There is no “Rita” at Rita’s of Bethel, the “Ice Custard Happiness” store that opened February 17 in the Stony Hill Corners plaza, at the corner of Route 6 and Hawleyville Road. “Rita” is an acronym for Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability, all values of the iced desserts store owned by Irene and Joe DeAngelis. The Philadelphia-area-based Rita’s Italian Ice franchise is one of two — with two more scheduled to open soon — owned by the DeAngelis family.
Inside the bright and cheerful storefront, customers can choose from 16 flavors of ice each day (including two sugar-free flavors), four custard flavors, plus shakes, gelati, sundaes, and Blendinis — a shake of ice and custard flavors. Twenty toppings or mix-ins range from peanuts to Gummi Bears to hot caramel. In the freezer, takeout selections include cakes and cookie treats.
Through June 30, Rita’s of Bethel is asking customers to donate $1 for a paper lemon to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the fight against childhood cancer. Named in honor of the late Alexandra “Alex” Scott, the foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) public charity, has raised more than $75 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding more than 375 research projects nationally, according to the DeAngelises.
There are a lot of other “cool” things about Rita’s of Bethel Ice Custard Happiness. One is the “Cool Catering” for groups of 25 or more. Rita’s Treat Team staff, ice drop off, set up, serve up and clean up are part of the catering service.
Additionally, Rita’s offers drop-off catering and “Rita’s on the Road” brings Italian ice to large events with mobile ice carts.
Find Rita’s of Bethel on social media at Facebook.com/ritasbethel, instagram.com/ritasofbethel, at twitter.com/ritasbethel, or the ritasofbethel.com website. Sign up for Rita’s Cool Alerts and know when your favorite of the 65 flavor options is in the cooler. Rita’s Mobile Loyalty Program earns free rewards or sign up online or at the store to be part of Rita’s e-Birthday Club.
Rita’s also hosts birthday parties and is happy to assist with fundraising.
“We wanted to open Rita’s stores in towns that had a nice neighborhood feeling,” said Ms DeAngelis, “and as we traveled in Connecticut and New York State, we found this location. Bethel has welcomed us with open arms and we love the town and people of Bethel.”
Rita’s of Bethel is open seven days of the week, from 11 am to 10 pm.