Old Meets New
The Bloomsburg TA offers familiar faces and recipes in an updated setting
When Bloomsburg opened its doors to drivers nearly 40 years ago, it was an independent “mom & pop” stop. Over the last few decades the business grew, built up a loyal group of regulars and eventually joined the TA family. But success never affected the sense of community.
Waitress Shirley Miller has been serving drivers at the Buckhorn restaurant since Bloomsburg’s first day in business 38 years ago, David Richards has held a number of positions over the past 23 years, and eight other employees have called the location home for more than two decades: Joyce Wynings, Brenda Barnes, Charles Kipple, Micki Divirgilio, Deb Dawalt, Alice Morris, JoAnn Brosius and Terry Knorr.
“It’s nice when a driver comes in on one of the longtime employees’ days off and asks about them,” says Sarah Daum, store general manager, a relative newcomer who has worked at the Bloomsburg TA for five years.
As part of TA’s multimillion-dollar commitment to site renovation, Bloomsburg underwent some major changes last fall. Showers and bathrooms received a facelift, all new diesel pumps were installed, the heat/AC system was upgraded and the parking lot was re-paved. The showers in particular, have gotten high marks from drivers, who appreciate the substantial improvements in amenities that are important to them.
“The showers were pretty old,” Daum says, “Now you hear compliments at the fuel desk all the time.”
A Legacy of Good Food
“Our restaurant is the original Buckhorn restaurant,” Daum explains. “The real Buckhorn, Pennsylvania, is right down the road.” Bloomsburg’s restaurant works hard to uphold Buckhorn’s tradition of delicious, homecooked food. Recently, the buffet underwent some changes and now includes older, original Buckhorn recipes such as seafood alfredo, mojo pork chops, green bean casserole and maple glazed carrots.
“The customers are really loving them,” Daum says.
Life in a Small Town
Located about 150 miles from Philadelphia, Bloomsburg holds the distinction of being the only officially incorporated town in Pennsylvania. (Others are classified as cities or boroughs.) It is home to state-run Bloomsburg University.
Every fall, visitors from all over flock to the town for the week-long Bloomsburg Fair, which features concerts by big-name country artists like Sugarland, a Demolition Derby and Figure 8 racing.
Besides a laundry room and TV lounge, Bloomsburg offers drivers a 24-hour phone room equipped with two coin-operated pay phones and four that accept phone cards. “Drivers like that we offer more than just one or two phones,” Daum says.