Rita’s brings Provo a delicious splash of Italy

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The East Coast-based shop Rita’s had people lining up out the door and around the building trying to get their hands on opening-day free Italian ice.

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The line wrapped around the building on opening day at Rita’s, as customers waited for their free Italian ice. (Photo by Jeffrey Allen)

Many treat shops offer incentives on opening day, but they usually don’t see crowds the size Rita’s did. The reason Rita’s stands out, according to regional manager Carolyn Krogh, is because Rita’s products are superior to their competition.

“It’s a very unique taste to Utah,” Krogh said. “It’s not like shaved ice, where the flavors are added after the ice is made. Our ice flavors are frozen together with the product, so the flavor is consistent all the way through.”

With an astounding 65 flavors, it’s no wonder people were willing to wait in line to get their hands on some of Rita’s desserts. While many came to experience this new take on frozen treats, some came to get a familiar taste of home. Maryland native Errin Ahern, a BYU sophomore majoring in family life/human development was excited to see the familiar shop.

“I love Rita’s,” Ahern said. “My family would go all the time. It was a huge deal.”

Mari Dvorakova, an LDS Business College student visiting from the Czech Republic, said, recalling her memories of Rita’s back in Maryland, “Today was fun to taste it again. It tasted good.”

Rita’s was the 2012 Zagat Survey winner for “best quick refreshment.” It offers Italian ice flavors such as Swedish Fish, Starbust and Cotton Candy, as well as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry custard. Options include Gelatis, Mistos (which are blended custard and Italian ice) and Blendinis (which are Mistos with toppings and blend-ins).

“I think we’ll do well here,” Krogh said. “The product we have will speak for itself, and we hope the quality service we provide will be personal for everyone that comes in and that they’ll just want to keep coming back.”

Rita’s is located at Bulldog Plaza, next to Papa John’s in Provo.

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