by Michael Vyskocil, photography by Nikola Tzenov
Spring Meadow Farms in Upperco, along Route 30 just over the Carroll County line, invites residents of and visitors to northern Maryland to discover fresh produce and plants. Its original owners, the Dabkowski family and its patriarch, “Farmer Stan” Dabkowski, ran the business for more than two decades before selling it in 2011. After several ownership changes, the founding family bought Spring Meadow in 2020 and opened for the season in April.
In addition to the extraordinary produce at the market and high-quality plants for your garden, Spring Meadow Farms is also the site of two walk-up food stands: The Bus Stop and Char’d BBQ.
With its creative spin on “socially distanced sweet treats,” The Bus Stop delivers the ultimate indulgences. When you walk up to The Bus Stop’s stand, it’s almost like reliving the ice cream truck experience from your childhood. The best part is that you don’t have to chase it down the street to get your cool, creamy treat.
Owned and operated by Carroll Countians Jeff and Brooke Schnorr, The Bus Stop has quickly gained a following since opening on the Spring Meadow Farms property last year. Even the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t keep people away from the couple’s over-the-top “extreme milkshakes.”
“My husband and I have the imaginative, innovator brains. We feed off each other. Our staff also comes up with ideas. I think it was the Little Debbie Christmas Trees that pushed it off the edge,” Brooke said, referring to the snack cake garnishes on a milkshake she and her team prepared last December. A photo of her imaginative creation blew up on social media and had folks clamoring to get one.
“We’re the kind of people who wander the food and restaurant stores. I saw these mugs, and I bought them thinking, ‘We’ll just give it a try,’” she recalled. “We bought the mugs, made the milkshakes and posted photos online. That was at the end of October, when our season was supposed to end. Business was so good that we decided to stay open longer. December was our busiest month.”
The “extreme milkshakes” are back again for a two-per-month offering in 2021. Customer-favorite “lollipops,” a combination of soft-serve ice cream and snowballs, and milkshakes are also on the menu.
New this season, The Bus Stop will carry dairy-free options for customers, and Brooke promises another “extreme” creation is in the works. When asked to explain where the term “extreme milkshakes” came from, Brooke said, “We used ‘crazy concoctions,’ but we never knew where it was going to go. It was a subconscious planting of other milkshakes we’ve seen that are similar. ‘Extreme’ seemed to stick.”
The Bus Stop uses Hershey’s hand-dipped ice cream for its rich, creamy taste. A partnership with Cream Cruiser, a woman-owned Baltimore ice cream company, further extends The Bus Stop offerings with acai and pitaya bowls. The berries get blended into an ice cream-like base that you can top with granola, fruits, coconut flakes and honey.
Brooke said she’s been blessed by the local Carroll County support and the patronage from people as far away as Virginia Beach and North Carolina who have made a pit stop at The Bus Stop. During the March St. Patrick’s Day pop-up weekend, The Bus Stop served close to 2,000 items in four days alone.
“We recently came up with our tagline, ‘Happiness Served.’ People come; they’re here to have fun,” Brooke said. “During COVID, the whole place is somewhere that people can see their friends and family at a distance, sit at a table outside and feel safe. We follow all COVID protocols with mask wearing and sanitizing. It is 100% about creating happiness for people.”
Fun fact: The Bus Stop takes its name from the Schnorrs’ Volkswagen bus. During their participation in the 2019 Carroll Biz Challenge, the couple proposed a mobile photo booth project they dubbed “The Drifting Dreamers.” They decided to park their Volkswagen Bus behind their stand at Spring Meadow Farms. “It’s where the bus stops,” Brooke said, “and that’s how we named the business.”
the bus stop at spring meadow farms
15513 Hanover Pike, Upperco • busstopmd.com