At noon, it was overcast and chilly, not the forecast of 70 degrees promised for Friday. But that didn't stop the cutest family in town—the Zollars—from stopping by for a special cold treat.
Mom Jennifer, 3-year-old Lucy, 1-year-old Macy and Coaly (the family dog) were officially named the first customers of 2012 by Rita's owner Rob Marcus. Lucy ordered a custard with "prinkles" and her mom had a cherry Italian ice.
Mary Milton of Pasadena was second in line to buy gift cards. Next came Dori Lee and Hannah McVey of Broadneck High School. Dori is now in her fourth year of working at Rita's and stopped by to take advantage of her employee discount, joked her boss.
Marcus was working solo and always does on the first day until 2 p.m. when a shift comes in to work the afternoon. He was in the shop at 8 a.m. making fresh ice and said he enjoys the interaction with customers on his first day each season.
The next event will be on the first day of spring, March 20, when Rita's will give away free small Italian ice cups. Last year, 3,200 cups were given away and Marcus said he is expecting about the same—if not more—this year.