One of your New Year’s goals may be to hone your leadership skills. But first, ask yourself, what does it take to be an effective leader? To be a respected manager? To serve in a management position?
Rosati Ice’s customer and industry friend, Michael Vasquez, founder, CEO, Cibus Brokerage, has these answers and more. And he should. Formerly, a K-12 food service director in Texas for almost 20 years, he diligently oversaw a $25 million (WOW! This is NOT an exaggeration!) food service operation with 500 full-time employees and 60 cafeterias. These numbers are certainly staggering and quite impressive! Previously, he operated a restaurant for seven years and readily admits, “I love the food service arena.”
As a young manager, Michael was passionate about improving his leadership skills, so he diligently read up on the subject and jotted down management tips on simple index cards. His son, Eric, an English teacher and his daughter, Marcel, a PE coach, encouraged him to publish his insights and – after four years in the making – the “Cards for the Courageous” were printed, similar to a deck of playing cards. Michael stated, “It was an aha moment.” Now others can benefit from his experience. Check out www.berealeveryday.com for more info.
Leadership tip #1
“The operation needs to be about your staff and if your staff is safe and happy in the environment, they will take care of the students and give them their best.”
While serving as Ysleta Independent School District’s food service director, Michael received a sales call from Rosati’s President, Rich Trotter about his 111-year-old company’s smart-snack approved 4.4-ounce dairy-free, nut-free school cups. Rich had to invest time in the sales process due to schools’ bidding practices.
Leadership tip #2
“Management needs to be the example.”
Michael recalled his first impression of Rosati Ice, the nation’s first and the world’s best Italian Ice. “Any student would enjoy the colorful, entertaining cups. They are extremely fun! It’s something different for the school environment. It took a while for the cups to get on the rotation for the menus, but it all worked out. Every year we ordered American Hero (strawberry lemonade) Italian ice and rosy ‘moji (cherry lime/blue raz) 4.4-oz cups.” In addition, Vasquez ordered every flavor from the seasonal selection, such as Hip Hoppin’ and Chillin’ Bat, plus every flavor from the everyday options, such as happy birthday cups and Good Fortune Ice.
When I asked him about Covid, he shared, “We weren’t doing `a““ la carte at that time as the schools were providing free meals to the students.” Many of us (me included) aren’t familiar with `a““ la carte as it relates to schools, so here’s an explanation – a school can only sell an item `a““ la carte to their students if it meets regulations and is smart-snack approved. Rosati Ice’s school cups meet all the required regulations and the naturally colored, allergen-free, made from 100% fruit juice frozen treat is offered in schools across the country.
Founded in 2018, Michael’s company Cibus (Latin for food) Brokerage (a K-12 food brokerage company) “was developed to help our customers succeed. Rosati Ice’s President, Rich Trotter, was one of my first clients and others quickly came on board.” Michael chuckled, “As long as it’s edible, I represent it. Our background allows us to understand our customers and help with their needs.”
Leadership tip #3
“Ask for help. Leading is not always having answers.”
According to their website, “Cibus Brokerage was built on product knowledge, integrity, loyalty, and family.” Now that’s a leadership motto Michael and Rich can agree upon!
Aah …The holidays! Time for gift buying, tree decorating and cookie making. But more importantly, time for visiting with, and reconnecting with, friends and family. And our long-time distributor partner and friend, Peter Diaz, certainly knows the true meaning of family as second-generation owner of (ICDF) Ice Cream Distributors of Florida.
This legendary company’s humble roots date back to 1980 when Peter’s dad left communist Cuba. Peter states, “As an immigrant, he fell in love with the US and started a business. Early on, my dad worked multiple jobs. One as a night security guard and during the afternoons he would sell ice cream out of a truck.
In 1981, the company started in mobile vending with the purchase of a Bordens’ Ice Cream truck. Little by little, the company grew to 150 ice cream trucks. These trucks provided employment and “helped immigrants coming into this country,” recalls Peter.
“My parents, Pedro and Carmen, are a unique couple. My mom ran the books, enrolled in college, and earned a degree in Business Administration and Accounting. My dad knew how to grow a business and the need to look forward.”
A few milestones to note are in 1994 they started their distribution division; in 1996 they branched out to DSD (direct store delivery); in 2000 they expanded to a larger warehouse, then five years later they created their special events division. Impressive growth by a company founded by an immigrant!
According to Peter, “I grew up in the business, it was my life and I fell in love with the industry, especially the mobile vending side.” No coincidence that his passion for the industry has been passed on to his two daughters, Cristina and Lina, who work alongside him while his son, Peter, proudly serves in the Army.
Throughout the years, faith and hard work have been a constant. “‘Work as hard as you can and push yourself to get better every day’ was instilled in me by my parents,’ states Peter.
With three channels of distribution – DSD (direct store delivery), special events and mobile vending, Diaz, his family, and his team keep busy all year long.
ICDF’s relationship with Rosati dates back to the mid ‘90s when Peter met Rich Trotter, President, Rosati Ice. According to Rich, “Peter puts his people before himself. He has grown the business from one site in Miami to multiple sites covering the whole state.”
What do Peter, his team and his customers like about Rosati? “The quality, it’s not just ice, its creamy, consistent flavor profile is good. Crybaby is well known. Flexibility with new products. Rosati Ice’s business model – small, family-owned business – fits in perfectly with ours,” states Peter. Rich Trotter wholeheartedly agrees!
Everyone has their favorite dairy-free, nut-free Rosati Ice flavor (me included, mine is mango Italian ice). Peter likes crybaby sour cherry. “It’s the kid inside me,” chuckles Diaz. “I go to it every time.” And who wouldn’t, with its fun packaging and lip-puckering sour taste?!
For their three distribution channels and to satisfy their customers’ tastes, this season ICDF purchased (hold onto your lid, this is quite an impressive list) 6-ounce Rosati Ice in blue raz, cherry, emoji, lemon, watermelon, crybaby apple, crybaby cherry, crybaby watermelon. Along with 10-ounce Italian ice in cherry, coconut, cotton candy/blue raz, crybaby sour apple, horchata, lemon, lemon/lime, mango, mangoneada, patriot, pina pineapple, sugar freez cherry, sugar freez mango, tropical rainbow, and watermelon. Plus, 2.5-gallon tubs in blue raz, cherry, crybaby sour apple, pina colada, and pineapple. That’s the majority of Rosati’s SKU’s!
Businesses in the food industry – from manufacturers like Rosati Ice to distributors such as ICDF – have all been impacted by COVID and shortages, not only with employees but with ingredients and supplies. Peter admits, “Everyone pulled through. We pushed and pushed and saved and saved till we came out of it.” His company’s multiple locations with a total of 42 employees are a testament to his integrity and persistence. We know his parents are proud!
The Diaz and Rosati families wish you all a blessed Holiday season. Try something new this season; toast the New Year with a refreshing cup of Rosati Italian Ice.
50 E. 10th Street
Hialeah, FL 33010
480 27th Street
Orlando, FL 32806
Resilience. When you read, see, or hear that word, what do you think of? Who do you think of? For me, it’s Hamed Seresty, VP Operations, Rosati Ice, who oversees purchasing, manufacturing, logistics, storage, shipping, and moreover, customer satisfaction for this 110-year-old Italian Ice manufacturer in suburban Philadelphia.
First off, where did his resilience come from? Who sparked it? Growing up in Iran with his older brother and younger sister, Hamed saw his parents deal with endless hardships and their “not giving up” attitude. No matter what the hardship, his parents always “managed to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” (That’s admirable and we all can learn this life lesson.)
“My parents always encouraged us to go after our dreams and supported what we needed.” For example, along with his brother, Hamed started a business manufacturing equipment for other manufacturers. Meanwhile, his dad had a business and assigned a part of his building to their venture.
Hamed, his former wife and eight-month-old baby son came here in 2013. He was determined to provide his family with a better life than what they left, despite numerous odds – no family connections, language barriers, all the while learning the culture and the job market. Again, his resilience was put to the test, but Hamed came out smiling and landed his dream job in 2015 AND became a U.S. citizen in 2018. (I was blessed and proud to witness the event.)
After a few odd jobs, Hamed applied for Rosati’s Production Manager Assistant job via Craig’s List. Rich immediately realized his value and within two weeks, promoted him to Production Manager, a year later to Plant Engineer and in early 2016 to VP Operations. Hamed admits, “I started with Rosati just to pay my bills, then I fell in love with the people and found a great man to work with.”
Hamed’s education has served him well in his career. He earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on production and manufacturing. “The manufacturing process from A to Z,” states Hamed. “I love to study and continuing my education is important to me.” With a huge smile on his face, he shared with me that he recently started the MBA program at West Chester University. “It’s meaningful to me personally.”
Hamed continues, “Try to do right by other people, our family and ourselves,” is his personal motto. And it certainly shows in how he treats his family, friends, coworkers, vendors, and customers.
Hamed’s resiliency was certainly tested during COVID, but like all his challenges, it “taught me good lessons.” He attributes Rich’s positive attitude and – like his parents’ – the “not giving up” mentality for sustaining him during this stressful time.
According to Rich Trotter, President, Rosati Ice, “Hamed is the heart and soul of Rosati’s operations. During the pandemic, Hamed deftly kept the plant running and our people’s spirits high as we navigated through the most difficult challenge of our century-old business’ existence.”
Hard days are gonna go. Resilient people are gonna stay. (I think we need that on a plaque in our homes and offices.)
One of Hamed’s greatest accomplishments has been the process to bring state-of-the-art technology to a plant built in the mid ‘50’s. After studying, evaluating, and interviewing manufacturers, in 2018, three continuous freezers were installed to replace 24 batch freezers run by four employees. The results are outstanding! The new technology needs no manpower, uses 30% less electricity, and increases production by 100%. Who else but a gifted, determined, mechanical engineer could have accomplished that, all the while getting orders out on time? (I am blown away by Hamed’s brilliant mind!) Hamed admits, “All hands were on deck during the transition.”
When Hamed is not at work, he is either ON or IN his boat. Currently, he is refurbishing the engine. “During a tough time, boating helped me mentally,” he confides. “I enjoy taking my son, Parham, out for a few hours on the Delaware River.”
The Rosati family wishes Hamed and his son nothing but smooth sailing. Let’s see where the family tradition of resiliency will take them. And Rosati Ice.
44 Years in Business
A Fleet of 55 Trucks
Those numbers are both impressive and staggering! But, then again, if you knew the family and the company behind them – Ice Cream Wagon in Commerce City, CO – their determination, business acumen and adaptability, you wouldn’t be surprised.
“Not just buying ice cream, creating a memory” is the slogan on Ice Cream Wagon’s website. The original owners from Italy – Joe and Vince – along with their sons, Johnny, Fausto, and Antonio and son-in-law, Paul have created memories for not only their families, drivers, staff, and vendors, but also their hundreds of customers.
Johnny shared with me the first memory of his father, his uncles and grandpa coming to America from Italy in the ‘50’s when they started a mobile vending business. Long story short, some relatives moved back to Italy, while others returned, like Joe and Vince who founded the company in 1978.
“They built custom-made carts and when we were all young, we pushed them. Then, when we were old enough, we drove the ice cream trucks. There was a running joke in our family back then about child labor laws.”
The memories continue with what has helped the company survive and thrive throughout the years. Johnny states, “We are consistent in our hard work. We put our nose to the grindstone for a solid six months +. We are there day in, day out to keep the company moving forward. Nothing happens without this ingredient.” Sound business advice, Johnny.
Recent memories of COVID were shared. According to Johnny, “COVID was interesting for us. We followed all of the COVID guidelines and didn’t skip a beat. We did lose some drivers however, luckily. we received an influx of students, especially out-of-work musicians. We managed to build a crew of aspiring musicians. That never happened before.”
But by far, THE all-time best memories are of the kids. Johnny shared, “Kids call the office and send us letters and ask ‘When will your truck be on my street?’ When we get requests like that, it’s awesome. Our drivers come back to our office and share the kids’ comments about the joy they bring to their neighborhoods.”
Big kids have fond memories too, like the Denver Broncos who enjoyed a refreshing treat during their football camp and the Delta Airlines’ and Lockheed Martin’s employees, just to name a few of their corporate accounts.
