How to Start Your Own Ice Cream Shop

The ice cream industry is pretty lucrative in the United States simply because Americans love their frozen dessert! In fact, industry statistics show that ice cream and other frozen desserts had a combined total sales of $2.62 billion in 2016.

If you are interested in starting your own ice cream business, there are a few things to sort out and consider before you take the plunge. Here we explain.

Decide what kind of shop you want to have

The first question you need to ask yourself is “What kind of ice cream shop do I want to run and what kinds of products do I want to sell?” However, answering this question isn’t all that easy. Some things to consider include:

  1. Your clientele's preferences. According to a recent Statistic Brain survey, nearly 80% of Americans prefer frozen yogurt to ice cream and gelato.

  2. How do you want to distribute your product? A full 69% of frozen yogurt shops are self serve, but establishing these brick and mortar stores can set you back hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in startup costs.

  3. Do you want to be mobile? The ice cream truck is having its moment and can be established with only a few thousand in start-up fees. Plus, you’re able to go anywhere!

Figure out your local government’s licensing laws

All 50 states and their local governments have their own rules when it comes to what licenses and permits you need to create a successful ice cream shop. This can vary by county, so make sure to sit down with a city official to ensure you are following all the necessary rules.

Fill the store with the necessary equipment

No ice cream shop can run without the necessary equipment! The four major components to consider when picking out your equipment include cooking equipment, refrigeration, storage, and serveware.

Find the right employees

Your employees can make or break your shop! According to IBISWorld, the U.S. ice cream industry employs roughly 17,839 people across the nation.

With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to creating a successful ice cream business!