and ACNB Bank share a commitment to creating a great experience for customers and strengthening our community.

“Ice cream definitely builds a sense of community and builds a sense of togetherness, whether it’s with friends or with family, it brings people together to create a sense of happiness,” said Trish. “The bank lives in that same sense of community, because without the bank, there would be no small businesses. We rely on the bank in order to be able to be successful and be able to make big purchases and be able to take the risks. If we weren’t willing to take the risks and the bank wasn’t willing to take the risk, there would be no community, there would be no small business, there would be no local economy. We work together to create that.”

ACNB Bank is committed to local businesses like Half Pint Creamery and we are here to be part of your story. Let us help with your next chapter.

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Lender Gary Rappoldt with Trish Sentz

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Thank you to AMP: Academy for Media Productions for helping create this video; the Sentz family; and the teams at Half Pint Creamery. Some photos provided courtsey of the Half Pint Creamery Renovations Facebook page.