The company sells a selection of frozen treats from Good Humor, Klondike, Popsicle, Rosati Ice, and Rich’s Ice Cream. Johnny states, “Our menu hovers around 15 items or so. We have found this to be an effective number giving the customers plenty to choose from.”
Another fond memory is meeting Rich Trotter, President, Rosati Ice, at the annual convention. When they first started carrying Rosati Italian Ice, “we just put it on our trucks. We didn’t have any massive campaign. Our trucks are our campaign,” declares Johnny.
Ice Cream Wagon’s trucks carry Rosati’s dairy-free, nut-free, Italian Ice in 10-ounce cups in lemon lime and 6-ounce Crybaby cherry and “they fly off the trucks. Over the years, we have tried different flavors, but these are the best ones for our market. We really do like the Rosati Italian Ice product and we, as well as our customers, would hate to see our menu without it.” You got that right, Johnny!
There are memories in the chorus music too that is played on their trucks. Customers recognize their trucks by the tune – “Red Wing.” Over the years, they have received so many questions about the jingle that its history is posted on their web site. It’s an intriguing story and worth checking out.
The families and teams at 110-year-old Rosati Ice and 44-year-old Ice Cream Wagon will certainly create more memories and undoubtedly adapt to more challenges. Chime on!
Ice Cream Wagon
6801 Colorado Blvd.
Commerce City, CO 80022
While Rosati Ice’s (suburban Philadelphia, PA) and Miky’s Ice & Ice Cream’s corporate offices (El Paso, TX) are separated by thousands of miles, these family-owned companies share similar humble beginnings and father-son partnering.
First off, both companies started in homes and, as demand grew and more space was needed, they built their offices and warehouses. Next, as the owners’ sons attended high school, the teenagers worked part-time and joined their fathers full-time upon graduation. Sean Trotter, son of Rich Trotter, President of Rosati Ice, heads up the school side of the business. Whereas, Miquel Castillo, eldest son of owner, Demetrio Castillo, manages the block ice and bagged ice component of their business.
According to their Facebook home page, Miky’s Ice & Ice Cream is a “wholesale ice cream and concession company committed to providing the most affordable and quality products.”
Miguel shared the company’s history with me. His dad worked at a factory and in his time off he “did ice cream.” In 2000, his dad was laid off because his employer moved their operations to Mexico. Already knowledgeable of the ice cream industry, Demetrio devoted ALL of his time to his new company when Miguel was only ten years old.
“Dad bought an ice cream truck, then another one and employed his father-in-law as his second employee. In 2002, he had four trucks in his backyard, all he could fit. Dad had to buy the lot he’s in now. Later, he bought two more lots and expanded to 15 trucks in 2011.”
When asked about the origins of the company name, Miguel reminisced, “I’m the eldest of three kids, so maybe from my name. But possibly it’s from the drawings of Mickey Mouse on the trucks. Not sure which came first.”
Like other mobile vendors, COVID impacted their business. On the positive side, “the first year of COVID – with people being home more – sales were in the thousands, versus a typical day’s sales of $400. We downsized to eight trucks, as no one is interested in vending. Seems to be the cycle,” states Miguel.
As for the negative COVID effects, product shortages affected their sales and, as usual, they became resourceful. Miguel states, “Because we are located in a border town, we got good at exporting ice cream. Prices held steady up until this year.”
One product they are never short of is dairy-free, nut-free, refreshing Rosati Italian Ice. “I’ve known Rosati Ice as a teenager due to crybaby.” Farmers Select was selling Rosati Ice in the 90’s and 2000’s and business grew due to adding this new novelty item. “We’ve been buying Rosati Ice for at least 15 years, could be 20.”
For this season, they have 6-ounce cups of rosy’moji (cotton candy/blue raz), crybaby cherry, crybaby watermelon and 10-ounce cups of cherry, coconut, lemon lime, mango, and patriot selling on their trucks.
Everyone has their favorite Rosati flavor. For Miguel, his dad, and their adult customers, it’s mango. (And mine too!) “The kids love Rosati’s crybaby and rosy ‘moji.”
Finally, before the country shut down due to COVID in March 2020, Rich Trotter traveled to Texas and shared quality time with Demetrio and Miguel. Rich concludes, “The Castillos are a hard-working family, and they are great to work with.” And the generational bond continues!
Miky’s Ice & Ice Cream
120 Walker Street
El Paso, TX 79905
Luke Bryan’s “Most People Are Good” song is playing as I write this and it’s so appropriate for this close-knit, hard-working family’s story. Because, yes indeed, Tina Turner, together with her husband, Timothy, and their two teenage children, Tyrrione and Tyvon, are more than good!
Both Tina and Timothy worked for their home state of Louisiana, but always had an itch to start a business. They were looking for something, but not sure what. Situations arose again and again that led them to their current destination.
The journey to their current scoop stand and mobile vending business started in 2008 with a trip to New York. While there, Tina and Timothy tasted Italian Ice, which was not well known in their hometown of Baton Rouge, LA. Tina recalls, “Everyone liked it and we had others try it too.”
Then, they helped at their children’s school’s fundraisers by selling snow cones. Their interest was piqued further when someone asked “Have you ever heard of Italian ice?” This dairy-free, nut-free, frozen novelty was different than snow cones, so they purchased 2.5-gallon buckets from another vendor.
The couple officially started their business in 2010 with “cooler buckets from a local guy,” recalls Tina. In 2014 they bought a cart and bread truck from a man who was closing his business in Alexander, LA. Another sign of what was meant to be? Divine intervention? “Definitely,” when I asked Tina.
The rep informed Tina he had the Rosati brand and “We became hooked ever since. We tried three brands of Italian ices, but we knew immediately Rosati was gonna be our pick”. (I’ve heard this sentiment numerous times over the years from Rosati’s other distributors).
Tina continues, “Rosati Ice is on a totally different level, different texture and true flavors.” BTW, her favorite flavors are mango and lime.
Their mobile vending business was about to expand to brick and mortar. A building nearby was going to be torn down by the former owner, “a Christian man,” Tina states. “We left him notes that we wanted to rent the building. In 2020, we bought the building and opened up Ty-Ty’s Italian Ice & Concessions in 2021.”
In the beginning, the couple desperately wanted Rosati Italian Ice, but there were no local distributors who sold it. Determined, “we put freezers on the back of our truck and drove four hours to Houston to pick up Rosati’s tubs from Southern Ice Cream. Next, we met their driver halfway to get Rosati Ice.” After working on the logistics, the Rosati team now deliveries 2.5-gallon tubs of refreshing Italian Ice directly to their warehouse.
Tina and her family couldn’t have been happier. “We felt a part of the Rosati family when we first contacted them.” And their customers feel like they are a part of the Turner family. “Families meet up at our stand. It’s been amazing!”
Fun is the Flavor of the Day. Every Day.
Ty-Ty’s Italian Ice & Concessions carries Rosati Ice in traditional flavors like blue raz, cherry, lemon, lime, mango, strawberry, and watermelon. And there’s more – American Hero (strawberry lemonade), bubble gum, classic rainbow (cherry, lime, blue raz), cotton candy, crybaby rainbow (sour cherry, sour blue raz, sour apple), cry baby apple, passion fruit, pina colada, pineapple, root beer, sugar-free cherry, sugar-free lemon, and tropical rainbow (cherry, lime, pineapple). What a selection!
The stand’s top selling flavor is Crybaby rainbow. But Tina and her crew didn’t leave it up to Rosati to mix the flavors to create a colorful, flavorful treat. They have mixed every combination imaginable – pina colada, cotton candy and mango, for example. They are legendary for their multiple flavors colorfully scooped together so most customers simply say “Make me a surprise of the day.” Personally, I love the Rosati Ice combination where the colors in the clear cup matched their customer’s nails!! And why not? Fun is the flavor of the day. Every day!
Family is paramount in every aspect of the business. For example, the name Ty-Ty’s is derived from Tyrrione, her daughter’s name and Tyvon, her son’s name. “We started the business for our children, something they can do at a young age, like greet customers and hand out napkins. Our children feel like it’s their business.”
There’s that Luke Bryan song again, “….most Mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood.” (I nominate Tina.)
Luke summed it all up, ”I believe most people are good.” Amen! And thanks to Tina and her remarkable family for being a part of the Rosati Ice family.
Ty-Ty’s Italian Ice & Concessions
We Chill All Occasions
10064 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70815
Think about this. If you owned a food manufacturing company and wanted to launch a new product across the country, who would you contact to design your packaging and point-of-sale (POS) materials? A start-up design firm? A general marketing company? Or a graphic designer with decades of experience in the food industry?
Well, for Rich Trotter, President, Rosati Ice, he chose the latter and together with his Rosati customers, they are grateful he reached out to Ed Fenimore, owner, Macadoodle, Inc – a Graphic Design and Product Development Company in suburban Philadelphia.
Their relationship began with a simple question. Decades ago, Rich was on a sales trip in southern Florida and with his likeable, charming approach – and his samples of Rosati’s Italian ice cups – he walked into an ice cream wholesaler’s office and asked, ‘What’s new in kids’ novelties?’ Without hesitation, the man said, ‘Cry Baby® Extra Sour Bubble Gum’. To Rich, these words were comparable to the word “plastics” in the movie The Graduate. The addition of Cry Baby® Extra Sour flavor helped Rich take Rosati’s full flavor, refreshing Italian Ice across the country for the FIRST time.
Ed grew up in the food industry because his grandfather and father founded SWELL® – Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation and were known for their trademarked Swell® bubble gum and El Bubble® bubble gum cigars. The company started making the rubber gum base in their Germantown plant in 1946 to supply the many bubble gum manufacturers across the United States. As business increased, they found it necessary to expand and moved to Havertown in 1948 to begin their production of a full line of bubble gum and dextrose pressed candies. In the early 90’s, they launched Cry Baby® Extra Sour Bubble Gum.
You’ve heard the expression; “some folks can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.” For people chewing this new flavor sensation, Ed recommended, “Don’t chew while you are driving.” He recalled one customer who didn’t listen to this advice and then admitted to pulling over in their car to chew the gum as it was SO sour. As for another customer, “His eyes did backflips!”
Upon returning from his trip to Florida, Rich reached out to Ed and his dad. Ed fondly recalls, “Rich and my dad are cut from the same cloth. By the time the sales meeting was over, both Rich and my dad had tongues brightened with the many Rosati Water Ice flavors. We ended up licensing the Cry Baby® name to Rich at about the same time he bought Rosati from the former owners.”
Twenty-five years ago, Rosati Ice’s Cry Baby® flavors accounted for 95% of summer sales and helped Rich get his foot in the door at schools throughout the country. Currently, Cry Baby® is the number ONE selling Rosati Ice flavor.
Throughout his tenure, Ed oversaw his family firm’s graphic design department. When the company’s customer base drastically shrunk, the company was sold. Armed with an impressive portfolio of nationally known product packaging designs, Ed started his company Macadoodle, Inc in February 2006. His designs are bold, colorful, fun, and entice customers to buy the products.
According to Ed, “Rich has a great eye for what he’s looking for. He can see a raw concept and mentally take it to the finished product. He’s a great partner to work with.” This sentiment is mutual for Rich too.
Rosati’s customers rave about the design of the POS materials, especially the decals that adorn ice cream trucks selling Rosati Ice’s dairy-free, fat-free 6-ounce and 10-ounce Italian ice cups, from coast to coast.
While there may be 100+ SKUs of Rosati Italian Ice, there is only one Ed Fenimore and his signature design styles are evident in Rosati Ice’s packaging, banners, signs, flavor boards, decals, posters, brochures, stickers, and t-shirts. Over the last 20 years, Ed has spruced up and modernized the Rosati rose logo and today it remains the symbol of American’s First and the World’s Best Italian ice.
“One door closes and another one opens.” That scenario came true for Rosati Ice’s newest distributor, Bill Foley, owner, Kansas City Ice Cream Company. In 1988, his job at Frosty Treats ended and he decided to start a mobile vending company. Previously, he managed a country club and sold real estate, so he was prepared to be a new business owner.
For the past 25 years, Kansas City Ice Cream Company has been a master Blue Bunny distributor offering their popular ice cream cups, bars, sundaes, and cones on their trucks. But in 2020, COVID changed that relationship and their supplier drastically reduced their product mix. A (freezer) door closed, but not for long. Unable to receive enough variety of frozen treats to keep their trucks stocked, Bill Foley, along with his wife, Deb, knew about Rosati Ice and decided to purchase several pallets of Rosati’s 6-ounce and 10-ounce Italian ice cups.
