Rita’s Italian Ice scooping real fruit flavors, customer smiles

Rita’s Italian Ice’s newest location in Ocala has been scooping up real fruit flavors and customer smiles since it opened at the beginning of September.

The new Italian ice and custard shop invited the Ocala Chamber and Economic Partnership to cut the ribbon on their new location at 2602 SW 19th Avenue Rd, Unit 201. The restaurant is situated near a few other new additions, including Red Crab and J Rocks Pizzeria.

Rita's Italian Ice and Frozen Custard in Ocala, Florida
Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard in Ocala, Florida

The new location is run by co-owners Amelia Denton-DeVore and Irv Rosen, who both left long careers in the medical and financial fields.

“Neither one of us has ever had a restaurant before,” said Denton-DeVore, who worked as an Orthotist Prosthetist for over 25 years before making the switch to Rita’s. She explained that making people happy has been at the root of her love for her previous career and her new business.

Amelia Denton-DeVore, co-owner of Rita's in Ocala
Amelia Denton-DeVore, co-owner of Rita’s in Ocala

“I like being able to create things. Whenever I see people eating their Rita’s on Facebook, I think ‘I made that.’ It’s kind of the same as when I was doing prosthetics orthotics, because I got a lot of pleasure if I’d see someone walk. I’d say ‘I made that,'” said Denton-DeVore.

Denton-DeVore went on to describe some of the elements that makes Rita’s so popular with customers, including a commitment to quality ingredients.

“There’s a watermelon flavor with actual watermelon pieces. The mango is like a mango puree,” said Denton-DeVore. To make their popular Florida Orange flavor, she cuts up fresh oranges purchased locally and includes them with every batch.

In addition to a wide variety of Italian ices, customers can select custards and Gelatis, which are combinations of Italian ice and custard.

A gelati at Rita's Italian Ice and Custard in Ocala, Florida
A gelati at Rita’s Italian Ice and Custard in Ocala, Florida

Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard is open every day from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can check out the Rita’ts Italian Ice and Frozen Custard of Ocala Facebook page for daily flavor updates. Make sure to let them know we sent you