It all began in the summer of 1984 when Bob Tumolo, the original founder and his mother, Elizabeth, began experimenting with recipes for Italian Ice made with chunks of real fresh fruit. The result was quite possibly the best Italian Ice they had ever tasted and the concept of Rita's was born.
The first Rita's opened in May 1984 on a front porch in Bensalem, PA. Word of mouth spread quickly and in no time, lines were wrapping around the block. In 1987, the Tumolo's decided to franchise the family business and the Rita's concept took off like a rocket. In May of 2005, Rita's was purchased by Pittsburgh-based McKnight Capital Partners under the direction of Jim Rudolph, our Chairman and CEO. Today, Rita's is one of America's fastest-growing franchises and the leader in the Italian Ice category, with more than 500 stores in 17 states.
Today, one out of every 3 dollars spent by Americans for a good or service is spent in a franchise business. Franchising is a wonderful way to go into business for yourself, but not by yourself. At Rita's, franchising is an example of teamwork at its best, bringing together the talents of our dedicated corporate staff and management team with the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of our franchise partners at the local level to serve our guests.
Cool Support Center
Rita's Italian Ice is the nation's largest Italian Ice concept! We didn't achieve this success without help, and plenty of it!
Rita's Cool Support Center, our corporate headquarters, is home to more than 90 Rita's staff members who are dedicated to supporting our Franchise Partners, ensuring our Guests' receive superior treats and service and continuously building our brand.
Our Cool Support Center is dedicated to doing just that; supporting our Partners and Guests all the while coming up with the coolest treats around. We work hard each day to ensure our continued success and to fulfill our promise of "Ice, Custard and Happiness" to our Guests and Partners.
At Rita's we take our promises very seriously. So we have assembled the best and most qualified team of Construction, Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing, Operations, Real Estate, Research and Development, Sales, and Training professionals you will ever find! Each day these teams are hard at work building our brand and this concept.