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Rita's Italian Ice opening on Frederick Road in Catonsville

A Rita’s Italian Ice is scheduled to celebrate its grand opening on Frederick Road on Sunday, Oct. 28, from 2-5 p.m.

The new shop is located at 609 Frederick Road, next to a BP gas station and across the street from a Jiffy Lube store.

Albert Holley and his wife Melissa Holley, the owners, also own a Rita’s franchise in Windsor Mill. He said they knew they wanted to expand the business, and Catonsville seemed like a perfect location.

“Catonsville has always been a well-run town, always [had] a good, stable sense of community,” Albert Holley said. “We want to run our store like a community store.”

He said they’re choosing to open in October, when the weather is changing, in order to “work out the kinks” and meet people in the community. Holley said he anticipates there will be fewer customers in the fall and early winter than there would be if they opened next spring.

The grand opening will include a ribbon cutting, speeches by elected officials and a performance by the Garrison Forest School Chamber Choir. The shop likely will close from the end of December until early February, Albert Holley said.

During the grand opening, a regular ice will cost $1 and a regular gelati — a Rita’s staple made with frozen ice and custard — will cost $2.

Since the flavored ice is made each morning, Rita’s Catonsville will choose which flavors to offer on its opening day based on the results of an ongoing Facebook poll, Albert Holley said.

The ribbon cutting is being sponsored by the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce. Teal Cary, the organization’s executive director, said she was excited for the venue to open, even with the colder weather setting in.

“I think it’s great to introduce themselves to the community now and be open for a little bit,” Cary said. “I think that was a smart move, actually, rather than letting it sit there with everybody waiting.”

Cary said that Holley had already joined the chamber.

The Catonsville Rita’s Italian Ice already is working with community groups to host fundraisers. Twenty percent of the purchase price of items bought between 6 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, will go toward the Catonsville High School After Prom Party.

Melissa Holley said the couple reached out to area schools to see if they needed a fundraising opportunity.

“We believe it’s important to be a part of the community and give back to the community, especially students,” she said.

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