June 25, 2013 |
At first glance, having one customer account for a majority of a small business' sales would seem like a good problem to have. Keep that customer happy, and it will be a stable source of revenue. But many entrepreneurs would tell you that nothing keeps them up at night more than worrying about what might happen to their business should that big customer walk away someday. Certainly, that was on Rich Trotter's mind when the Jack & Jill Ice Cream Co. and its fleet of ice cream trucks accounted for 90 percent of the annual sales of S.R. Rosati Inc. , which he bought with some partners 16 years ago. Today, Trotter said he sleeps better because the 101-year-old water-ice manufacturer he owns in Clifton Heights generates the bulk of its sales from a different source: the cafeterias of hundreds of public schools in 35 states.
June 21, 2013
The deal: Damon Andreacchio toiled for 11 years at Morrone's Water Ice before opening his original Philly Flavors shop in Fairmount 12 years ago. (He has a second at 13th and Pine, and a third set to open in July on 19th Street near Market.) Details: 2004 Fairmount Ave., Open 9 a.m.-midnight, Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday. 215-232-7748. Inside: A clean, bright, red-white-and-blue shop with computerized menu on video screens. Plus about 80 flavors every day. The wait: 5 to 10 minutes on a recent afternoon, more on a hot summer night.
June 18, 2013 |
A crackdown is coming to Collingswood this summer. It's going to go down like this: A person of interest approaches on a bicycle. Appears to be age 12. A police officer moves in quickly and issues the tween a ticket. What did the kid get nabbed for? Wearing a bike helmet. The ticket awards one free water ice. Starting Friday, when school lets out for summer, borough police officers will be on the lookout for youngsters 12 and under who are doing the right thing: wearing their helmets while they ride their bicycles or scooters or while they skateboard or skate.
May 23, 2013 |
A fatal shooting outside a Rita's Water Ice shop in West Oak Lane left neighbors bewildered Wednesday as word spread of a crime that took place at a spot popular with families and children. Dyrell Brown, who stopped by the shop for a cool treat amid Wednesday's afternoon heat, said he was surprised to learn that it was the site of a shooting the night before. "I didn't know about anything like that," Brown said of the slaying. Police were called to the Rita's at Stenton Avenue and Haines Street at 9:27 p.m. Tuesday, where they found Marquine Pickett, 19, in the parking lot in front of the store with a gunshot wound to the chest.
May 7, 2013
I HAVE watched with interest the actions or, better yet, non-actions of the leaders of the Phila school system. Knowledge has a cost, but the only ones benefitting from that mindset are the superintendent and his generals. They need to implementing a more comprehensive strategy aimed at the majority of the students who have a desire to learn. They have placed too much blame on disruptive students, but when should the actions of a few supercede the desire of the majority? Get a backbone.
April 11, 2013 |
THE FIRST warm days of spring in Philadelphia mean water ice, walks in the park and the wearing of shorts. For a couple hundred rowdy teenagers who took to the street on Chestnut near 15th about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the warm weather meant a chance for mayhem. Police said the teens flooded the area, several fistfights broke out and 14 people were arrested. Police saw one fight erupt and were attempting to break it up when several of the teens began throwing bottles at officers, officials said.
September 30, 2012
Kelly McQuain teaches at Community College of Philadelphia Summer bullies us. Heat and humidity soar, backyard birdbaths become West Nile breeding grounds. Water ice brings on brain freeze if we eat it fast enough. Give me late September instead: cool evenings, crisp dawns, and the daylight hours in between still warm enough to make the most of the outdoors. With this in mind, my partner, John, and I set off with our friend Brian early on a Sunday to canoe the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
August 15, 2012
LIKE SO many transplants before her, Channel 10 meteorologist Sheena Parveen, a native of the Tampa Bay, Fla., area, has found herself falling in love with Philadelphia. As such, we asked her to answer some very Philly-specific questions: Phillies or Eagles? "I like baseball, but I could never choose one over the other. " Geno's or Pat's? "Uh-oh. I don't want to say. That's a dangerous question. No comment. " Manayunk or Old City? "Manayunk is really cool, and so is Old City, in different ways.
July 8, 2012 |
John A. Tumolo, 52, a founder of Rita's Water Ice, died of cancer Thursday, July 5, at his home in Yardley. Shortly after his brother, Bob, and mother, Elizabeth, opened Rita's Water Ice on Bristol Pike in Bensalem in 1984, Mr. Tumolo joined the business. Over the course of 20 years, the family water-ice stand grew into a well-known business with franchises in 11 states. After the Tumolo brothers sold Rita's in 2005, Mr. Tumolo opened several Saladworks in the area and two Wit or Witout Cheesesteaks, in Philadelphia and Brookhaven.
June 11, 2012 |
Bob Tumolo, who opened the first Rita's-brand summertime water-ice shop in 1984, was a city firefighter from South Philly who sold out, after 20 years, because growing the chain made him tired. And selling it made him rich. Jonathan C. Fornaci, who now runs the 600-store, $140 million-plus (yearly sales) franchise chain from Trevose, has had a career that reads like energy personified: He's a Berkeley-trained physicist, founder of a Silicon Valley venture consultancy (Atomic Tangerine)