Rita's is one of the coolest places to hang out once the weather warms up. Manager Erica Fuller tells us what's popular and why Rita's is such a delicious place to earn a paycheck.
191 N. DuPont Highway, Dover
Spring hours: noon to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Each year when the weather starts getting warmer, Kent Countians head to Route 13 for some cool desserts at Rita’s, including on March 20 when free Italian ices were available on the first day of spring.
Erica Fuller, 20, a full-time student at Delaware Technical & Community College and manager at Rita’s, has been one of those serving everyone’s favorite flavors of frozen custard, Italian ice or gelati for the past five years. She took a few minutes to sit down and share her experiences before heading quickly back to work.
Q What you do like about working at Rita’s?
A It’s a great seasonal job. I’ve been here since I was able to work at 15 and I come back every year. I love it.
The managers and boss are great. It’s a family atmosphere among all the workers. Many of them have been here as long as I have.
Q You’re a manager at only 20? What’s that been like?
A I really appreciate the opportunity. It not only looks great on your resume, but I’ve also learned so much.
Q Rita’s is known for its free water ice on the first day of spring. What is that day like?
A It’s complete chaos. I’m so happy I didn’t have to work this year; I didn’t ask off, I just wasn’t scheduled. The customers are usually pretty good but you have to rush around like crazy.
This year I heard there were twice as many people as last year. I don’t know if it was because it was on the weekend, the warm weather or maybe just more people know about Rita’s.
Q When do you get bigger crowds?
A That’s hard to say. It gets busier when people get off work and on the weekends, and when it’s hot obviously because people want something cold.
Q What are some of the most popular flavors right now?
A For Italian ice, mango is always popular; other popular ones are Alex’s Lemonade, Cherry and Swedish Fish Sweet Ice and even Cotton Candy. For frozen custards, it’s probably vanilla and chocolate, and for gelatis, maybe strawberry and mango.
Q If you could pick just one thing to order, what would that be?
A I love everything here I can say honestly. It’s mandatory for all employees to try every flavor. I guess it would be an Italian ice in Mango or maybe S’mores, which is getting discontinued.
Q Anything else you want to add about your job?
A We do need more boys to work here. Hopefully the ones that started this year will work out. They usually don’t last for as long as the girls; maybe they don’t like having to do so much cleaning or taking directions from girls.
Also my twin sister works here too and we are the only ones who can put different flavors side by side in the Italian ices — rather than one top of each other — so you can eat them at once.
Email Jayne Gest at firstname.lastname@example.org