BREAKING: Ritter's sold to New York firm

May 2, 2008

The family owners of Ritter's Frozen Custard have agreed to sell the popular homegrown chain to New York-based TruFoods LLC for an undisclosed price.

Bob Ritter, CEO of parent RFC Franchising LLC, confirmed the deal in an interview with IBJ this morning. He said the chain's headquarters and most of its staff will remain in Indianapolis.

"We're extremely excited," said Ritter, son of founder John Ritter. "It'll give us the resources to grow the concept."

The first Ritter's store, which opened in Franklin in 1989, was a hit. But Ritter's has struggled in recent years with growing pains and increased competition. Franchisees have closed several stores, including locations in central Indiana.

The chain now has more than 40 stores in eight states, primarily in the Midwest.

TruFoods has three restaurant brands in its stable: Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips, Pudgie's Famous Chicken and Wall Street Deli. Co-branded locations with Ritter's are possible, Ritter said, but the prospect hasn't been discussed in detail.

Read a previous IBJ story about Ritter's here.

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