Pennsylvania couple introduces Alabama to a sweet Northern treat

RitaCoupleRob and Debra Tarr were familiar with the Alabama Gulf Coast because they used to vacation here. Each year after visiting “Paradise” it became more difficult for them to return to Lancaster, Pennsylvania with their five children. So the couple found a cool way to relocate. There were things about living in Pennsylvania that the family did enjoy and one of those things was Rita’s Italian Ice and Custard. Often, after a hot summer day in South Alabama they would think of the frozen treats that were available back home and exclaim, “If there was only a Rita’s here!”
Rob and Debra started researching a franchise opportunity with Rita’s. Rita’s is 25 year old company who in the past two years has gone to regional franchising to national franchising and also offered incentives to Military Veterans (Rob is retired Coast Guard). The Tarr’s proposed their plan to Rita’s Corporate and the answer was yes!
They opened their flagship store in Foley this past March and in September, the Fairhope location opened. Rita’s two main products are Italian Ice and Frozen Custard. The Italian ice is made in store daily and is fat free, gluten free, lactose free and some flavors are sugar free. The flavors vary from fruity to creamy to seasonal. Their frozen custard is made from real ingredients – no preservatives – and is available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. The enticing aspect of the business model is all the possibilities that are available with the two core products. Their number one seller is the Gelati which is a layering of Italian ice and frozen custard. The Blendini® is your choice of Italian Ice and frozen custard plus a topping or mix-in. If you are on the go a Misto® (Italian Ice and custard blended) or a milkshake is the way to go. They also offer sundaes, frozen lemonade, custard cakes and custard cookies. Rita’s of Alabama also offers bulk sizes with their party buckets and catering is available with their mobile carts.
Gift cards and Fundraising opportunites are also part of what Rita’s has to offer.
The Fairhope Rita’s location will celebrate their newest location with a Grand Opening Event on Friday, October 24th. The first 50 customers in line will receive FREE ITALIAN ICE for a year. So mark your calendars and plan on getting up early for your shot at 365 days of Rita’s Ice, Custard, Happiness – on the house. They will also be giving away a small free ice all day.
Rita’s of Alabama, 2654 S. McKenzie Street, Foley (251) 943-5980 and 420 Eastern Shore Shopping Center, Fairhope (251)   • Facebook “Ritas of Alabama” •