April 26, 2010 |
As the morning rush fades, businesses along this stretch of Brewerytown yawn to life. The ponytailed waitress at the corner diner serves a lone customer. Down the street, the owner of the vintage boutique separates handbags. Outside, Kenny Jackson pours soapy water on the concrete and scrubs the front of his family's fledgling water-ice business. His wife, Rebecca, sits at a table, hugging their cheerful 9-month-old son, as she goes over the day's menu. A few passersby wish them "Good morning" by name.
August 12, 2007 |
Michael Gray Sr. read about a shooting in Chester, in the neighborhood in which he grew up, raised his children, and drives around selling water ice. He wanted to do something about it, so he asked his children for advice. "They're teenagers, and they know more about the youth," Gray, 53, said. He and his 17-year-old twin sons, Michael II and Markus, came up with "I CAN I WILL," an organization that seeks to create art, business and other opportunities for children and young adults in Chester and the surrounding area.
July 8, 2007 |
Oh, go ahead, try some avocado ice cream. What's a vegetable doing in ice cream, you say? OK. Taste the grapefruit sherbet. But grapefruit's for breakfast, you say? Then how about the guava water ice? What is guava? OK, OK, plain vanilla. But sprinkled with chili powder, right? In Kennett Square on June 7, the corner store La Michoacana marked its fourth anniversary of offering such Latin American summer tastes to the Philadelphia region. "There are plenty of these, everywhere in Mexico," Noelia Scharon said in a recent interview.
June 10, 2007 |
When Jim Rudolph and his brother, Bill, bought Rita's Water Ice in May 2005, they were stunned by the amount of attention they got. "You have to remember, I'm not from Philadelphia," said Jim Rudolph, now Rita's chief executive officer. "I'm from Pittsburgh. " Rudolph didn't realize how popular Rita's was in the Philadelphia region, where it had been founded in 1984 by a firefighter trying to supplement his income. But McKnight Capital Partners - the Rudolph brothers' investment firm - didn't buy it for the strong Philadelphia connection.
September 20, 2005 |
As the days of summer dwindled to a precious few, I found myself looking back, and laughing, at some of the things that happened. Like the water-ice cake - one of those simple ideas that spiral wildly out of control. We were having a large family cookout at my cousins' house. My assignment: bring Popsicles for the kids. In a flash of inspiration, I thought, instead of Popsicles, I'll bring a water-ice cake. The cake is made up of several solid, round layers of water ice (your choice of flavor)
August 7, 2005 |
Some of the hottest days of the summer have made Crystal Serrano's business boom. The 14-year-old is one of several teenagers in a summer employment and training program presented by the Camden Center for Youth Development Inc. After a two-week training program in business development, the 13- to 18-year-olds began selling water ice and jewelry last month at various locations in Camden. As part of their training, the youthful entrepreneurs learn to write business plans, devise marketing plans, negotiate loans for start-up capital, and order supplies.
July 3, 2005 |
They surged toward the stage at 5:30 a.m. in a rush comparable to the running of the bulls in Spain, the Filene's Basement bridal gown sale, an Old West stampede: Thousands of music fans, desperate to get as close as possible to Destiny's Child, Stevie Wonder and the Dave Matthews Band. And most of them stayed there - many on their feet, some pressed against the metal barricades - all day. Farther back and on the outskirts of the crowd, families stretched on blankets, couples cuddled, and camaraderie built as strangers shared drinks and food.
May 5, 2005
Rita's Water Ice is one of those companies that makes customers forget it's a business. The Rita's ritual is not about money, after all. Well, very little money. A kids'-size Italian ice costs all of $1.13. Even a large ice is only $2.26. Where else can you buy summer bliss for your entire family for less than 10 bucks? A trip to Rita's is about savoring a sultry July evening, chatting with strangers in line at the walk-up window while kids frolic impatiently and fireflies ignite the balmy air. The red-and-white awnings beckon.
May 4, 2005 |
Pittsburgh has ordered a supersize helping of Philadelphia's favorite water ice. Family-owned McKnight Capital Partners of Pittsburgh bought Rita's Water Ice Franchise Corp. yesterday from Bob Tumolo, who founded the company in 1984 to supplement his income as a Philadelphia firefighter. The sale price was not disclosed. "It was at the right time. I've been doing this for 21 years," said Tumolo, 54, who owned 70 percent of the Bensalem company. His brother John owned the other 30 percent.
August 8, 2004 |
Corn ice cream? "Some people come in and think it's strange, but they have to remember, corn is sweet," explained Noelia Scharon, one of the owners of the La Michoacana ice-cream parlor on East State Street. Guava, cucumber, passion fruit and papaya are some of the dozens of traditional Mexican flavors that the shop serves - in water ice (resembling sherbet), ice cream, cones, and homemade ice pops. The store's employees are quick to offer customers samples. Scharon said many people who are at first reluctant quickly become believers, some even dusting the traditional chili powder or cinnamon atop their ice cream.