There was an upside to COVID, however. “According to Deb, 2020 and 2021 were our two most profitable years in business. Everyone was home the first year of COVID and folks had tons of money the second year. Lots of people still work from home, so this year should be a good one too.”
“Our drivers love the rosy ‘moji (cotton candy blue raz) cups,” boasts Deb. “As for me, I like the mangoneada. Rosati Ice is like velvet. I adore it”! Their top selling Rosati Ice flavors are American Hero (strawberry lemonade), patriot (cherry, lemon, blue raz) and lemon. The Foleys discovered that Rosati Ice is an ideal menu addition to sell on their ice cream trucks for their customers that want a refreshing dairy-free, nut-free frozen treat.
For this season, they purchased American Hero (strawberry lemonade), cotton candy blue raz, patriot (cherry, lemon, blue raz), lemon, mangoneada, pina pineapple, tamarindo, tropical rainbow (cherry, lime, pineapple), and Crybaby cherry.
When asked how many trucks they have on the road, Deb answers “26.” And how does she quickly remember the number? “We name our trucks by letters of the alphabet,” Deb states. (What a great idea!)
Kansas City Ice Cream Company has sold ice cream treats and novelties – and, since 2020 Rosati Italian Ice – “from vans, mail trucks, pickups, rolling carts, concession trailers, and out of coolers” according to their web site. They also sell to area convenience stores and private schools.
To help grow their business and branch out into special events, the Foleys got affiliated with Ice Cream on Wheels. “It’s wonderful, states Deb. “They get all of the event details, and they bill for the event.”
With their “endless selection of sweet treats” (as promoted on their web site), the Foleys opened their doors to Rosati Ice. Rich Trotter, President, Rosati Ice, concludes “Bill & Deb Foley have been a pleasant and steady presence in the Kansas City region for decades. Not only are they astute business operators, they are open to new ideas and products that serve them and their customers well! We are grateful to have them as friends and Rosati Ice vendors”!
A Kansas City Tradition Since 1989
5300 Gardner Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64120
Rosati Ice supports the fundraising efforts of Holy-Myrrh-Bearers Ukrainian Catholic Church to help the people of Ukraine with a limited-edition flavor I Stand With Ukraine. Blue Raspberry and Lemonade water ice as a tribute to the Ukraine flag. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this product will be donated to Holy Myrrh-Bearers Ukrainian Catholic Church in support of their continued efforts on behalf of those affected in Ukraine. The limited edition I Stand With Ukraine Italian ice will also be available in all Jeff Brown ShopRite supermarkets, various ice cream scoop shops and mobile vending/ice cream trucks beginning May 1st, 2022. See photos of our event on Tuesday, May 3rd at 8:30 am at 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, PA.
Monetary Donations can be made to : HMB Church
Mailed to Holy Myrrh-Bearers Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at the address above.
The name “Mobile” Ice Cream is very fitting for our long-time distributor friends in Ashland, VA for two reasons. First, Miklos “Miki” Jona’s company has 40 ice cream trucks (up from 7 trucks when the company was started in 2003) on the road delivering frozen treats to neighborhoods and offering them at special events, birthday parties and daycares. Thus, this family-owned company is categorized as a “mobile” vendor in the ice cream industry.
Second, Miki, his wife, Aniko Levai, and their two teenage sons live a “mobile” lifestyle traveling in their RV across the country. Not your average office. But then again, Miki is not your average business owner. First generation Hungarian immigrant Miklos, states, “When the pandemic started two years ago and our sons were home, we didn’t want them sitting around, so we decided to travel while they attended school virtually. And, boy, did they travel! From sea to shining sea. For example, they lived in California for six weeks and recently, they spent time in Arizona, and they will be “mobiling” to Niagara Falls this spring.
When Rich Trotter, President, Rosati Ice, and I chatted with Miklos, he and his family were in the Florida Keys (since mid-December) and Miki admitted, “My kids don’t want to leave.” I didn’t want to leave the zoom interview because his travel stories were so fascinating. During our visit, his sons -ages 11 and 13 – squealed with delight in the background; they just caught a grouper and wanted to share their catch with their father. Previously, they caught two different types of sharks. What wonderful life lessons! Rich and I will fondly remember the view we got on our zoom cameras and a proud dad sharing this special time with his sons … and with us.
I am always curious about the origins of Rosati’s customer relationships. Miki shared that previously he worked for Ron Bright, one of Rosati’s customers, and met Rich Trotter at a convention. “I purchased Italian ice from other companies, but Rosati’s is better. Like me, our customers like Rosati’s product quality and variety.” You got that right because Rosati Ice’s taste, texture and color is legendary with more than 200 SKUS from 4-ounce school cups to 2.5-gallon tubs for scoop shops. All made in a dairy-free, nut-free facility in suburban Philadelphia.
For last season, Miki brought in refreshing Rosati Ice’s 6-ounce cups in crybaby sour apple, crybaby sour cherry, rosy ‘moji, and lemon, along with 10-ounce cups of Rosati’s Italian Ice in cherry, cotton candy blue raz, crybaby sour apple, mango, and watermelon
“Miki claims “We sold out of all our Rosati Italian Ice inventory.” And why not, when Rosati Ice is America’s first and the World’s best Italian ice!
For this season, Miki plans to add Rosati’s mangoneada cups to his menu for his huge Hispanic market. After all the challenges of the last two years, Miki is optimistic and says “Hopefully, it will be a good season.”
Not only do Miki’s sons attend school remotely but he and his office manager, Kristen Allen, work remotely as well. “Kristen is the glue that holds it all together. She’s great”, boasts Miki. Miki is not the only entrepreneur in the family. Aniko, his multi-talented, tech-savvy wife has her own successful business – placeofmytaste.com – chock full of decorating ideas. Check out the photos of their festively decorated RV. So much creativity in one small space. And, in ONE family!
I was so blessed to witness these two fathers – and business owners – share their hopes and dreams for their children and their industry on the zoom interview. “You are living the life you want to live,” Rich concluded, and Miki cheerfully and proudly agreed. Happy trails to you, traveling man, your beloved family, and your awesome team.
11186 Hopson Road
Ashland, VA 23005
The title of Grateful Dead’s classic 70’s rock song, Truckin’, came to mind after my interview with Brian Collis, owner, Mr. Ding-a-Ling, one of Rosati’s longest mobile vending customers.
You see, Brian has been in the driver’s seat for more than four decades. The wheels started turning in high school when Brian saw an article in “Parade” magazine about Good Humor trucks. He saved the article and started working for a local company for two years.
When asked about his early beginnings, Brian’s brain revved up. “I purchased my first truck in Chicopee, MA and brought it to Albany, NY. It was the only truck in the area in 1974-1977. In 1979, I added three trucks, added 12 in 1989, 26 in 1999 and now I have 60 trucks all together. We became incorporated in 1991.”
Early on, Brian kicked the tires and sampled a few companies’ Italian ices before he decided what to carry on his trucks. While attending the IAICDV convention in the fall of 1998, Brian met Rich Trotter, President of Rosati Ice, and sampled the flavorful offerings. Rosati Ice quickly outsold a competitor’s brand tenfold. And, coupled with Rosati’s appealing packaging and graphics, Collis knew he’d have a winner.
To prepare for the season, Brian buys a truckload of dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free Rosati Italian Ice: 10-ounce cups in crybaby sour apple, cotton candy/blue raz, watermelon, lemon, lemon lime, and mango; 5-ounce typhoon cone cups in blue raz lemonade; 6-ounce cups in crybaby sour cherry and yellow snow.
As a long-time business owner, I asked what he would advise folks today about starting a mobile vending business. Brian shares, “It’s a lot harder now. You need at least $3M to start. It’s less expensive to go into the wholesale business.”
Brian, along with his wife, Victoria, and their drivers were anything but asleep at the wheel this year. In fact, despite sales losses in most industries due to COVID, they experienced record sales. “Drivers told me they wish COVID would last 10 years. People were throwing money at them. Two years ago, it was a ghost town with folks away during the summer. Not this season, with people working from home.”
Of course, Brian and his crew have many wonderful memories, but this latest one is the winner.
Folks from the HBO series “Pretty Little Liars” contacted Collis as they wanted to film a scene with his truck in the background. While no actors ate any of the novelties live on the show, after the shoot people did enjoy some. Brian recalls, “We sat there for five hours with all of the cuts and retakes, the camera man was right in front of our van.” (How cool is that?!)
Rich’s and Brian’s mutual admiration and friendship is evident; Brian still has the letter Rich sent him in the late 90’s.
“Brian is one of my oldest friends in the business. In 1998, Brian brought Rosati Ice to Albany, NY, for the first time and, to this day, no fleet of trucks carry more Rosati items than Mr. Ding-A-Ling trucks. I am blessed to have Brian as a friend.”
Keep on truckin’ Brian, Victoria, and your team. Rosati Ice will be with you the entire ride!
324 Old Niskayuna Road
Latham, NY 12110
When I think of legendary brother and sister teams, I immediately think of Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele. (No, I’m not THAT old, I’m just a big fan of classic movies!). In the ice cream industry, there’s a brother and sister who have faithfully and passionately continued their dad’s legacy (a pioneer in the industry) with our long-time customer, County Wide Ice Cream Distributors – Lloyd “Jesse” Jose, and Lori Huether.
Let’s flashback to the 60’s. (I can still do the twist, can you?) Do you remember the days when the Good Humor man wore the impeccably pressed white uniform and proudly drove the – now iconic – Good Humor Truck…certainly a beloved piece of Americana? Well, that was H. Lloyd Jose, their dad.
His work ethic, coupled with his love of children and the business, repeatedly earned Lloyd the prestigious “Top Salesman of the Year” award. Consequently, Lloyd was promoted to District Manager, trained, and managed a large team of drivers. During those years, Lloyd’s, son, Jesse worked while on his summer breaks from school. Things were footloose and fancy-free until the 70’s.
Now, on to the 70’s (and my favorite decade, Disco dancing) and sadly, the end of an era; Good Humor discontinued their street vending segment, thus motivating Lloyd to start his ice cream distribution company in Holtsville, NY. His son, Jesse, joined in the mid ‘80’s and before his passing in 2007, Lloyd lovingly handed the business down to Jesse. Jesse worked side by side with Lloyd and became the new rock of the company as he continues to be today. The team was complete in 2010 when Lloyd’s daughter, Lori, joined her “big” brother. After all, it does take two to tango like Fred and Adele.
When asked how the pair first discovered Rosati Italian Ice, Jesse recalled that Rich Trotter, Rosati Ice President, met their dad at the annual ice cream convention decades ago. Lori admits “We have a loyal following with Rosati and hope to continue it. People are inquiring about healthier options,” she claims. Thus, Rosati Italian Ice’s popularity has increased since all 4-ounce, 6-ounce, 10-ounce cups, and 2.5-gallon tubs are made in a dairy-free, nut-free plant and all are gluten-free and made with natural sugar.
Jesse and Lori gladly shared why they and their customers like Rosati Italian Ice. “The consistency, it’s smoother than other brands. There is full flavor throughout. All of the flavors are really, really good.” Lori’s voice rose an octave when she proclaimed, “The chocolate is SO delicious! Using a blender, I create unique recipes with it.”
Just freeze one ice cube tray full of leftover coffee – either black or with milk. Then blend it up in the blender with one 10 oz Rosati Chocolate Italian Ice. Add milk until it’s a consistency like a nice milkshake. Add chocolate syrup if you want a sweeter drink, and whipped cream on top to make it an even “Rosier” Day!!
It’s quite the chorus line of what the pair buy from Rosati – 6-ounce cups in crybaby cherry, emoji, (Rosati’s two showstopper flavors) lemon, watermelon, and chocolate; 10-ounce cups in lemon lime, mango, sugar-free cherry, and sugar-free lemon; 2.5 gallon tubs in blue raz, cherry, chocolate, classic rainbow, lemon, pineapple, and watermelon (my fingers are tired from tapping all of these SKU’s on my keyboard)
This year due to COVID, they had to dance to a different tune and streamline their operations, wear many hats, and “kept expenses really, really low,” per Jesse. “We really can’t complain. We all had to figure it out. Our walk-up business grew with people pent up at home. Many people came in for the first time through word of mouth and didn’t realize we were here,” claimed Lori.
