Rita's Italian Ice, the world's largest Italian Ice brand with more than 600 stores worldwide, announced the testing of a new cafe concept with the opening of a location in Albuquerque, New Mexico—the first of five Rita's Cafe stores in the U.S. The new concept is an exciting evolution of the brands' beloved frozen treat offerings, which in the select markets, will now include fresh donuts, coffee, and specialty drinks, in addition to its signature Italian Ice and famous Frozen Custard treats.

"Expanding our menu with fresh, custom donuts and coffee creations was an obvious choice for us," says John Small, vice president of international and concept development at Rita's Franchise Company. "As we looked to expand business hours to new dayparts, the cafe concept gave us the perfect opportunity to provide our guests with delicious, quality products that also naturally fit within our existing menu of famous frozen treats."

In addition to Rita's signature Italian Ice and Frozen Custard, the Rita's cafe menu will include unique donut creations such as Maple Bacon, French Toast, Chocolate Chip and Strawberry Shortcake, as well as create-your-own options like customizing a freshly made Vanilla Cake Donut with a variety of icings and toppings of choice. In addition to fresh donuts, Rita's Cafe will offer specialty beverages combining Rita's award-winning Frozen Custard with coffee, espresso, and hot chocolate, and will feature new items that combine fresh donuts into frozen treats such as a Donut Blendini, Donut Sundae, and Donut Milkshake.

The Rita's café concept will be tested in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Ammon, Idaho; Bloomington, Minnesota; and Scotts Valley, California, and are all anticipated to open in the first half of 2016.

News, Rita's Italian Ice