Bucks County History: The Original Rita’s Italian Ice Opens in Bensalem in the Early 1980s

Image via Old Images of Philadelphia.
The popular chain began in Bensalem almost 40 years ago.

One of the most popular chains in Bucks County has a rich history in the area, and a social media page was able to show its early beginnings.

Rita’s Italian Ice was founded in 1984 by Philadelphia firefighter Bob Tumolo and named after his mother, Rita. The Facebook page “Old Images of Philadelphia” recently posted a picture of the original location in Bensalem.

“Tumulo used real fruits in his water ices, based on the Italian semi-frozen dessert called granita,” the history page said online.

Rita’s Italian Ice has become a popular stop for Bucks County locals and visitors. Now with nearly 600 locations serving customers around the country, the chain is a household name in the area.

The chain recently reopened their various shops for the season. In addition to the reopening, the company is planning to expand their operations across the region, beginning with new locations.

In the meantime, the chain has announced a new Gummy Bear-flavored dessert item on their menu, as well as an upcoming frozen coffee line.

Learn more about the chain at Rita’s Italian Ice.


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