Although the business has changed throughout the years, Jesse, Lori, and the team at County Wide strive to provide the local community and Long Island establishments the highest quality products and personal, friendly service. We at Rosati Ice are kicking up our heels and look forward to growing our businesses together.
County Wide Ice Cream
1600-8 North Ocean Avenue
Holtsville, NY 11742
What motivates a person to start a business? Perhaps it’s a growing trend in the marketplace or an emerging need for a particular demographic. For Rosati’s industry friend and long-time distributor, Ed Bloomer, Founder, Premium Distributors, the motivation occurred out of necessity in 1985.
According to Ed. “I started Premium because Unilever needed a distributor. I was an Accounting Manager at Good Humor for seven years in New Jersey before I moved to Atlanta in 1984. Simultaneously, Ben & Jerry’s was coming to the market and the dairies did not want to distribute their products.”
So Premium was born January 1986 to offer national brands – Good Humor, Dove, Ben & Jerry’s, to name a few – to multiple channels of trade. It became a huge success! In fact, we couldn’t keep up with the demand.” Premium’s staff put Good Humor’s freezers in local convenience stores and, as they say, the rest is history.
Bloomer is proud to point out – and who wouldn’t be – “We started with two guys and two trucks and now have more than 100 employees and 44 trucks.”
While reflecting on his company’s success, Ed states, “Our success was due to hiring the right people – good, honest, hard-working people that took pride in their work. Honesty and integrity have been a critical component to our growth. You need to be reliable and do what you say. Reputation is everything.” Rich Trotter, President, Rosati Ice, wholeheartedly agrees. And me too!
When I asked him about his biggest challenges during COVID, he quickly responded “That’s a loaded question.” His business philosophies have been beneficial during these unprecedented times. “It went from extremes with product availability to employment. The PPE Program was beneficial. Our good reputation certainly sustained us. For example, our sales increased with CVS stores.”
“Treating your co-workers right and fairly pays huge dividends and results in longevity. We have 10 people at Premium for over 20 years and 15 more people here over 10 years. Not bad for consistency.”
Rich Trotter’s relationship with Ed Bloomer goes back two decades and he shares a unique bond with Ed, their sons have joined them in their legendary businesses. For Rich, Sean Trotter, heads up Rosati Ice school sales and, for Ed, his son, Collin, is also in sales.
Rosati’s car-cup-holder-friendly 6-ounce and 10-ounce cups
“Rosati Italian ice is very refreshing,” states Ed. This season, he ordered Rosati Ice in 6-ounce cups in yellow snow (yes, this IS the name), patriot ice (cherry, lemon and blue raz) and Rosati’s popular Crybaby flavors in sour cherry, sour watermelon, and sour apple. Plus, Rosati’s 10-ounce cups in tropical rainbow (cherry, lime, and pineapple), cherry, lemon, mangoneada, mango, coconut, and pina pineapple. That’s a lot of great flavor selections for Premium’s customers! Check out www.rosatiice.com for more flavors and sizes.
As a former small business owner, I couldn’t resist asking Ed what advice he would give someone wanting to start a business. “A new person starting out needs to have a passion for what they are doing and truly love what they do. I always say, ‘this is not only my job, it is my hobby.’ It is hard to find. The harder you work, the luckier you become. You have to be willing to take that chance, it may not work, but you will not know unless you try. You can always go back to getting a job.” Sound advice, Ed.
Ed reminisces “I loved Rosati’s cherry Italian ice when I was growing up.” Now, so do his customers. Thanks, Ed, and your team, for solidifying your relationship with Rosati Ice, America’s first and the world’s best dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free frozen novelty.
330 Franklin Road, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
Relationships and partnerships are important to Melodi Rouhani Cardenas, Marketing Director, BlueBonnet DSD, a wholesale ice cream distributor – with two Texas locations – offering product from Blue Bunny, Mars, Rosati Ice, Rich’s Ice Cream, and others.
The apple doesn’t fall far from this family tree. This well-respected company was founded by Melodi’s dad and her two uncles in 2002. Her cousins and husband, Jay, are part of the team. “Everybody’s been here a long time. People come and hang out,” claims Cardenas.
When asked her thoughts on the relationship with Rosati Ice, Melodi joyfully responds, “Rosati is our longest-lasting partnership! Everyone has been great.”
Rosati Ice partners with them on many of their top selling SKU’s:
* 2.5-gallon tubs in blue raz, classic rainbow (cherry, lemon, blue raz), lemon, mango, orange cream, and strawberry for scoop shops
* 4.4-oz smart-snack-approved school cups in rosy moji, good fortune, american hero, crybaby apple, crybaby cherry, mango caliente, and typhoon
* 6-ounce crybaby sour cherry, crybaby sour watermelon and mangoneada cups for mobile and wholesale vending channel
* 10-ounce cotton candy blue raz, lemon lime, mango, and watermelon cups for mobile and wholesale vending channel
All Rosati Italian ice products are made in a dairy-free, nut-free facility.
“The Rosati cups and tubs sell well. Everyone loves Rosati Italian Ice! Crybaby cherry is our top selling flavor. It even sold well during COVID,” states Melodi.
“The schools love Rosati’s 4.4-ounce rosy moji cups! They are healthy and fun!” she explains.
BlueBonnet’s scoop shop customers use Rosati mango Italian ice to make smoothies. They use the mango as a base and put cherries and fruit on top. “They come up with some crazy combinations, so it’s customized for their customers.”
Every aspect of the ice cream industry is handled by the passionate folks at BlueBonnet DSD from distributing product to c-stores, schools, food service, and scoop shops to mobile vending and special events.
According to Melodi, “We are known for serving independent convenient stores and food service. We have a great reputation for making connections. For example, we get a lot of praise about the diligence of our merchandisers.”
While most companies are cutting back on their SKU’s due to COVID, BlueBonnet started selling Mrs. Freshley’s snack cakes and frozen food like pizzas and burritos to small food stores.
“Thankfully, we made it through the pandemic,” states Melodi, “and we were able to hire people and school business has picked back up.”
Melodi is proud to share that they want “to be the one they call” when it comes to partnering in their beloved community. Recently, the Irving Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association partnered with them and treated the Irving PD to delicious ice cream. Plus, to acknowledge an area school that raised the most amount of money for Special Olympics, BlueBonnet hosted an ice cream party.
“Something so simple brings joy to a lot of people.”
Speaking of joy, we want to congratulate Melodi and Jay on the birth of their second son, Theo. Five-year-old Levi is loving his new role as “big brother.”
Partnering with the BlueBonnet family and their customers has given Rosati Ice’s team joy and we hope it will continue into the next generation!
2611 E. Pioneer Drive, Irving, TX 75061
Office & warehouse
4603 S. Presa St. San Antonia, TX 78223
There is something in the way he stands. So straight and confident.
There is something in his smile. So warm and genuine.
There is something in his work ethic. So strong and unwavering.
Yes, there is “something.” Something truly special about Rosati Ice’s warehouse manager, Louis DiGiacomo who joined Rosati in April 2017.
This humble Purple Heart recipient, staff sergeant Marine (who is true to the motto, “Once a Marine always a Marine”) has a degree in accounting from Drexel (Yea, Dragons! my alma mater) and possesses a wealth of logistics knowledge.
Rosati sure needed Lou’s expertise last year and this year with COVID and the endless logistics challenges, from purchasing and receiving supplies, to producing and shipping Rosati’s refreshing Italian Ice all over the country.
Lou tackles every job and every challenge that come his way. Yes, even the untimely ones! When the freezer floor needed to be replaced, he brought his team together – Nick, Rick, and Bill – to tear up the old concrete floor and replace it with a new one. When the ceiling needed to be replaced in VP Operations’ Hamed Seresty’s office, again Lou worked with his guys to replace it. “Is there anything Lou can’t do?” I often think to myself.
Like a true Marine, Lou does what it takes to always get the job done. “In my 47-year working career, I’ve never met anyone with such a stellar work ethic. Not only does he arrive at our Rosati plant at the crack of dawn and work a full day, but he frequently works on Saturdays and brings work home.”
According to his co-worker and Rosati Ice’s logistics manager, Pat Schnell, “Lou is a true asset to Rosati Ice. His responsibilities cover a multitude of areas – warehouse management, purchasing, office assistant, and one of the best areas – supplying the office with delicious cookies and candy! And he makes a mean pot of coffee!
At any time, you may ask Lou for help; nothing is too small nor too large. He will spend whatever time is needed with you – most of the time it’s just ‘listening’, and putting a big smile on your face.
Lou is a Marine – Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful, which is shown to all associated with Rosati Ice. He is more than an associate; I am proud to call him my good friend.”
The accolades continue with Rosati Ice’s bookkeeper, Judy Dinn. “Louis is a tremendously hard working, dedicated Rosati team member; doing so with kindness and a positive attitude!”
Nick Jester, Rosati Ice’s E-Commerce manager agrees, “Lou is an extremely hard working and caring person. I usually see Lou’s car on Saturday mornings because he’s in the warehouse working overtime. At Rosati’s, we are such a small team and Lou is a most crucial member of our operation. Lou goes out of his way to help in every aspect of our business and it shows every day.”
Lou DiGiacomo proudly served our country with dignity and honor, and now proudly serves Rosati Ice’s vendors, employees and customers. Now, that is something special indeed! Semper Fi, Lou!
201 E. Madison Avenue, Clifton Heights, PA 19018
How have your childhood memories influenced you? Perhaps you played with Legos for endless hours and aspired to be an architect or engineer. Maybe you designed and made your Barbie doll clothes (yep, that was me!) and dreamed of owning a chic boutique. Or, had an Italian ice stand on the front yard of your childhood home and hoped to own an Italian ice company.
For young singer/songwriter, Nicole Atkins, her childhood memories of living in New Jersey and hanging out at the Jersey shore, and in particular, Bruce Springsteen’s hometown of Asbury Park (and, yes, they know each other, she sung back up for “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”), inspired the name of her new release album “Italian Ice.”
Nicole fondly reminisces, “I grew up in a big Italian family. We always had a freezer full of Rosati Ice. In the 80’s and 90’s, the Weazer truck sold Rosati Ice and the same guy sells it today. We ended our day at the beach and/or our night on the boardwalk with a refreshing cup of Rosati Ice.” BTW, she even remembers the wooden spoons under the Rosati Ice’s cup lids.
Her favorite flavors? “Red and yellow.” Rich Trotter, President, Rosati Ice understands that comment, “as most kids buy a cup from a truck by the color and not the flavor.” (Who knew? Well, now you do!)
Nicole fondly remembers her singing idols – Judy Garland, Carole King (my favorites), Cass Elliott, and Janis Joplin. “I love old country. My genre is rooted in classic ‘brill building’ style mixed with psychedelic rock.”
Atkins continued, “Everyone loves the name of the CD, ‘Italian Ice.’ It brings up memories of family vacations.” On a personal note, “Italian Ice” is also her nickname when she is rolling dice at a bar after recording sessions.
“It’s the first words that came to mind!”
Deborah Reast, Rosati Ice’s social media manager, heard Nicole’s radio interview on WXPN-FM last year. Of course, her ears perked up when she heard the words “Italian Ice”!
With a CD named “Italian Ice”, of course the Rosati Ice folks couldn’t resist contacting her. (No brainer, right?!) Nick Jester, Rosati Ice’s e-commerce manager, shipped her samples. “I shared the Rosati Ice cups with my family, friends and band members. I knew they would love Rosati Ice as much as I do!”, claims Nicole.
This year, when Nicole’s 2020 Sellersville concert was rescheduled, we reached out to Zach Hundley, her manager, to brainstorm ways Rosati Ice could contribute to the evening.
To say the folks at Rosati Ice were beyond excited is an understatement. Following Nicole’s July 7th concert – where she performed her new songs: Domino, AM Gold, and Mind Eraser – the theater patrons were all treated to 10-oz Rosati Ice cups. “Everyone was SO excited,” Nicole boasts.
Nicole was kind enough to autograph her CD and her message is just perfect, isn’t it?
