Just in Time for Summer: Rita’s Water Ice Opens in Greenville

Steve Wilkinson with his daughters and father-in-law Verino Pettinaro enjoy some of the very first water ice treats served up at Rita’s in Greenville

Summertime shoppers in Greenville’s Powder Mill Square will have a new way to beat the heat thanks to the timely opening of a new Rita’s Water Ice location in that popular 19807 venue.

Located in the longtime flagship location of Brew HaHa (they are now just across the parking lot), Rita’s opening has been anticipated since signs heralding their impending opening were first posted late last year.

The frozen treats won’t be the only thing served up new for that location: according to owner D’yani DeSantis, this is the first walk-in Rita’s in northern Delaware.

D’yani and Joe DeSantis opened their first franchise, Rita’s Water Ice, today in Greenville

“We are very excited. It’s been a very long time, but we’re ready to open our doors and serve up some delicious treats,” said DeSantis, acknowledging unforeseen construction issues and approvals that slowed their opening.

DeSantis, who has a background in food service, said Greenville was an appealing target for the business because their offerings amid upscale retailers, banks and restaurants would be unique.

“We are really excited about Greenville because there are no other sweet treats or frozen desserts in town.  We hope to have both outdoor seating and an area in the indoor patio as well (in front of Cromwells and Chico’s).”

The franchising venture is a first for DeSantis and her husband Joe DeSantis, who live in the Pike Creek area.

Northern Delaware’s first walk-in Rita’s Water Ice showcases all of the delicious flavors

“We actually happened to be driving past the Kirkwood store one day and we looked at each other and a lightbulb just kind of clicked, and the next day we reached out to the Rita’s franchise team and it just kind of started from there.”

DeSantis is proud of the many upgrades her particular store features. “It turned out absolutely great. This wallpaper over here, with the names of our offerings and cute word bubbles, is my favorite part of our interior design. I knew I had to have that when we were working on the store and the construction and design.”

According to DeSantis, the store is intentionally “very clean, very inviting and very bright,” with glass tile and attractive lighting features appropriate for the Greenville location. Digital display boards “make our Rita’s look fresh, hip and fun.”

“We will feature 10 to 12 flavors at our store every day while offering sugar-free ice as well. We plan to survey our guests as they’re coming in over the next couple of weeks to learn their favorite flavors.”

Powder Mill Square is owned and operated by Pettinaro Real Estate Company. CEO Greg Pettinaro says Rita’s was an attractive business for the shopping center because it is unique to the town and because the seasonality of their business will contribute to a greater balance regarding parking. Peak months for fashion retailers would be September to June, and Blythe, a new women’s fashion retailer, is set to open this August in the center.

Rita’s will be open daily (Mon thru Sun) from 11 am to 10 pm.


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About the Contributor

Christy Fleming

Christy Fleming

The managing editor of TownSquareDelaware.com, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.