Rita's Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Nation's largest Italian Ice chain marks silver anniversary throughout the month of May

TREVOSE, Pa., May 4 // PRNewswire // -- Rita's, the nation's largest Italian Ice chain, will mark the silver anniversary of its founding on May 4. The company will celebrate this milestone throughout the month of May in its more than 500 locations across 17 states.

The story of Rita's dates back to the sweltering summer of 1984 when Bob Tumolo, a former Philadelphia firefighter, decided to open a small Italian Ice business to augment his income. Tumolo opened his first store in Bensalem, Pa. and named the business after his wife, Rita. Although Bob began by selling the "made fresh daily" Italian Ice from a small porch window, Tumolo started franchising the business, and by 1996, Rita's had grown to more than 100 stores in nine states.

In May 2005, a new era in the evolution of Rita's began. McKnight Capital Partners, a private equity group led by Jim Rudolph and his brother Bill Rudolph, purchased the then 300+ store Italian Ice concept, and Jim Rudolph started to lead the organization as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Under Rudolph's leadership, Rita's has continued to see unprecedented growth. From that single "store" on a front porch in Bensalem, PA, Rita's Italian Ice has expanded exponentially throughout the Mid- Atlantic Region and beyond. Today, there are 550 Rita's locations in 17 states.

To celebrate this special anniversary, Rita's will launch a system wide "Scratch and Win" game promotion with a chance to win $25,000 or thousands of other cool prizes. Guests will also be able to visit www.ritasice.com to enter to win a vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico courtesy of Apple Vacations or the Second Chance Drawing for $25,000. Promotion begins at 10a.m. E.T. 5/1/09 and ends at 11:59p.m. E.T. on 5/31/09. Complete contest rules and information are available at www.ritasice.com beginning on May 1.

Rita's will also hold at special cake cutting and anniversary celebration at 2 p.m. on May 4 at its very first location at 1227 Bristol Pike in Andalusia, just outside Philadelphia.

"We are thrilled to celebrate our legacy, to mark this very special anniversary, and to look with excitement to our next 25 years," said Rudolph. "Most importantly, we're so thankful to all of our loyal Guests, who are the reason we remain a strong brand and a successful franchise concept. We look forward to delivering our brand promise of ice, custard and happiness to our Guests for another quarter of a century."

About Rita's Franchise Company

Rita's Franchise Company, headquartered in Trevose, Pa., is the largest Italian Ice concept in the nation, currently operating in 17 states with more than 550 stores. Rita's brand promise is Ice, Custard and Happiness(TM). The chain offers a variety of frozen treats including its famous Italian Ice, Old Fashioned Frozen Custard, and layered Gelati, as well as its signature Misto(TM) and Blendini(TM) creations. Rita's was named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by the Wall Street Journal's 'Startup Journal.'

SOURCE Rita's Franchise Company

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