Nicole lives in Nashville with her husband, Ryan McHugh, a sound engineer. Her high energy, along with her sultry voice and songwriting talent, have led to her success. Italian Ice conjures up the romance and magic of the Jersey shore, a place close to Nicole’s heart and each song has its own special story.
When asked how COVID affected her CD launch, Nicole shares, “We wanted to work with a legit, old-school Italian ice company for this record. (Can you say ROSATI ICE?) Our plan was to promote the CD with an Italian ice cart on the boardwalk, but then Covid hit. We still hope to do this.”
What are your childhood memories of your favorite summertime treat? Like Nicole, we hope it’s Rosati Italian Ice and, why not, with its full-flavored, refreshing, deliciousness. Dairy-free and fat-free too! For a store or scoop shop near you, check out the Rosati Ice product locator at www.rosatiice.com.
Treat yourself to one of Nicole’s upcoming concerts. She’s appearing at the WXPN Xponential Music Festival, Camden Waterfront, September 17th. A link to her website and show schedule is below. If you’re unable to attend one of her concerts, purchase Nicole’s latest (and, of course, our favorite) album, Italian Ice!
It’s music to our ears!
Who doesn’t enjoy going to a scoop shop, especially during the summer. The minute you walk in, it’s magical, with the bright, cheerful colors and the flavorful selections. And how about that cool vibe? The shiny glass freezers encourage you to peek inside. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time choosing, as they all look oh so delicious.
Rosati’s newest scoop shop owner, Tracey Lipps, grew up in Hart, Michigan and purchased it six years ago from her in-laws, who owned the legendary shop since 1995. Since Tracey has always worked there, she knows the business, the customers, and the community.
While the scoop shop is relatively small, only 400 sq.ft., it makes a large impact by creating memories for the community and tourists with its lakeside location and Tracey’s creations.
Rosati Italian ice Quenches their Thirst and Their Taste Buds!
Tracey thrives on creating new concoctions. Imagine enjoying her “banana flutter nutter sundae. (You had me at banana!) It’s banana pudding ice cream with peanut butter sauce, whipped cream and a cherry” according to her facebook post.
Along with her passion, their location is definitely an asset. This quaint shop is near Silver Lake Sand Dunes and their customers stop in for a refreshing treat to cool off. Rosati Italian ice quenches their thirst and their taste buds!
So how did Rosati Ice’s cups get in Hart Dairy Delight? It’s a matter of channels of distribution. In March 2020, (right before the shutdowns) Rich Trotter, owner, Rosati Ice, participated in a food show with the folks at Cedar Crest Dairy. Their buyers immediately knew a good thing when they tasted Rosati’s full flavor Italian ice and ordered Rosati Ice in 2.5-gallon tubs, 6-ounce and 10-ounce grab-n-go cups.
Cedar Crest’s sales rep contacted Tracey about adding a dairy-free, nut-free frozen dessert option to her menu of soft and hard serve ice cream. “I like Rosati’s smoothness. It’s a great product. Rosati Italian ice fills a niche, since I don’t have room for a slushee machine,” claims Tracey.
Last season, Tracey added Rosati Ice’s 10-ounce cups in American Hero (strawberry lemonade) and mango, and she will do so this season. “It takes a full season to get the word out about a new item. Everyone that tried Rosati Italian Ice liked it! This spring, my customers started asking for Rosati Ice when I opened up for the season.”
Unbeknownst to many folks, the proceeds from the sale of Rosati’s American Hero cups go to support the mission of Soldier Strong – “helping veterans take their next steps forward in life.” This appealed to Tracey and resonated with her customers, so she proudly displayed our American Hero decal in her shop’s window. Why? Like us, Tracey supports a noteworthy cause – Operation Gratitude. According to their web site, their mission is “to forge bonds between Americans and their Military and First Responder Heroes …”
If you are like me and wonder what scoop shop owners do during their “off’ season, I couldn’t resist asking Tracey. She is involved with the Hart Economic & Redevelopment Team and books bands for the nearby park for their “Music on the Commons” events.
With all that this working mom does, I guess you could say Tracey is the “hart” and soul of her scoop shop and her beloved hometown.
Hart Dairy Delight
206 E. Main Street
Hart, MI 49420
Like them on facebook: @HartDairyDelight
There’s been a lot written about the Kinsley ShopRite in Brodheadsville, PA. Sponsorship of the West End Fair. Opening of THE largest ShopRite in the world. Volunteer work with the fire company. “Partners in caring” fundraising event.
What has not been written about this family has been their willingness to be Rosati Ice’s “first.” “First” to carry Rosati Ice’s full flavor Italian ice year-round in their front endcap – a huge “first” as food stores typically stock Rosati Italian Ice only from Memorial Day until Labor Day. “First” to stock NEW scoopably delicious flavors – Rosati Ice’s Sugar FreeZ in cherry, lemon, and mango, and our fruit ices in cherry, lemon, and mango. And as of this week, “First” to carry our 6-oz Yellow Snow (white and lemon swirl) and Rosati Ice 6-oz Cry Baby sour cherry ice.
Unbeknownst to consumers, ShopRite stores have different business models than other supermarket chains. For example, their stores are “owned and operated by members” and the Kinsley family owns and operates “the largest ShopRite in the world.” Once you see and shop in this friendly store, you will be hard pressed to dispute this claim.
Comfy Upstairs Lounge, Unique Charm
At 100,000 square feet, the store is about twice the size of a football field. Just imagine the selections, the variety, the amenities! My favorite is the comfy upstairs lounge, Doris’ Café, named for the President’s mom. Relax, eat, and watch all the hustle and bustle below. Look down and see the model train that runs on tracks suspended above the checkout area. Lanes are designated by railroad crossings. I’m not kidding. It is such a fascinating and fun experience to enjoy all of this store’s offerings!
Despite its massive size, the store has a unique charm with the added feel of a mom-and-pop grocery. Personally, I dislike shopping in large stores, but this one is distinctly different. It really is fun to shop here, being surrounded by memorabilia from days gone by and a friendly, helpful team ready to assist. The big store also symbolizes the management’s big heart for helping in any way they can in their beloved community, from the homeless and hungry to the scouts and senior citizens.
At the helm, until his passing last fall was Robert Kinsley (shown below with me during Customer Appreciation Day spring 2019). Bob worked in the grocery business for more than 50 years. As a youngster, Bob assisted his father, Clayton, in the original Kinsley Market. Today, his family proudly continues his legacy with his son Chris, President, and Chris’s sister, DeeDee, as Vice President.
The family joined Wakefern Food Corp. In 1998. According to Chris Kinsley, Sr. “It was the right thing to do. ShopRite has a lot more powerful name recognition than ours did, especially with folks from New Jersey and New York moving to this area (lower Poconos). It was one of the best decisions we ever made becoming a ShopRite.”
Family Sampled Flavors and Immediately Sold
Years ago, Rosati President Rich Trotter and I met with Chris and his parents – Doris and Bob. It was informal, friendly, and fun, as the family sampled different flavors. Chris agreed to give Rosati Ice a try because it’s a “summertime thing.” Rosati’s 10-ounce cups and 2.5-qt party pails were stocked in the front endcap – not just one or two shelves but the ENTIRE door! (I think we had a little divine intervention with this prime spot as Chris serves on church council at my brother-in-law’s church.)
Chris readily admits, “I like the variety of Rosati Ice flavors. People keep checking back. Rosati Ice cups are convenient, grab-n-go, easy to eat.”
Kinsley ShopRite carries Rosati 10-ounce cups in strawberry lemonade, cherry, chocolate, cotton candy/blue raz, lemon, lemon lime, mango, patriot, pineapple, root beer, and watermelon. (Say all that in one breath!) Plus, Rosati’s newest flavors in fruit ice and Sugar FreeZ. The store also stocks Rosati Ice’s 2.5-quart party pails in blue raz, cherry, lemon, mango, and rainbow. As customer Jim Radenhausen states, “too many flavors, too little time.”
Not only are their employees so incredibly helpful and polite, but Kinsley ShopRite customers are also the best!
I was there three times giving out samples and had a blast!!! It was fun to hear Bob Hunt make the announcement each time about “the Philly girl is here scooping Rosati Ice.” Rosati Ice’s newest fan, Jim Radenhausen, recalls “We got the Rosati rainbow and it’s very tasty. I’ve always hoped to see an ice tub especially an affordable one, so this was a welcome addition to see.”
What started in July 2019 as a vendor/customer relationship has become a “win-win for everyone,” claims Chris Kinsley, Sr. He likes Rosati’s “proactive approach” and Rosati’s product is a good seller.” Rosati Ice is truly thankful to be their “first.” And yes, Rosati Ice is the nation’s FIRST Italian ice company and now partnering with the world’s largest ShopRite. What a sweet deal!
107 Kinsley Drive
Brodheadsville, PA 18322
Hi! My name is Emily. As many of you can relate, I have many roles, but the most important role is being “Mom”. I received this title 10 years ago. TEN whole years in this role, and I still can’t believe I’ve been so blessed. There have been many changes over the last decade. Not only have my kiddos grown into and out of a variety of stages, but my parenting style has changed, as well.
I often go down a proverbial rabbit hole skimming through my camera roll, scrolling through so many “snapshots” of the big and little moments I’ve had with my young family. There are obvious changes: a move, haircuts, baby to toddler to kid to preteen children’s interests, and TEETH (how can something as simple as teeth age a child instantly)?! My kiddos are always the major focus my camera points to every time. I have caught so many of THEIR changes, but what about mine (and yours)?
I had my first three babies within three years. Whew! So much change and it happened quickly. I remember being at the park after pre-school one day and I watched as a little boy, the same age as my oldest, splashed in the puddle at the bottom of a slide. This young child was the definition of pure joy. In this early stage of motherhood, I was not a big fan of messy play. I preferred dressing the kiddos in matching outfits. I was not interested in Pinning about how to remove mud stains out of a bougie baby headband. As I watched this boy happily play, my thinking was immediately transformed. Not only did I want my children to be filled with this much joy and laughter, but I also hoped they could forevermore find happiness in something as simple as a puddle.
When I go through my camera roll, I recognize MY change. I celebrate MY change. There are fewer staged pictures with crisp clothing and many more pictures of my kids looking sweaty, dirty, and rosy-cheeked. This has been one of my favorite stages of Motherhood. Letting go of neat and tidy, and embracing the mess! Now I find myself praising my children saying, “there’s nothing I love more than seeing you sweaty messy”. They giggle at me. It doesn’t hurt that this level of play usually yields sleepy children, too! The only thing that can make all of us happier in these messy moments is rewarding them with a cup of Rosati Italian ice. Picture your own family; worn out kiddos, sitting in their playhouse in the backyard while scarfing down Philadelphia’s iconic frozen treat. It’s dairy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free so allergies are never a worry for us moms.
Reminding all Moms and Dads: The days are long, but the years are short. This Mother’s Day weekend, have your kiddies’ scoot over close to you in that messy moment. Enjoy the family hugs and treat one and all to some Rosati Italian Ice to celebrate all the ways you have grown in your beloved role. Oh! And don’t forget to snap a photo. In 10 years (and probably before then), this memory will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling and make you smile…kind of like Rosati Ice. Over 100 years of smiles! 😉
Happy Mother’s Day!
Did you know that smiling releases endorphins, which help a person feel happier and more positive?
We sure need smiles and that’s exactly what Joel Hughes, VP Operations, Smile Ice Cream, sees every day. In fact, recently his wholesale customer stopped in the office smiling from ear to ear upon discovering he got Rosati Italian Ice back.
“You got it back! You got it in!” Yes, the Norfolk-based distributor placed his first order with Rosati Ice in March 2020 and his first order of the season this January. And since then, it has been “smiles” for everyone.
“Ice Cream is Joyful and Fun.”
Joel is no stranger to the food business, having started his career when he was just 16. Throughout college, he waited on and bussed tables. He readily admits, “I like the movement and fluidness of the industry, plus working with people.” Your friends at Rosati Ice wholeheartedly agree!
Formerly, Jumpin G’s, Smile Ice Cream started in 2003 with a few ice cream trucks. In 2010, they got into the DSD business and in 2012, Smile branched out to service schools and restaurants.
Today, the company’s 20 neighborhood ice cream trucks bring the treats… and the smiles to everyone along their routes.
