Rita's Italian Ice has awarded a master franchise agreement for all of Canada to Canada Water Ice Company Ltd. of Calgary, Alberta.

Steve McDonough, president of Canada Water Ice Company and a franchise veteran, will oversee the growth throughout the country. The agreement calls for 80 outlets to be developed throughout the course of the next five years.

"We are proud to introduce Rita's Italian Ice to Canada," said Jonathan Fornaci, CEO of Rita's. "Steve McDonough and his franchise team will enable us to expand Rita's brand to many more fans throughout North America."

Canadian locations will carry Rita's signature Italian Ice flavors, including Cherry, Alex's Lemonade, Mango, Swedish Fish and Cotton Candy. They will also include Ice treats, sugar-free flavors, Misto Shakes, Blendini's, Gelatis and milkshakes.

"We love Rita's Italian Ice products and their long history and track record of success," McDonough said. "We can't wait to grow the brand and share our love of Rita's with our fellow Canadians. One taste and you become an instant fan. "

The new Canadian master franchisee will offer franchise opportunities to those with quick-service restaurant experience and multi-unit operators with an emphasis on satellite and mobile units.

Rita's Franchise Company, headquartered in Trevose, Pa., currently operates in 19 states with more than 625 outlets.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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