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Rita’s Italian Ice

Rita’s Italian Ice was founded in 1984 by former Philadelphia firefighter Bob Tumolo, who purchased the water ice recipe from an elderly neighbor. Tumolo altered the recipe to include real fruit and enhance the flavors before opening his first unit. In 1989, the Tumolo family began to franchise the chain after having opened a second unit in 1987.

In 2005, the privately held company was purchased by private-equity group McKnight Capital Partners. Then, in 2011, Falconhead Capital purchased a controlling interest in the company, naming Thomas Christopoul interim CEO. Falconhead’s controlling interest was sold in 2017 to Argosy Private Equity and MTN Capital.

The current CEO of Rita’s Italian Ice is Linda Chadwick. She took over the role in 2017 when Argosy and MTN took over the controlling stake.

Key Data: Rita’s Italian Ice

Headquarters: Bensalem, Pa.

Segment: Quick Service

Restaurant Segment: LSR Dessert/Snack

Number of US Locations: 525

2020 Sales: $201,176,000

Annual Growth

Source: Datassential Firefly 500

CEO: Linda Chadwick

Parent/Group: Argosy Capital Group Inc.