While last year was challenging for all, Joel states, “our trucks did very well with folks being home. The rest of our business suffered, but luckily, we had both segments to keep us going.”
We would be remiss in not mentioning Shannon Best, their “Jane of all trades.” Joel boasted about his office manager – Shannon – “she is the glue that holds it all together.”
Their desire to carry Rosati Italian Ice started when their seasonal customers bought Italian ice at a restaurant supply store that only carried 2.5-gallon tubs and offered no point-of-sale items. Joel quickly “saw a desire for customers wanting something new.”
“No Brainer to Carry Rosati Ice. It was an easy switch.”
Joel was just about to seek out a more versatile vendor and, as fate would have it, Rich Trotter, Rosati Ice President, visited with Joel last February. Rich, in his usual upbeat selling style, simply offered Joel a taste of Rosati’s refreshing, full flavor Italian Ice. Joel recalls, “It was a no brainer to carry Rosati Ice cups and tubs. It was an easy switch.”
During the 2020 season, Smile ice Cream carried Rosati Ice’s 6-ounce cups in Crybaby sour apple and sour cherry, Crybaby sour watermelon and rosy ‘moji (cotton candy blue raz). Rosati Ice 10-ounce cups of cotton candy blue raz, mango, lemon, American Hero (strawberry lemonade) and watermelon. Their ice cream truck staff scooped from Rosati Ice 2.5-gallon tubs in cherry, lemon, watermelon, blue raz, mango, tropical rainbow, and strawberry lemonade.
Like many of Rosati Ice’s distributors, Smile Ice Cream’s top selling Rosati Ice items in 2020 were 6-ounce rosy’ moji cups, 10-ounce American hero cups and 2.5-gallon tubs of blue raz.
Thanks to Joel’s outreach, for the first time, Rosati Ice is in scoop shops and other venues in Newport News, Virginia Beach and Norfolk. For example, both Motor World and Sugar Kingdom carry Rosati Ice’s 2.5-gallon tubs. “I love sampling people on Rosati Ice,” explains Joel.
This season, Joel is eager to sell Rosati Ice’s NEW 6-ounce Yellow Snow Italian ice cups.
Let’s all smile more as we put the challenges of last year behind us and enjoy simple pleasures like a scoopably delicious cup of Rosati Italian ice.
Smile Ice Cream Distributors
3387 Progress Road
Norfolk, VA 23502
We all need the kindness of friends, especially now. Rosati’s relationship with their newest customer – Weaver Markets in Denver, PA – an old-fashioned, family-owned quality supermarket since 1968 – started with an inquiry from JoAnn Buckwalter to Don Rutt, their Frozen Food Manager.
Luckily for Rosati, JoAnn is a HUGE fan of Rosati Ice’s full flavor, scoopably delicious Italian ice and also is a high school classmate of Rosati Ice’s owner, Rich Trotter. (We won’t tell you what year they graduated…)
JoAnn, an Adamstown resident, has been shopping at Weaver Markets for 25 years and often wondered why they didn’t carry Rosati Italian ice. Not known to be shy, JoAnn approached Don Rutt and he explained that he purchased Rosati Italian ice years ago when Rosati cups were sold in boxes. She was determined to make a sale and Don asked her to “call her boss”. JoAnn’s exuberance and curiosity paid off!
Rosati delivered 10-ounce cups in twenty flavors and 2.5-quart party pails in five flavors to the store in June. Traditionally, Rosati Ice is sold seasonally in food stores, but, at Weaver Markets, Rosati Ice 10-ounce cups and 2.5-quart party pails are sold all year long.
Smooth Texture. Variety of Flavors!
Unlike other national brands, Don likes the smooth texture, that Rosati is known for, and the variety of Rosati’s flavors. When asked what are his top selling Rosati flavors, Don states, “Root beer is the best, followed by mango, cherry, and blue raz. One of my coworkers bought a WHOLE case of 10-ounce chocolate cups. Rosati’s 10-ounce coconut cup is the go-to refreshing treat of one customer. “When I couldn’t get Rosati in, some people had a fit.” (Yep, that’s what he said!)
Rosati’s 2-quart party pails are found in two spots in the frozen food section – stocked with 5-quart tubs of ice cream. “Rosati sells better there with the bulk items,” claims Don. Rosati’s 10-ounce cups are in coffin cases (strange word to describe a freezer!) along with Rosati’s new 99-calorie Sugar FreeZ 10-ounce cups in cherry, lemon and mango and Rosati’s new fruit ice 10-ounce cups – made with 100% juice – in cherry, lemon, and mango. What a selection!
Ideal Demographics. Rosati Ice Sells Well Here Even in Winter
The location of Weaver Markets and the store’s demographics are a big plus for Rosati. According to Rutt, “There are older housing developments nearby and people walk to the store.” JoAnn adds, “This is a unique area. People come from all over to ‘Antique America’. There are extravaganzas and the hotels are filled. Rosati ice will sell well here, even in the winter.”
Weaver Markets “support and strengthen the surrounding community in every way possible,” according to their web site. For example, with five different school districts nearby, the Weaver folks support each school’s fundraisers. “All of them get their turn and receive 25% of the revenue from The Wagon,” states Don, a 35-year store employee.
JoAnn is a Rosati Ice treasure who is greatly appreciated! “It is especially gratifying to have a longtime good friend who not only recommends your business but solicits the customer directly”, says Rich Trotter, Rosati Ice owner. She visits Weaver Markets twice a week and straightens out the stock for a pleasing display. While she’s there, she can’t resist buying some Rosati Ice cotton candy/blue raz to bring home. Thank goodness for the kindness of friends! Thanks, Don Rutt and JoAnn Buckwalter for bringing our Italian Ices into your favorite store! Visit Weaver Markets today!!
2610 N. Reading Rd
Denver, PA 17517
One of Rosati Ice’s newest distributors, Pointe Dairy, is “a family-owned wholesale food and dairy distribution company serving metro Detroit and beyond,” according to its website, www.pointedairy.com
“Family” is the most important word in the description. Joseph Selvaggio founded the company in 1968 and it’s currently run by his three sons – Anthony, Alex and Joseph, Jr.
Even the PM, Ken George, found his way to the company through “family.” In 1977, his wife, Terri worked for a food store, one of Pointe Dairy’s customer’s.
Unlike many of Rosati’s other distributors, Pointe Dairy is “close to a broadline distributor. We have over 3500 items that we sell to party stores, nursing homes, restaurants. You name it, we handle it”, states Ken.
When asked how they dealt with COVID 19, Ken admits, “In the beginning, it was a nightmare, as restaurants were forced to shut down and we had fewer trucks making deliveries. Fortunately, our retail business went up with single-serve, multi-packs. We held our own and adapted very well.”
Families’ food needs were vital this spring, so Pointe Dairy donated pallets of food intended for the restaurants to Forgotten Harvest and – thru a local Masonic lodge – Feeding the Hungry.
Working at Pointe Dairy for decades, Ken has a great grasp on the industry. “Everyone is getting their fingers in others’ items. It’s becoming a ‘me-too business.’ To distinguish ourselves, we handle different items and high-quality items. For example, we started selling hemp items to area coffee shops.”
Most of our distributor relationships started in person at food shows and this one is no exception. After Joe met Rosati Ice’s owner, Rich Trotter, at a food show, he decided to carry our 2.5-gallon tubs and 10-ounce grab-n-go cups for the dip stores in their area called Whippi Dip (similar to Dairy Queen).
Pointe Dairy is proud to be a master distributor for Unilever, which puts Rosati Ice alongside the nation’s best ice cream and novelty brands including Breyers, Ben & Jerry’s, Mars, Talenti, and Good Humor. “With the addition of dairy-free, nut-free Rosati Ice, our summers have gotten busier.”
Due to increased demand for dairy-free frozen desserts, Pointe Dairy now sells Rosati Ice’s 2.5-gallon tubs to restaurants and scoop shops and their 10-ounce cups to mobile vendors. “Ken states, “Ice cream trucks ask for the Rosati Ice 10-ounce cups, available here in cotton candy/blue raz, cherry, Cry baby sour apple, lemon, mango, patriot, and watermelon. They are a huge seller! Would love to get Rosati’s 4.4- ounce cups into our schools,” admits George.
And why not? “Rosati Ice’s taste is phenomenal with smooth texture, which holds up well in temperature variations.”
Shari Mazzetti, owner, Modern Cone scoop shop, wholeheartedly agrees. “We sell a lot of Rosati. It is very popular, you have no idea! We make an Italian ice slush. Our customers expect Rosati Ice and when we don’t have it, they are upset and disappointed.”
Shari buys a few SKU’s of the 2.5-gallon tubs from Pointe Dairy, who carries Rosati Ice in blue raspberry, cherry, rainbow, cotton candy, lemon, mango, strawberry lemonade, and watermelon.
Three family-owned businesses working together to bring smiles to customers’ faces – manufacturer Rosati Ice, distributor Pointe Dairy and scoop shop Modern Cone! With Rosati Ice, it truly is ‘all in the family’!!
2716 American Drive
Troy, MI 48083
“Be careful what you wish for.” If you are Rosati Ice’s Nate Todd, K-12 school sales associate, he is truly blessed that what he wished for did indeed come true and his career led him to Rosati ice.
After graduation from college, which he admits “was a great experience”, Nate explored an opportunity with his close friend’s father’s business – selling Polish brand water ice. “We almost franchised it,” admits Nate from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I fell in love with the product, but people in the Midwest have no clue what water ice is. Thankfully, the deal fell thru. We successfully failed.”
One door closed and another one quickly opened. Nate recalls meeting Rich Trotter, owner, Rosati Ice at the national school nutrition conference in Dallas. Nate was eager to have a mentor in the Italian ice business so he and Rich simultaneously reached out to Tom Curyto about utilizing Nate to sell both Rosati Ice and Polish Ice to the K-12 school industry.
Todd started with Rosati in 2012 and felt “complete clarity. I knew this is where I am supposed to be.” Nate is blown away by how Rich Trotter “leads and serves.”
Unique in his ability to genuinely connect with people
And the admiration is mutual. Rich states, “Nate is unique in his ability to genuinely connect with people and share the Rosati Ice mission of making school lunches more fun with our dairy-free, frozen fruit juice cups that are naturally colored with no added sugar and meet the fruit requirement for school lunches. Nate represents himself, his family and the Rosati family well with everyone he meets. Nate needs little supervision. For years, he has traveled the country spreading the good news of Rosati Ice and steadily growing our business in over thirty states. He is loved by all with whom he comes in contact.”
His coworker, Sean Trotter continues “Nate is a devoted father and husband, who cares deeply for everyone around him. He and his wife Amber are raising three (soon to be four) beautiful children, and as a member of the Rosati family, he brings this same spirit into his daily work. Nate has an honest desire to be a source of joy to everyone he meets. Approaching his work in this way, allows him to serve his/our customers with grace, and to ultimately bring more smiles into the cafeterias of the schools that we serve.
What we do and what we offer is better than anyone’s.
While schools in the areas Nate covers – Southern CA, TX, NC, S, GA, MD, VA, PA – are trying to figure out the guidelines for in-school learning, he is sensitive to this unique time with the school lunch programs. He readily admits, “What we do and what we offer is better than anyone’s. It’s so exciting!”
Nate’s passion, enthusiasm and spirituality shines through even on phone calls and all throughout this interview. Father of three young children, ages 6, 4, and 2 and a 4th child due in December, Nate teases “We are consistent, having a child every two years.”
When asked what he likes about his job, Nate is quick to answer. “Oh man, I love my job! I am so grateful! The opportunity to meet with child nutrition directors is golden. When I started, many of them were older than me and they had a motherly relationship with me. The work-life balance is ideal! It’s an honor to represent Rosati Ice while providing for my growing family.”
Nate’s impact on the school sales has been noteworthy. Through his diligence, schools in NC, SC, MD and VA have Rosati Ice’s 4.4-ounce cups made with pure apple juice that are Smart Snack approved and meet school nutritional guidelines.
No matter how this school year unfolds, Nate says “This is the time for us to shine.” And we will in schools across the country from sea to shining sea!
Check out www.rosatiice.com for more info on Rosati Ice’s K-12 school cups and for a seasonal pre-order form.
Consumers are the BREAD AND BUTTER of every food manufacturer and Rosati Ice is no exception. Founder Sam Rosati was ONE SMART COOKIE to develop hand-cranked Italian ices in his basement’s home in Philadelphia in 1912.
