For a South Jersey/Philly resident, Rita’s Water Ice (colloquially called “wooder ice”) is a summertime staple. Every year, families from the Greater Philadelphia area flock to their nearest Rita’s to cool off in the dog days of the heat to enjoy classic and new flavors.

Owner and manager of Rita’s Grant Avenue, Jordan Kasner, has been welcoming the community into his neighborhood Rita’s for the last 30 years, and he has seen some friendly faces come and go along the way. Jordan has had the privilege of making people happy by helping them cool off each summer, and was kind enough to invite our Weekend Philler crew out for an inside look at the magic behind the curtain when making a batch of Rita’s Water Ice. 

He gave a glimpse of the real Northeast Philly personality that helps build the close knit community, making this particular Rita’s location a true community spot. One of the best parts of owning this Rita’s for as long as Jordan has, is that he gets to see his former teenage employees from the early days come back as adults with kids of their own.

“We’ve seen a lot of the same customers… especially the employees. They started when they were teenagers, now they have families and they come back with their kids, husbands, and wives” Jordan laughed. 

Rita’s Grant Avenue long time employee Mary DeSimone smiles next to her Golden Pumper Award. Mary has pumped more tubs of water ice than anyone in the entire world during her time at Rita’s!

Whether you’re a Northeast Philly resident, or just in the area, make sure to stop by Grant Avenue for a refreshing cup of water ice this summer!