Rita's Italian Ice Goes Global!

Crissa Shoemaker DeBree, for PhillyBurbs.com -- A few weeks ago, PhillyBurbs.com reported that Philadelphia's beloved Rita's Water Ice had signed its first-ever international franchise agreement for the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. On Thursday May 2, the Philadelphia institution that opened 20 years ago in Bensalem, announced that it would open 50 stores across India over the next several years. The company is also poised to open its first two stores in China this summer, CEO Jonathan Fornaci said.

According to Crissa Shoemaker DeBree, reporting for PhillyBurbs.com:

The international agreements are part of Rita's plan to double its number of stores from 500 to 1,000 over the next several years.

"Our focus is strategic growth, both internationally and domestically, in markets that we would be able to operate in 12 months a year," said Fornaci, who joined Rita's in December following the chain's sale to New York-based investment firm Falconhead Capital.

Rita's will also be opening nearly two dozen new stores and a regional office in the Los Angeles area. Read more about the Caribbean expansion project here, and the expansion into India and China here.

Photo from uwishunu blog post, written by Albert Lee in 2008.