Rita’s Italian Ice
In 1984, Bob and Elizabeth Tumolo, a Philadelphia mother-son team, opened the first Rita’s Italian Ice, a modest shop that sold cups of ice water blended with chunks of fresh fruit. The smooth, flavor-packed recipe, which dates back to ancient Rome and Greece, was an immediate hit with Philadelphians and classics professors. By 1987, the Tumolos owned four shops, and by 2007, 500 locations served icy treats across the country.
Today, Rita’s Italian Ice continues blending fresh batches of Italian ice daily. Flavors ranging from tangy lemonade to sweet mango rotate based on the whims and cravings of the friendly staff. The expanded menu also serves thick frozen custard as well as the popular gelati, distinctive blends of Italian ice and creamy custard.