Throughout the decades, Rosati Ice USED THEIR NOODLE to address not only consumers’ food allergies and dietary restrictions, but product safety too, while consistently producing a delicious, scoopable frozen treat.
“Rosati Italian Icse have great flavor and consistency. I had cherry and chocolate flavors and they were yummy. It reminded me of this old Italian guy in my hometown that made incredible ice and sold it at a roadside stand.” – Doug S., Greenville, SC.
Rosati Ice, along with their distributors, acknowledge that people who are lactose intolerant and/or have nut allergies are unable to eat ice cream and diary-based novelties. Rosati Ice successfully satisfied their cravings. All products – 4.4-ounce, 6-ounce and 10-ounce cups, 2-quart party pails, and 2.5-gallon tubs are made in a dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free plant.
Consumers have spoken out again and we listened. Their requests for sugar-free Italian ices prompted Rosati Ice to develop SugarFreeZ in three flavors in 10-ounce cups: lemon, cherry and mango – which were sold in selected food chains this most recent summer.
“I am so happy I can enjoy Rosati Ice in the new sugar-free flavors that are stocked at the Kinsley ShopRite in Brodheadsville.” – Laura S., PA
Tamper-Proof Lids, Clear Cups
Consumers want affordable, grab-n-go treats. For the food stores, Rosati Ice developed 10-ounce cups in almost two dozen flavors. For product safety, all 10-ounce Rosati Ice cups are sealed with tamper-proof lids. Because of the clear Rosati cup, what the shopper sees inside is what they get. They can easily see the bright oranges, reds, yellows, and blues, designating the full flavor inside each and every 10-ounce cup. Just ask Jane.
“I ate Rosati water ice as a kid. I recognized the rose on the 10-ounce cup packaging at Acme. The BEST water ice!!! Bought two containers. I have party pails from last summer and still tastes good. LOVE it!” – Jane Y., NJ
To consumers like Doug, Laura, Jane and hundreds of others, they know Rosati Ice is the GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD. Who wouldn’t agree? Once you taste your first spoonful, you will be hooked.
Now, you can HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO! Rosati Ice in 6-ounce and 10-ounce cups and 2.5 gallon tubs can be purchased all year from our office/plant/warehouse in suburban Philadelphia, M-F from 8-4. Please call 610-626-1818 to check inventory for your flavors. Please go to the product section of our Rosati Ice web site – www.rosatiice.com – for a complete list of all of Rosati Ice’s flavors.
The September return to school is always an exciting time! Seeing old friends and meeting new teachers makes up somewhat for the sadness in saying goodbye to summer fun.
The start of this 2020 school season is drastically different and emotionally charged. With so many schools going “virtual,” the students will have limited in-classroom learning with all its benefits. While it may seem trivial compared to the other stark differences, students in many states will be unable to join their buddies at lunch and enjoy a 100% frozen fruit juice cup of dairy-free, fat-free Rosati Italian Ice.
The Rosati team goes to the head of the class as they take the necessary steps to craft our 4.4 ounce school cups, “smart snack approved” (yea, Rosati!) that count as a ½ cup fruit serving on school lunch menus across the country.
Rosati Ice school cups are Major Allergen Free
The Rosati team has dotted its i’s and crossed its t’s. Rosati Ice school cups are made with 100% fruit juice, naturally colored and NO sugar added. All Rosati school cups are made in a dairy-free, nut-free facility and are major allergen free! An A+ all the way around! That’s a report card every parent and guardian will love!
Rosati Ice President, Rich Trotter, reminisces “When I first bought Rosati Ice 24 years ago, I didn’t like the novelty industry business model – busy summer, flat winter.” With that in mind, we developed new formulations and packaging and reached out to the school nutrition directors. And the rest, as they say, is History…and Geography, as Rosati Ice is in schools in 25 states.
“Thanks to the noteworthy efforts of the Rosati Ice sales team – Nate Todd, Nick DeKam and Sean Trotter – Rosati’s presence in the schools has grown tremendously,” states Trotter. From food service managers and school directors to parents and students, Rosati Ice consistently gets high marks from everyone.
School directors “love how we listen to what they need and create specific cups to fit in line with what they believe the kids will love. Rosy ‘moji is our top seller, followed by Rosati ice Cry Baby sour cherry,” states Nick DeKam, sales associate.
And the kids? Nick continues, “Every student I’ve ever shown Rosati Ice cups to makes their eyes light up. They sit down and within minutes they want more. Everyone loves the Rosati Ice flavors and smoothness of the italian ice cups. The kids love to find the new ‘moji face each time they go up to the lunch line.”
Lauren Couchois, RD, SNS, Director, Lee County schools, explains “Rosati Ice’s cups are not only a fun, creative way to provide a fruit serving to our students, but they taste great too! We love the Rosati Ice cups, especially the Rosy ‘moji cups as they are super popular with our students.”
Sean Trotter shares a story about a young student activist who brought back our Cry Baby Ices. “A school district in CA that offered our Cry Baby cups every other week suddenly stopped ordering. We learned there was a new child nutrition director and that person decided to remove the Cry Baby ice cups from the menu. However, a month later, we started getting orders again, and they were ordering twice as much as before. We soon found out that there was a girl in third grade who created a petition to bring the Cry Baby back. She got the signatures of nearly all of the students in her school, and shortly thereafter, they started to menu our Crybabies every week! It always amazes me how a small Rosati Ice cup brings so much joy to students everywhere.”
In 2019, Rosati Ice developed Good Fortune Ice with a fun fortune printed under every lid and refreshing orange Italian ice inside. Nate Todd, sales associate, boasts, “Kids and directors remarked how creative and fun it has been to find a fortune under the Rosati Ice lid.”
Every month from October to April, Rosati Ice offers fun, seasonal packaging and authentic flavors – Chillin’ Bat sweet orange ice for October, Givin’ Thanks apple pie ice for Thanksgiving, Sno’ Joe wild berry ice for December, Happy New Year strawberry lemonade ice for January, Swee’ Heart sweet cherry ice for February, Luck O’ the Ice sour apple ice for March, and Hip-Hoppin’ tropical fruit ice for April.
Fun and flavor in every cup for every season, Rosati Ices make the Honor Roll for parents and students alike!
Check out www.rosatiice.com for more info on Rosati Ice’s K-12 school cups and for a seasonal pre-order form.
Mobile vending. You hear and see those words a lot in the novelty industry, and especially at this time of the year. Quite simply, it’s “Bringing you more frozen treats than you and your sweet tooth could ever ask for,” according to Cool Concessions’ website.
We know a bit about “mobile vending” as our founder, Sam Rosati, known as “the King of Water Ice,” sold his popular italian ice from horse-drawn wagons throughout his beloved Philadelphia and at the New Jersey shore.
Sam could never have imagined that folks would google “water ice” and “Italian ice” today to find his 108-year-old company’s dairy-free, nut-free frozen treat.
Who better to explain this unprecedented mobile vending season than loyal customer and friend, Peter Hamouroudis, President, Cool Concessions (their name makes me crave something cool).
Fresh out of college, “the business found me,” recalls Pete. “I thought I’d give it a shot and I saw an upside to it. I started with one truck and now have nine. Our business has grown because of social media. My wife, Laura, is the backbone of our business, handling logistics and operations. In 2004, I met Rosati Ice owner, Rich Trotter, at a trade show in Atlantic City and we started doing business together.”
Peter explains, “Due to COVID 19, our biggest challenge occurred in the spring, when many events were not only postponed, but cancelled. It really hurt our sales. Luckily, we were able to pivot and promoted “contact-less” curbside deliveries via Facebook and Instagram. We established a minimum order and designated a few trucks for this. Customers preordered and paid through Venmo. They appreciated seeing us come out for them. This offset loosing special event jobs.”
Cool Concessions has served treats at kids’ parties, weddings, corporate events, block parties, family reunions, and fundraisers. Anyplace in New Jersey and anytime from March till October where people want to have a fun time and enjoy refreshing treats like our full-flavored, scoopably delicious Rosati Ice Italian ices.
The names of the companies they’ve worked with reads like a “Who’s Who” – Princeton University, Adidas, Bloomberg, Special Olympics, NJ Transit, Google. Pete and his team have worked numerous events, but one stands out in his mind – for 24 hours, our truck was parked at JFK Hospital so employees on every shift could enjoy a treat. We fed about 800 folks.”
In addition, Cool Concessions is a wholesale supplier of novelty ice cream and bulk Rosati Ice Italian ice. They sell Rosati Ice in 2.5-gallon tubs in cherry, blue raz, lemon, rainbow and mango and 6-ounce cups in rosy ‘moji and 10-ounce cups in cotton candy/blue raz, cherry, watermelon, patriot, mango, Cry Baby sour apple and lemon lime.
Of course, we had to ask Pete about his favorite. “Lemon, it’s filled with flavor. Rosati Ice’s flavor selection is good.” And his customers? “Rosati’s 10-ounce cups in cotton candy/blue raspberry are our best sellers. Our customers like Rosati’s big flavor. In fact, some customers are so loyal to Rosati Ice, they will not try another Italian ice brand.”
Peter and Rich Trotter share a passion outside of the novelty business – both are basketball coaches.
“Managing people from March till October, helps me manage my basketball players. I don’t take a cookie cutter approach; I have to be understanding and communicate. It’s the little things that keep me sharp,” acknowledges Pete. And Rich Trotter would agree! Go teams!
86 Mantoloking Road
Brick Township, NJ 08723
For many families, summertime means having fun at an amusement park. “Fun, Food & Fantasy”, according to Knoebels Amusement Resort’s website has entertained families for nearly a century. While this season has been remarkably different (to say the least) from previous ones, Knoebels remains remarkably unique, in favorable ways, from other popular destinations.
For starters, you do not have to pay admission to the resort. That’s right! “America’s largest free-admission amusement park.” I like this perk, since I don’t enjoy the rides like my roller-coaster-loving, thrill-seeker husband and son. Instead, you pay as you go. Next, they have a family-friendly campground in a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. Ah…who wouldn’t want to chill out there now?
In between the thrills, head on over to The Shack for “your chill”- Rosati Italian Ice. It is decadently delicious, smooth and so refreshing. The ideal dairy-free, nut-free frozen treat!
Due to COVID 19, Matt Schell, Food Service Manager, consolidated the concession stands to offer everything in one stand called The Shack, across from Old Mill Ice Cream.
This is where families have 8 Rosati Ice flavors (mango, watermelon, lemon, blue raz, cherry, classic rainbow (cherry, lemon, blue raz), root beer, and sleep with the fishes) to choose from. Matt states, “Our most popular selling Rosati flavors are blue raz, cherry, rainbow, and root beer!”
When asked what Schell likes about Rosati Ice, he boasts, “I like the consistency and the strong, bold flavors. You can tell it’s a high-quality product!” Michelle Zimmerman, from our long-time distributor, InstantWhip Foods, agrees and adds “Rosati Ice’s name sells itself. It resonates with a lot of people from their youth. The Rosati folks are easy to work with and provide great point-of-sale items.”
Guests can enjoy their Rosati Italian Ice in either a small 6-ounce cup for $3.00, a large 10-ounce cup for $4.50 or layered with soft serve for a gelati for $6.00. It’s scoopably delicious!
The owners and management of Knoebels Amusement Resort are no strangers to hard times and park closures – from 1943 when the park closed due to WWII, to 1972 when Tropical Storm Agnes flooded the park and then again in 2006 when 90% of the park was submerged in water. However, the same resilience and fortitude that got them through those trying times will get them through the pandemic as well!
Behind their masks, Knoebel employees are smiling, knowing they are giving their guests a true “Taste of Summer” in this topsy-turvy world. Rosati Ice – creating smiles since 1912!
Family owned and operated since 1926, Knoebels Amusement Resort was voted “the best food park in the world” 18 times (WOW)! The nation’s original Italian ice, Rosati Ice, is proud to be along for the ride. Let’s go for 20!!
391 Knoebels Blvd
Elysburg, PA 17824
When most of us think of “family” we immediately think of our biological families. You know, your mom, dad, your siblings, grandparents. Well, if you work for Clifton-Heights based Rosati Ice, you are lucky and blessed to have an extended family.
