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This was a very sad day at the Horner's. Rita's is our absolute favorite thing about PA.

This is a family owned franchise that began with a mother son duo. Here is a little history for you: In the summer of 1984 Bob Tumolo and his mother, Elizabeth, were busy experimenting on recipes for Italian water ice. A fresh-squeezed lemon here, some chunks of fruit there - eventually the Tumolos found themselves with quite possibly the best Italian Ice they had ever tasted. (I completely agree!!)

Opening day in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, the response was overwhelming - people really seemed to love it. Word of mouth spread like Italian Ice on a hot summer sidewalk. In 1985, Bob's brother John Tumolo joined the business, and a second location was added in 1987. Today Rita's is the nation's largest Italian Ice chain with more than 390 stores. Rita's features Ices, Cones, Shakes and other Cool Stuff. Rita's Italian Ices are made fresh daily and available in more than 30 different flavors.

The saddest part about Rita's is they are only open from the first day of spring till the beginning of fall. It is up to the individual manager to decide which day to close in October. Our "friend" Cindy is the awesome manager at Chippewa. She decided to close Oct. 8th. This happened to be when we were driving back from Nashville. We left Cracker Barrel that morning thinking that we would have plenty of time to get to Rita's before her final sale of the season, but the nine hour trip drug on and at Wheeling, WV we realized that we would not get our final taste of Rita's (She won't open again until we are back in Arkansas) . So we decided to give Cindy a ring. She has called Matthew Arkansas from the beginning of our relationship. So Matthew says "This is Akansas and I have a little synario for you. We are on our way back from Nashville and will be thirty minutes late. Are you going to be in at all tomorrow? Could we buy some quarts and pick them up later." Sweet Cindy agreed!!!! So Tuesday after work Matthew and I went to Rita's to pick up our purchase. We ended up staying over a hour and getting the grand behind the scenes tour. She also showered us with t-shirts, magnets,car air freshners, a cooler and we ended up with ten quarts of ice for our freezer. Cindy is the best! If we weren't already starting a new career and we had a billion dollars I would seriously consider owning a Rita's franchise.


Stephanie said...

What a great story! I laughed out loud. Glad it worked out for you, AND you got t-shirts and magnets out of the deal.

cassandra and zachary said...

you lucky curse words. the rita's in parkersburg is not nearly as good as the one in chippewa...mostly i think because we don't have a cindy at our location. i'm happy for you and i can't wait to see you in 5 days!