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Local brings Pennsylvania-based Italian ice chain to south Orange County 

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By Andrea Papagianis

Nearly 15 years after being introduced to Rita’s Italian Ice, Ladera Ranch resident Reginald, or Reggie, Scales and wife Cherese are bringing the Pennsylvania-based, frozen dessert shop to Southern California. This week Scales opened his third location in Dana Point’s Lantern Bay Plaza with plans to expand the brand by 40 storefronts throughout the region over the next six years.

The doors at Rita’s opened Tuesday offering new patrons a free taste of the flavored, frozen concoctions. Guests can keep it simple with a traditional flavor, unadorned with fixings or try it Scales’s favorite way, topped with frozen custard.

Reggie Scales, a Maryland native, had his first Rita’s treat more than a decade ago, and it quickly became a Scales family staple. He moved to Southern California in 2004 and was amazed the brand hadn’t branched to the West Coast. Now, Scales and his wife are growing their Rita’s portfolio with shops in Mission Viejo and a second in Dana Point.

On Wednesday, local leaders and members of the business community turned out to welcome the Scales family, and Rita’s, to town. The Dana Point Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and guests were treated to frozen treats. Scales presented Kajsa James, mother of the late Maddie James, with a donation for the 5-year-old’s namesake foundation.

For more information on Rita’s Italian Ice, visit www.ritasice.com.

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