I don't visit the boards very often any more, but I thought this warranted coming out of the woodwork. We were so thrilled when a Rita's opened in our area (Dayton, Ohio) because it is the only place we can go as a family and enjoy "ice cream" together. My in-laws took my daughter there today, as they often do, and made a comment to the manager about how nice it was to be able to enjoy a treat there and not worry. The manager told them that over the winter, at some type of corporate meeting, they are discussing adding nut or nut-inclusive items to their menus to try to increase business. I don't mean to be dramatic, but this news is so upsetting for our family. I thought that having that "safe" place taken away might also be upsetting to many of you, so I would encourage anyone who enjoys Rita's to write to them and let them know they would be losing business if they made this change. I can't imagine anyone is truly avoiding Rita's because they don't have nuts!
I'd also like to note that on their website, several items have been listed as possibly having cross-contamination with peanuts. However it is a small number of items and, as nothing in their store has peanuts as a direct ingredient, I am still more than comfortable with my daughter eating there and avoiding those few items.
I hope we can convince them not to make this change!
On Oct 16, 2008
Thanks for this info. I have written to thank them in the past and will write them again right now. This is one of my DS's favorite treats. It would break his hear if we couldn't go there anymore...
On Oct 16, 2008
I just want to update this with the information I was given after contacting Rita's. The upcoming change, as I was informed, is that they are adding M&M minis as a topping choice. After further inspection of the info on their corporate website it looks like all of their toppings and three of their flavors are a potential risk for peanut cross-contamination. They still do not have any nut or nut derived ingredients. I am comfortable going there and avoiding the items that may be cross contaminated. I email back and forth with the gentleman who contacted me to make sure I had the information right! I still think it is a good idea to let them know we appreciate what they do and ask them to continue to keep nuts off/out of the menu!