Rita’s Italian Ice, the Italian Ice concept with over 600 stores, awarded its largest area franchise development agreement ever to Rita’s GP LLC, a business unit of a diverse business development group based in Old Town San Diego. Like so many others in San Diego, one of the partners is a transplant from the Philadelphia area, turned local San Diego entrepreneur. Experiencing Rita’s for more than 17 years while living in the Philly area, they realized it was time to bring Rita’s from the City of Brotherly Love to points west. Rita’s GP LLC plans to open more than 70 Rita’s stores in San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, California. The development schedule outlines over 30 stores alone in San Diego County over the next 5 years, beginning with the first Rita’s opening in Chula Vista at Bonita Point Plaza in March 2014.
In the following months, Rita’s stores will open in Santee, Escondido, Rancho Penasquitos, Vista, Oceanside, Scripps Ranch, and San Marcos.
Rita’s Italian Ice, which is celebrating 30 years in business, has been aggressively expanding across the U.S., west to California, as well as internationally. In November, Rita’s opened its first-ever international store in Shenzhen, China, and last year, other franchisees opened the first California Rita’s stores in Carlsbad, Mission Viejo, Redondo Beach, Santa Clarita, and Santa Monica.
“Rita’s is proud to award our largest area development territory to date to Rita’s GP LLC,” says Jeff Moody, chief executive officer of Rita’s Franchise Company. “They are building a world-class company and, as such, have brought in industry veteran Kurt Kuyper as director of operations. Kurt will lead the team as they accelerate Rita’s growth throughout San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties in California.”