Nation’s Largest Italian Ice Chain Now “Ready to Serve” in the Volunteer State

Nation’s Largest Italian Ice Chain Now “Ready to Serve” in the Volunteer State

Rita’s greets Tennesseans with state’s first location in Hermitage

Trevose, PA (September 5, 2008) – Rita’s is now open for “service” in the Volunteer State with the grand opening of a Rita’s location in the Nashville suburb of Hermitage. With the store’s opening, Tennessee becomes the 16th state to join Rita’s, the nation’s largest Italian Ice concept, which currently operates more than 500 locations. Rita’s is expected to open additional Tennessee stores in Johnson City, Knoxville and Mt. Juliet later this year.

The Hermitage store opening illustrates Rita’s aggressive expansion plan, set forth by Jim Rudolph, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Rita’s.

Michael and Renee Dugger, franchise partners and operators of the Hermitage location, first got the scoop on Rita’s in 1999 while visiting a friend in Philadelphia, where the Rita’s franchise concept was born in 1984. The couple fell in love with the product immediately and vowed to open a Rita’s store in Renee’s home state of Tennessee. “Once I tasted Rita’s Italian Ice, I knew I was hooked for life,” said Dugger. “Between the excellent product and the support I received from Rita’s, the decision to invest and open the first store in our market made perfect sense. I can’t wait to introduce Tennesseans to Rita’s and our great-tasting cool treats.”

The Duggers, along with their franchise partner Sherry Endicott, will celebrate the grand opening of the first Tennessee Rita’s location with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 9th at 11:00 a.m. Each guest will receive a free 10-oz. cup of Italian Ice from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Rita’s of Hermitage will be open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 12:00 9:00 p.m. The store will feature a drive-through window as well as walk-in service and seating.

A Philadelphia tradition, Rita’s Italian Ices are made fresh daily and are available in more than 30 different flavors. Rita’s Old-Fashioned Frozen Custard is a soft serve dessert that is available in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and coffee flavors and can be served in a cup or a cone. Rita’s Gelati is a delightful frozen treat that provides the best of both worlds — frozen custard mixed with layers of Italian Ice. Similar to the Gelati, Rita’s Misto Shake is also a blend of Italian Ice and frozen custard and is a convenient treat for those on the go. Rita’s Blendini is a blend of Rita’s frozen custard, fresh Italian Ice and crushed OreoÒ cookie pieces or NillaÒ wafer pieces. Rita’s SlenderitaTM is a creamy and delicious Fat-Free soft serve that is available in vanilla and can be served in a cup or a cone, in a Gelati, or blended into a BlendiniTM. Rita’s first-ever coffee drink, The RitaccinoTM, is a frosty treat with a rich coffee taste, topped with Rita’s famous vanilla custard. Rita’s also offers Sugar-Free Italian Ice in Cherry, Pink Lemonade, Root Beer and Tangerine.

About Rita’s Franchise Company
Rita’s, headquartered in Trevose, Pa., is the largest Italian Ice concept in the nation, currently operating in 16 states with more than 500 stores. Rita’s brand promise is Ice, Custard and Happinessä. 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 Mistoä and Blendiniä creations. Rita’s was named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by the Wall Street Journal’s ‘Startup Journal.’ For more information about Rita’s, please call 1-800-677-RITA or visit