Rita’s, a franchise that started on a front porch in Philadelphia, has now made its way to Murfreesboro. They sell treats that are a mixture of ice and custard.
The franchise owner, Meghan Castor, was introduced to Middle Tennessee while visiting a friend from college and she fell in love with the area.
“I was actually training for the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, and after a long run one Saturday, I really wanted something refreshing. Rita’s, while it’s a dessert, it’s also really refreshing,” explained Castor.
She immediately called her dad and convinced him to join her business venture to open up the custard and Italian ice shop.
“The Italian ice is almost the texture of a Slurpee, but you have to eat it with a spoon. It’s made fresh daily. We have fruit based flavors, we have candy based flavors, and we have cream based flavors. The custard is different than soft serve, it’s richer and creamier.”
It is a treat Castor said is hard to explain and customers simply have to try it.
More than 67 flavors are made fresh daily in the batch machine, but their gelati, a mix of custard and Italian ice, is their most popular treat.
Castor has already seen customers travel from Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, even Chattanooga and Knoxville to visit on the weekends.
“The brand recognition has been incredible. We came in to the area thinking we would have to introduce this brand to a new market, and it’s been really encouraging the number of people who have come into the store and are so excited. Murfreesboro has been incredible. They’ve welcomed us with open arms.”
Castor hopes her Rita’s turns into a part of everyone’s home.
“We know people by name, and I don’t want it to be just another ice cream store. I want it to be an experience for people.”
Rita’s is open from noon to 10 p.m. everyday, but a grand opening party is set for September 5.
During the event, Castor will present a check to the Boys and Girls Club of Murfreesboro. The first 50 people in line who make a donation will get free Rita’s ice for a year.