Broom's Bloom Dairy's on-farm ice cream shop is well known across Harford County, particularly as a mid-summer treat for the area's children, their parents and grandparents.
But the shop and its homemade ice cream also received the kind of worldwide recognition a year ago that has made it a must-stop on the travel itineraries of people from all over, particularly the social media savvy set.
Broom's Bloom made a TripAdvisor Top 10 list of ice cream shops online last July, and the listing still has an impact as it continues to be circulated online and through social media, owner Kate Dallam says.
The article "The Inside Scoop on 10 Great American Ice Cream Shops" was posted on TripAdvisor's blog on July 11, 2013.
TripAdvisor is billed as "the world's largest travel site." Its website allows travelers to post reviews and photographs of tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants throughout the country and the world. People can also obtain information on airfare, travel guides and vacation rental properties, according to the site.
"It seems like if they have a really good experience, or they have a really bad experience, they'll say something, and you just hope all their experiences are good," Dallam said Wednesday.
Broom's Bloom's ice cream store is part of the larger dairy farm operation off of Route 543. The dairy cows supply the milk that is the raw material for the ice cream made on site.
Broom's Bloom ranked fifth out of 10 shops. It was behind the No. 1 Dietsch Brothers Inc. in Findlay, Ohio, the No. 2 Pink Pelican Ice Cream Bar in Panama City Beach, Fla., the No. 3 Holy Cow in Red Hook, N.Y. and the No. 4 Sweet Cow in Louisville, Colo.
"Open year-round, travelers will enjoy old-fashioned, hand-dipped ice cream that is made right on the farm," according to a short description of Broom's Bloom on the list.
The list was created in honor of July being National Ice Cream Month, and the rankings were based on reviews posted on TripAdvisor.
"It was quite an honor to be listed, and it did kind of come out of the blue for me," Dallam said Wednesday.
She explained that the list had been picked up by The Huffington Post, and it has been circulated on Facebook.
Dallam said there was a buzz when the list was released last July, and it recently "became this frenzy again with people sharing it and liking it [online]."
She said people have been coming to the shop and congratulating her on the high ranking.
"It goes to show you the power of social media," she said.
The shop is popular among Harford County residents – and those outside of Harford – for its homemade ice cream, as well as its sandwiches and soups, and for the overall atmosphere of the working dairy farm.
Dallam said the largest part of her customer base comes from Harford County, but she is also drawing a weekend crowd from Baltimore County and people driving along nearby I-95. The farm is about six miles southeast of downtown Bel Air and about three miles from the I-95/Route 543 interchange in Riverside.
"I think we're getting pretty popular with people in their 20s and early 30s, and they really key into social media," she said.
Dallam said reviews have been posted on other sites such as Yelp and Urbanspoon.
As of Wednesday, there were 115 reviews of Broom's Bloom on TripAdvisor, and it ranked four-and-a-half out of the five "bubbles" used to rank destinations.
According to a review posted Tuesday, the traveler highlighted the proximity to I-95 and Route 543, its seating inside and outside, the long line that still moved quickly, as well as the ice cream, milkshakes, soup and sandwiches.
"It is an oasis off I-95," the reviewer stated. "If you stay at a hotel nearby you have to work this in your evening plans."
The reviewer continued: "Kids will love you if you stop here and you will be the hero of the day."