And no one is more thankful for his Rosati Ice extended family than Mr. Hong Ly, who was born in Vietnam and came to work in our plant 18 years ago.
Mr. Hong, as he is affectionately known, was a junior officer in the South Vietnamese Army when the communists over ran the country in 1975. He was placed in a ‘re-education camp’ for years and was slowly dying away when his captors released Mr. Hong to his family who nursed him back to health. At the family’s first opportunity, they escaped Vietnam by floating away on a boat praying that a ship would pick them up. After many days at sea their hopes were realized and some time later, Mr. Hong and his family migrated to Philadelphia where he has resided for the last forty years.
The smile on his face says everything. His coworker, logistics manager, Pat, definitely agrees. Mr. Hong always has a smile on his face and greets me with a big hello, how are you doing and good morning and afternoon.”
Never missing work, Mr. Hong always is pleasant and respectful with his co-workers and is considered a Rosati Ice treasure. He is most proud of his children and six beautiful grandchildren.
Recently, the Rosati family was interviewed by PHL 17 Weekend Philler producer, William Lehan.. Mr. Hong couldn’t have been happier to speak into the microphone and declare his favorite Rosati Italian ice flavor. Actually, he has a few favorite flavors – cherry, pineapple and coconut!
Anyone who has tasted our refreshing, flavorful Italian ice in our 6-oz, 10-ounce, 2-quart party pails will agree.
“Everyone feels like family.” “Like family to me.” “They are like my family.” “One great big family” “Proudly say they are my family.”
No matter who says it or how, Rosati Ice is a family business and we are proud to have Mr. Hong Ly as part of ours!
“Happiness is just an ice cream truck away” is the slogan on our great friends and distributor’s web site – Big Bell Ice Cream in Minneapolis, MN. CEO (Chief Eating Officer, get it?) James Freid and his wife Karen offer ice cream truck catering and special event services throughout the Twin Cities, and they couldn’t be happier.
Big Bell Ice Cream has that right – happiness IS buying a refreshing treat from an ice cream truck, especially when the heat and humidity crank up. And, especially now, with folks working from home and parents home with their young children. Who doesn’t have fond memories of eagerly waiting in line and tiptoeing to see all of the colorful cool stickers on the trucks and deciding which one to choose?
I’ve gotta admit, to this day I still can’t decide.
In addressing the current situation, James claims, “Ice cream trucks lend themselves to social distancing. Customers spread out while waiting in line. We held off an extra month getting our trucks out so we could train our drivers and enable customers to get accustomed to the new routine of social distancing.”
James fondly recalls when he met Rich Trotter, President, Rosati Ice, with his wife Debbie and his young daughter at the Ice Cream Convention. “Rich is THE nicest guy I wanted to buy from, but never did.”
Lo and behold, eight years ago, he started buying from Rosati Ice and “it’s been wonderful ever since.”
“Rosati Ice’s large appeal is that it’s refreshing (we hear that all the time!) and Rosati Ice quenches your thirst. The cups are easy to eat from and carry around. Rosati Ice is scoopable!” (That’s the Rosati ice pledge!)
When looking for a dairy-free frozen dessert made in a nut-free facility, the Freids were pleased to add Rosati Italian Ice especially “for kids that can’t have ice cream. We didn’t want them to be left out,” says Karen. There’s Rosati for them. We have eight flavors on all of our trucks. Rosati ice is selling well, especially the Cry Baby ice and rosy ‘moji ice.”
It’s not only about the product, but the promotion that creates happiness. “Point-of-sale is everything,” admits James. Rosati Ice’s decals display the cups nicely, they make the product look good, and they draw people in.” What more could you ask for?
While business has slowed down drastically due to COVID 19 and they’ve had problems hiring drivers, James and Karen have kept their sense of humor and reminisce about busier times. Leading up to last year’s July 4th, they worked nonstop till 2AM (that’s not a typo) Well, not this year. This spring, they missed having their trucks on college campuses during finals week. “The students would take a break, come out and buy a frozen novelty. Nope, not this year.
Challenges may continue, but Big Bell Ice Cream and Rosati Ice will forge ahead to bring happiness to folks with ice cream, novelties, and Rosati Italian ice.
3218 Snelling Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55406
The dream of “Big Daddy” Don DeConna, a WWII Veteran born in Pittsburgh, has grown to be Rosati’s oldest customer and a respected leader in the industry. DeConna Ice Cream is headquartered in Reddick, Florida. Unsatisfied working in the steel mills, Don decided to take his love of ice cream to a warm, sunny area and moved to Miami in 1947. And the rest is… well, sweet history.
Rosati Ice and DeConna have been on a sweet journey together since current owner, Vince DeConna’s dad managed the company and stayed active into his ‘80’s (now that’s a legacy!). Vince bought the company from his dad in 1990 and his son, Nick joined him in 2015.
Similarly, Sean Trotter, Rosati Ice owner Rich Trotter’s son, joined the company in 1997. Two generations of two legendary companies are collaborating to bring smiles to folks’ faces. What could be sweeter than that?!
The similarities of these family businesses continue through the years. After WWII, Rosati Ice and DeConna moved from their original locations to larger, more modern facilities to manufacture and warehouse more product and serve their growing number of customers.
Vince fondly recalls when Rich Trotter met with him before he bought Rosati in 1997 and they quickly became friends and continued the business relationship started by Sam Rosati and Don DeConna.
Rosati’s Italian Water Ice product line includes 4.4-ounce “school” cups, 6-ounce cups for mobile vendors and 10-ounce cups and 2-quart party pails for food stores in addition to 2.5-gallon tubs for scoop shops. That’s a lot of SKUs! “Anything Rosati carries we sell,” states Vince.
In the early years, “we just carried Rosati Ice’s 2.5-gallon tubs and then Rosati’s 6-ounce cups. When Rosati started producing 10-ounce cups, we brought them in.” Vince continues, “folks love the 10-ounce cups!”
Together, fifteen years ago, Rich and Vince developed the “typhoon” cone cups – blue raz lemonade Italian ice with a gum ball at the bottom of each cone. “They’ve been a great seller ever since. We sell a lot of them across Florida and Georgia.”
When Rosati added 4.4-ounce Italian ice cups to meet the nutritional guidelines of schools, guess who brought them in? DeConna Ice Cream.
And why not? According to Vince, “Rosati Italian water ices are flavorful and refreshing with great texture, great selection, colorful packaging graphics and scoopable.”
Rich Trotter can agree with Vince’s observation as Rosati’s production heats up at this time. “Consumers prefer Italian ice over ice cream as the temperature goes up. This is peak time for Rosati!”
Rosati has helped DeConna increase their sales by “offering another product to sell in the hot months.” For example, decades ago Vince DeConna worked with the manager of a water park in Florida. They set up their dip freezer, filled it with 2.5-gallon tubs of Rosati ice – which they bought every week – and have been buying ever since (until the current shutdown due to COVID 19).
Thanks for the sweet journey, may it continue until a third generation joins DeConna Ice Cream.
6300 W Highway 318
Reddick, FL 32686
“Just do the best you can, that’s all anyone can ask,” my mom always advised me. That sentiment rings true for Michelle Barton, part of the husband (Bobby) and wife team who own Southern Ice Cream, serving the Houston metro area and nearby towns,” according to their website.
When discussing the challenging current economic environment, Michelle says, “We are making it work. Our entire team is pitching in to keep everything moving smoothly.”
Due to COVID 19, Michelle talks about how they “reinvented themselves.” For example, they offer a “sundae ice cream kit” (How fun! I want one!) with hands-free delivery. It’s “super cute,” she explains, and it’s “a way to connect.” Connect they sure did, from kids buying them to show appreciation for their grandparents to parents purchasing the sundae kits for their graduating children.
Mobile vending is the core of their business, now with some necessary adaptations like plexiglass shields for event carts.
Our Houston area friends at Southern Ice Cream sell Rosati Italian Ice 6-ounce cups to mobile vendors for special events at schools, churches and businesses, to name a few. Popular flavors include Cry Baby cherry, watermelon, rosy‘moji, and Cry Baby sour apple. They also sell Rosati Ice’s 2.5 gallon bulk cans in lemon, cherry and mango. “No one beats Rosati’s mango italian water ice. It’s outstanding!”
Like Rosati Ice, Southern Ice Cream found a cause that resonates with them – Child Advocates of Fort Bend. “We are inspired by their mission and how they help.” Proceeds from pushcart rentals go towards the fight against child abuse.
When asked what she likes about having Rosati Ice as a valued vendor, Michelle quickly claims “Great people. Easy to work with. Good consistent product.” And Rosati Ice values this treasured long-term relationship as well.
Together, we will do the best we can. Every day. In every way.
13755 Greenland Drive
Stafford, TX 77477
Family means everything to Al Mele of Havertown (located in the Greater Philadelphia area), our newest mobile vendor. In fact, when asked about his family’s importance, he boasted “absolutely.”
Mele is not new to the food business and, in particular, Rosati Ice. Al admits, “ I was always involved in the food business, one way or another.” As a teen in Northeast Philly, he had a truck. And you guessed it – he sold Rosati water ice from this truck. And, here he is four decades later with another truck. And Rosati Ice.
When selecting his company’s name, Al chose the name “Owl” as his nieces and nephews affectionately call him Uncle Owl.
Al’s refurbished truck has family “literally” painted all over it. His niece created the graphics and his daughter painted the truck in fun, vibrant colors.
Excited to start a mobile vending business again, Al “came back to Rosati Ice”. Last fall, Al contacted the century old company because he knew about Rosati’s superior service and dairy free frozen desserts. “It’s a great product, love the scoopability”. Plus, Mele admired Rosati’s family values which are in line with his. “I am so grateful for Rosati Ice’s help and continued support” explains Al.
Al carries Rosati’s 6-ounce italian water ice cups in Emoji (cotton candy/blue raz), Cry Baby apple, Cry Baby watermelon, and Cry Baby cherry. His offerings also include Rosati Ice’s chocolate, classic rainbow, mango, cotton candy, cherry, blue raz, lemon, and orange cream in Rosati’s 2.5 gallon tubs.
Rosati Ice President Rich Trotter says “Al is quintessential Americana. When faced with daunting challenges, Al, rather than retreat, embraced and overcame them. As a result, Al shifted his focus to press forward in this new venture. We are blessed that Rosati Ice is the beneficiary of the new direction Al chose to pursue!”
Al continues to count on his family in Havertown and now he can rely on his new Rosati Ice Clifton Heights family as well!
Owl’s Water Ice and Treats
Havertown, PA 19083
Our newest customer, Chuck & Debbie Geisel of Chuck’s Homemade Ice Cream, in Southport, NC, may have moved from NJ to NC to “retire” but the pair are anything but. Along with his wife, they own a scoop shop in charming, downtown Southport. They hope to open a second location in their town’s new shopping center. And if that’s not enough, Chuck makes and sells his legendary ice cream to many stores in Brunswick County.
Nothing makes Chuck happier than churning out 400 tubs of ice cream. In one week! Yes, you read that correctly. That’s the equivalent of 21,200 six-ounce cups of ice cream!!!! Chuck’s customer service acumen keeps him a scoop ahead. For example, he recommends to each of his customers that they have a “signature” flavor which he develops. The recent one, called Noah’s Ark, is topped with animal crackers.
Despite the 50 flavors he makes and sells, Chuck was looking to expand his offerings. Chuck explains, “I knew of Rosati Ice when I was working decades ago in New Jersey. He easily recalls, “I remember how good it was – smooth, creamy, and flavorful.” Got that right, Chuck! Taste. Texture. Color. Only Rosati Ice has all three!
“I wanted a dairy-free frozen dessert because folks were asking for a lactose-free novelty. I know it’s taking off, because my first customer – The Scoop in Holden Beach – quickly sold a few cases of Rosati Ice’s 10-ounce cups and already ordered more.” The Geisel’s now have Rosati’s premium 2.5 gallon tubs in their scoop shop.
Chuck’s passion for ice cream has carried over to Rosati Italian ice. Knowing Chuck, by the end of this summer, not only will his ice cream be in several mom-and-pop shops, but so will Rosati Italian ice. So glad, you aren’t “retired” yet, Chuck. Keep on scoopin’!
Chuck’s Homemade Ice Cream
607 N. Howe Street
Southport, NC 28461