Equipment Needed to Start an Ice Cream Shop

Jessie Chang
Jessie Chang

Sales Manager Of Acenox
Engage in the commercial kitchen equipment industry for 8 years+

Table of Contents

ice cream shop equipment


Ice cream is a sweet, mouth-watering, frosty treat that no one can say no to. If you have decided to start a successful ice cream set-up, you need to do market research first, so you better know what commercial ice cream equipment you need to buy before diving into the ice cream business. So, let’s get into it:

Commercial Ice Cream Equipment


Investing in the right type and quality of commercial ice cream equipment is the most important decision when setting up a new ice cream shop. If you invest once and for all in top-quality ice cream machines, dipping cabinets, cone dispensers, and ice cream display freezers, this equipment will last longer than expected.

Let’s talk about the must-have commercial ice cream equipment we have shortlisted for you.

What do I need for an ice cream business?

1. Firstly, Decide the Ice Cream Types

soft serve ice cream
soft ice cream
scooped ice cream

First things first, you need to understand the types of ice creams that are most popular and that you would want to keep in your shop. We will discuss these ice cream types and their required equipment.

Soft Ice Cream

Soft Ice Cream is instant ice cream, it is also the most common type of ice cream, and it is made from milk, ice cream powder, artificial flavors, and sweeteners. The pre-mixed mixture of the ingredients is introduced to the machine’s storage chamber.

Scooped Ice Cream

Hard scooped ice cream is usually made by pasteurizing and then homogenizing the ice cream mixture. It is meant to be stored directly in the Batch Freezers to avoid crystallization.

Ice Popsicle

Ice popsicles are mostly 80% water; the other 20% of the ingredients include sugar, corn syrup, gum, artificial sweeteners, and stabilizers to give the popsicle the perfect taste and texture.


Gelato is a denser and creamier ice cream that originated in Italy. It is made with the usual ingredients, such as milk, sugar, and artificial flavors.

2. Equipment Needed to Start An Ice Cream Shop

Commercial Refrigerator

Refrigerator is an essential equipment to run your ice cream shop no matter what kind of ice cream you serve. It will be used to preserve the ice cream keeping its freshness intact. Raw materials will also be stored in your refrigerator as it provides a controlled temperature to store your ingredients like dairy products, eggs, butter, cream, sauces and syrups. It’s crucial to invest in a good-sized refrigerator according to the capacity and space in your shop.

Batch Freezers for Hard Ice Cream

ice cream batch freezer machine
Batch Freezer

A batch freezer is used to produce hard ice cream, which is also called scooped ice cream or gelato. Batch freezers are large, and they quickly freeze the ice cream mixture, preventing the air from entering the cream containers and keeping its texture smooth and fluffy as desired. It will make sure that you never run out of your ice cream base mixture. There are various types of batch freezers available in the market, ranging from small countertop models suitable for small-scale production to large industrial units capable of producing large quantities of ice cream in a single batch. They’re commonly used in ice cream shops, bakeries, restaurants, and food manufacturing facilities.

Blast Freezers after the Batch Freezers

working process of a blast freezer
Blast Freezers

Your customers keep returning to you for the same flavor that excites them and the same texture of the ice cream that melts in their mouths. If you want to keep the flavor and texture of your ice cream persistent, blast freezers will prove to be a life savior for you.

Blast or shock freezers work best when it comes to freezing your ice cream as quickly as possible. Using a blast freezer will minimize the formation of ice crystals in your ice cream, and the smaller the crystals, the creamier and fluffier your ice cream’s texture will be.

Ice Cream Machine For Soft Serve Ice Cream

ice cream machine

An ice cream shop can’t run without a commercial ice cream machine. You need to invest in a good quality machine that can create the kind of ice cream you wish to sell, as it is the most important equipment in your shop. You may be confused after seeing the variety of ice cream machines available in the market, so do your research first. You can check out which brand has the best reviews or which brand is used by the most famous ice cream parlors so you can go for the same. There are different ice cream machines for different types of ice cream, like gelato or soft ice cream, so decide accordingly.

Ice Cream Dipping Cabinets For Scooped Ice Cream

commercial ice cream freezer

Ice Cream Dipping cabinets are the storage cabinets used to store ice cream in bulk quantities. Visual Dipping Cabinets keep the ice cream at a constant temperature, ensuring its freshness when it is served to your customers. There are a variety of storage cabinets available on the market, with different sizes, sliding doors, and adjustable shelves. Choose a nice dipping cabinet that looks attractive and fits your requirements, adding to the beauty of your ice cream shop. Ice cream dipping cabinets are a great source to attract your customers, and they can choose from which flavor to choose by looking at the appealing ice cream display. Some ice cream dipping cabinets also come with proper lighting inside the shelves, making the ice cream look more appealing. Investing in a good-quality dipping cabinet can boost your sales automatically.

Commercial Sinks

A single bowl sink for small ice cream shop or a double dowl sink for a larger ice cream shop is necessary for washing hands or related applicances.

single industrial sink


A commercial blender is a must have for a newly opened ice cream shop. A blender is a multi-purpose kitchen utensil that can be used for smooth blending and mixing of several mixtures like smoothies and shakes.

Tubs and Cones

Another most useful ice cream equipment are tubs and cones to serve the delicacies at your ice cream shop. You can shop and store a variety of cones from the usual sugar cones to chocolate waffle cones, that too in different sizes. Your ice cream cones should taste good and be appealing in shape to maximize the ice cream flavors. Also, get your ice cream tubs printed in your brand color and logo to market your brand.

Ice Cream Topping Bar

ice cream topping bar

Customers especially children love to select from the variety of toppings that are on display. To store the ice cream toppings properly, you should consider buying an Ice Cream Toppings Bar to store various toppings like hot fudge, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, nuts, fruits and berries.

Ice Cream Business

Explore the market and do the research before opening an ice cream shop

Market research and competitors’ knowledge are crucial before starting any business. When you research in depth about the industry you are planning to step in, it helps you understand the market trends and set up your business accordingly. Set up your market research while following these steps:

1. Identify your target audience

Know who your customers are. What are their preferences and choices? When you know your audience well, it is easier to market your product according to their mindset.

2. Know your competitors

Your enemies are sometimes your best friends. Get to know what others are doing in the same business. Learn from their mistakes to avoid making mistakes. Check out their location, prices, and products they are offering, and then set up your business accordingly.

3. Estimate the demand

Understanding the demand and supply chain is very important before starting any business. Producing a certain product that is not in demand is pointless. Assess and analyze the demand for ice cream flavours according to seasons and peak times. You should also consider factors like weather or festivals that may impact your sales.

4. Customer feedback

Nothing can be better than having a genuine customer opinion. Ask your customers to give honest feedback and rate their experience. You can always improve in light of such feedback, as there’s always room for improvement, and nothing can be better than satisfying your customers.

5. Market test run

Before launching a huge batch of a new product that may or may not run in the market, it is more sensible to do a market-run test of the product. You can test your products by free sampling or free-tasting methods.

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