The Inside Scoop


Taneytown teen Ripleigh Maring creates sweet success with her ice cream business

By Karen Hendricks  |  Photography by Casey Martin

Ripleigh Maring apologizes because she has spots of ice cream on her shirt and dribbles of chocolate on her shorts. That’s what happens when you spend all morning making Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream—the best-selling flavor at her namesake business, Ripleigh’s Creamery.

“It has a secret ingredient—well, it’s not so secret—but it’s caramel sauce,” says Ripleigh, with a smile as bright as her surroundings at the McSherrystown ice cream shop. 

There’s a sparkly silver wall—a Ripleigh’s Creamery logo in the center—perfect for visitors’ selfies. It’s framed by puffy orange ribbons, ice cream and lollipop decorations. The booths are turquoise, coordinating with the blue bananas printed and sprinkled across another wall. 

But perhaps the brightest pops of color are inside the freezer cases: Razz Matazz Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream with splashes of magenta, pastel swirls of Bubblegum, purple-streaked Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake. Even more eye opening are the lavender-swirled Ube & Coconut—highlighting the popular Philippine flavors—and a vibrant red-streaked flavor labeled Hot Wings.

“We wanted to make a fun, creative place for people to try flavors, with the occasional wacky flavor for a wow factor,” says Ripleigh. 

Today, at the age of 17, her teenage milestones are intertwined with business milestones marking sweet success.

Brisk Timeline

She launched Ripleigh’s Creamery in 2021 at the age of 14, opening her first location in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The following year, at the age of 15, she opened the McSherrystown shop. Last summer, she opened an East York location at the age of 16. And you guessed it, she’s adding at least one more location this summer while she’s 17—at York’s Revs Stadium. She hints that shop number five is in the works.

“I’ve been working as long as I can remember, and personally I love working; I have a business mindset,” Ripleigh says.

“She doesn’t know any differently—she has a super great work ethic,” adds her mother Laura Maring, 51, seated by her side.

You could say that Ripleigh is following in her entrepreneurial mother’s footsteps. Laura operates two businesses, including global headband brand TreadBands, also based in McSherrystown. In fact, TreadBand’s North Fourth Street warehouse now houses Ripleigh’s Creamery operations too. Laura jokes that Ripleigh is taking over the building, but it’s obvious that the two work in tandem.

“My mom is the backbone to everything that happens—she taught me everything she knows,” says Ripleigh. “We are so similar—it’s so great, like we’re best friends.”

Ice Cream Dreams

When Ripleigh hit upon the idea of creating an ice cream business, her family went all in. Parents Laura and Rob attended ice cream-making classes in Florida, purchased an ice cream machine, and the family experimented with flavors for about a year. 

“Every flavor is 99% her idea,”
says Laura.

At the McSherrystown manufacturing facility, Ripleigh and her team currently produce about 200 gallons of ice cream every week—a figure that will grow to 300 or 350 through the summer.

Ripleigh’s Creamery originally partnered with Apple Valley Creamery of East Berlin for all their milk and dairy needs, but Ripleigh’s outgrew them. Their supplier—still local—is now a large Frederick County, Maryland, dairy farm.

While the ice cream is a tangible, sweet product of success, there’s also a lot of strategy and sweat poured into the business. Laura shares her business expertise—especially branding and marketing, helping Ripleigh build the business every step of the way.

“She does a good job letting me learn every single aspect of the business, from doing payroll to doing construction, tearing up floors,” says Ripleigh. “I’ve learned so many skills I can take into the real world that a lot of kids don’t have the chance to learn.”

That includes a marketing campaign that struck the big time last year. Ripleigh, an avid Swiftie (Taylor Swift fan), concocted an entire line of T. Swift-inspired flavors: “Bad Blood” Red Velvet, “Love Story” Wedding Cake, “Karma” Honeycomb and more. 

The marketing campaign worked, attracting fans traveling through the area to Philadelphia’s concerts. 

While Taylor didn’t personally stop by—“it was a long shot,” Ripleigh admits—the pop star did send 48 red roses to Ripleigh, the iconic moment captured in one of the shop’s posters.

It created a media whirlwind, including one day when Ripleigh did three live television interviews before heading to her regularly scheduled high school classes.

Inspiration and Aspiration

For now, profits from Ripleigh’s Creamery are going into Ripleigh’s college fund. She attended Delone Catholic High School through her just-ended junior year, but when school starts in the fall, she’ll transition to Francis Scott Key (FSK) High School in Carroll County, Maryland, for her senior year. That’s because, Ripleigh explains, she only needs two classes to graduate—and she wants to take advantage of FSK’s dual enrollment program so she can begin college classes. Her dream is to attend the University of Florida.

“I love science—physics and chemistry,” says Ripleigh. “Chemistry and food go really well together, so maybe I’ll get a food science degree.”

“She also really loves math, and she’s a phenomenal piano player,” adds Laura. The teen’s long list of accomplishments also includes volleyball, lacrosse and ice skating.

“This,” says Laura, gesturing to encompass the ice cream shop, “has never been something she has to do. It’s a project,” and both mother and daughter laugh, “but it just keeps growing.”

“With me being so young, it inspires so many people,” says Ripleigh, “and for me, it’s very fun to talk to customers. It’s a very unique and creative business—not even really about the ice cream—but the fun aspect. We also do make really good ice cream too.” 

Ripleigh’s Creamery

2 S. Sixth St., McSherrystown

With additional locations in East York, Emmitsburg, and at York’s Revs Stadium


About Author

Karen Hendricks

Karen Hendricks is a a lifelong journalist of 30+ years and plays an important role with the editorial team at CG. In addition to overseeing the social channels at the magazine, Karen is also an accomplished freelance writer. Her skills with pen and paper are only the tip of the iceberg, as she is also an avid runner, recently completing 50 races to benefit 50 causes for her 50th birthday. Learn more about this beautiful endeavor as well as her other passions by visiting

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