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)
April 25, 2012 |
A water ice shop owner who had just closed his store, was approached by two men early this morning as he entered the front door of his Philadelphia home, then robbed after being forced inside, police said. The 31-year-old victim, whose business is on West Chester Pike in Upper Darby, initially gave the bandits $420. But they forced him to a safe, which he apparently opened and gave them additional money. Police would not verify that amount, but initial reports put it in the thousands of dollars.
December 2, 2011 |
Investor David Moross' Falconhead Capital L.L.C., of New York, says it has bought a controlling interest in Trevose-based Rita's Water Ice Franchise Co. for more than $30 million from Pittsburgh's Rudolph family, which had owned the chain since 2005. The chain has 550 stores from Manhattan to Arizona, up from 319 concentrated in the Philadelphia area and the Jersey Shore six years ago. "Rita's has been obviously a very successful, high-growth, super-regional brand, [but]
August 26, 2011
WATER ICE IS A cherished summer institution in Philly, and those of us who skip dairy, whether for ethical, health or other concerns, can appreciate this cool vegan treat. Sorbet, Popsicles, frozen fruit bars and the like are also delish. But let's face it: "You can always have water ice [or sorbet]" is the cool-treat equivalent of "you can always have a salad. " Nothing against salad or water ice, but we sometimes want that singular richness and flavor associated with ice cream.
August 25, 2011
Water ice, soft-serve, and pierogis? It's a Port Richmond thing. When Stanley and Lisa Kopertowski reopened the Aramingo Avenue food stand Hank's, they drafted chef Stan Pliszka (Hinge Cafe), who has a solid handle on the Polish foods he grew up on. Most of his food, from kielbasa to beef, is sourced to the neighborhood. You have to try his pierogi - homemade farmer's cheese, sauerkraut, and dough, which his mother, Kathy, and fiancee, Cheryl Guy, come in to prep. Pierogis ($10 a dozen)
July 16, 2011 |
Standing in a sunny farm field Friday, Jason Leonard and Zachary Weiserth, both 9, acknowledged that they had never eaten squash, but, having just picked a boxful, they said they'd like to give the emerald veggie a try. They liked something else as well. "I like how we picked the plants to help other people who are in need," Jason said. Yesterday, Jason, Zachary, and 70 other Washington Township schoolchildren did both - harvested and helped. For about a dozen years, Duffield's Farm in Sewell and the Washington Township schools have joined to teach children about where their food comes from and the importance of helping those less fortunate.
July 13, 2011
IDISAGREE with columnist Elmer Smith regarding the Casey Anthony verdict. I don't feel "they got it right. " But the jury has spoken, and it is what it is. It's truly sad that an innocent child is dead and nobody will be held accountable. This young woman will have the death of her child on her mind, body, spirit and soul for the rest of her life. As a woman and a parent, I know we sometimes fly on emotion. But when cameras are allowed in the courtroom, the dynamic changes. The judge should have cut the cameras when people were fighting to get in, like the trial of a child's death was a circus, and they purchased tickets to enter.
July 7, 2011
"A cold slice of heaven. " That's how South Philly resident Mike Yampolski responded when asked to describe water ice during a recent visit to John's in South Philly. That poetic phrase is immediately understood by those of us for whom the treat is a key ingredient in our culinary experience. But it doesn't seem particularly helpful in describing water ice to the unenlightened masses beyond the Delaware Valley's boundaries. Water ice is easy to love, but explaining what it is to the unfamiliar is anything but simple.
July 6, 2011 |
THEY may scream for ice cream in Paducah, Peoria and Pittsburgh, but here in the City of Quakers and its environs, water ice satisfies that summertime craving for something sweet and cold. As 17-year-old South Philly resident Brooke White insisted so simply yet eloquently during a recent visit to John's Water Ice, at 7th and Christian Streets, the frozen concoction is "the best thing in the world. " While that assessment is surely open to debate, there's no denying water ice is as much a part of our region's culinary DNA as hoagies and cheesesteaks, despite it not having received the same level of publicity those two edible icons have.