How to Start an Ice Cream Business

Jessie Chang
Jessie Chang

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

Table of Contents

ice cream shop

The idea of starting an ice cream business may sound cool, but it may be overwhelming at the same time. If you’re someone who’s willing to start their own ice cream business and has a list of cool ideas up their sleeve, then it’s time you explore all your options. Starting a business requires its own set of steps that must be taken to ensure it is a hit. And if you’re someone who is confused and doesn’t know where to begin, then you have landed at the right place.

We have come up with the ins and outs of starting an ice cream business to make the process effortless for you.

1. Market Research First

  • Competition and targeted audience :

Begin the research process by going through your local market and trying to understand the demand for ice cream in your area or city. Consider different flavors, what’s popular, and competition. Now, come up with a business plan that showcases the targeted audience, finances, vision, and mission, as well as your business’s budget. You can record all these in different resources such as MS Office and even small business administration for extra help regarding the structure.


For more flavors, the above website is good for you to learn. However, no matter how many flavors you found from the internet, you have to find the most competitive one to make your ice cream shop special.

  • Location of the business and equipment

It’s crucial to find an appropriate location for your ice cream parlor. Having an ice cream parlor in an area where there is a lot of hustle and bustle is important because this attracts a lot of customers. Then, you must invest in the right equipment, such as freezers, ice cream machines, display areas, and more. You also have to look for suppliers so you can source items locally and online.

  • Ingredients and Recipes

Opening, developing, or sourcing high-quality ice cream recipes is essential. You can experiment with a unique blend of flavors or work with different suppliers to discover premium products or combos. Consider supporting local businesses because this way, you can ensure your items are fresh and of promising quality.


2. Coming up with a branding and marketing plan

You are creating an attractive brand that connects with your audience. Make sure you come up with a catchy logo or a tagline. Your marketing plan should be strong and should include advertising, a social media presence, and a website. You can use different platforms, such as Canva(below picture) and Adobe Illustrator, for graphic design.

ice cream shop logo design from Canva

3. Coming with funds and finances

You are calculating the cost of your business, which includes rent, ingredients, machinery, and the marketing plan. You also need to focus on different financing options, such as savings, loans, and grants. You can also incorporate other tools like Quick Books for managing finances. You can even use Excel to record transactions and inventory.

4. Designing the menu and price by using Canva


You can go with something funky or playful or take a simple approach. The menu needs to have a variety of flavors, different options for toppings, and even other dessert or drink options to make it a one-stop shop. Now comes the pricing for this; many factors play a role, starting with where you’re outsourcing the items from, the competition, the cost of packaging, and even the profit.

You can use Canva to get an ideal menu for your ice cream shop

5. Selling Premium Items

One of the most important factors when opening an ice cream shop is understanding how to never compromise on quality. You need to impress the clients by providing them with flavors that are high in standard. This way, people will love your product and even recommend it to others. This not only increases the value of your business but also brings more clients. Before you begin, gather a few friends and family members to get valuable feedback. This gives you an insight into which product is loved and what changes need to be made regarding service or ice creams.

6. What kind of ice cream to serve? What can I sell in an ice cream shop?

Now comes the part where you must choose what ice cream you wish to serve.

Will it be a cute ice cream truck near the park or an ice cream parlor with rolled ice cream? Or like a gelato shop with top-quality imported or locally created dessert options, too. There’s so much to think over and decide. The ice cream truck idea can be a fun twist;

Ice Cream Truck

you can begin by making a store with an ice cream truck look inside instead of the counter. The area can be colorful, with small chairs and tables for the kids and adults. You can add a modern touch or even incorporate a cool, laid-back theme to your shop to make it even more fun.

Serving rolled ice cream sounds cool, doesn’t it?

Well, this is also something that you can experiment with, and what’s new truly sells. Everyone loves experimenting, and what’s better than trying out a blend of different flavors and even toppings but with a twist? Since the overhead cost of starting an ice cream business is quite low, you can enjoy about 50 to 60% profit margins for rolled ice cream.

Coffee and ice cream parlor?

Yes! Imagine walking in and having the option of grabbing your favorite coffee white your partner or little one can hold their favorite ice creams to go. You can even create delicious coffee and ice cream blends and impress the customers with something new. How about experimenting with spices? Imagine adding cinnamon ice cream or spicy ice cream to the menu! It surely would be a fun twist; you can create it in limited quantities, but you can expand your menu and be as creative as you can.

Soft drinks, snacks and others

  • Provide a sugar-free or low-sugar alternative for diabetics.
  • Include a dairy-free item
  • Have some beverages like juices and bottled sodas for grab-and-go.
  • Position a few savory items like crisps or salted nuts near the soda cooler.
  • Place impulse buys like gourmet chocolates and toffees near the counter.
  • Cakes and snacks
  • Go berserk and get a deep fryer so people can have fries with their shakes.

7. The favorite ice cream in India?


Indian people enjoy a variety of ice cream flavors both traditional and classic flavours. They enjoy Kulfi flavored ice creams which include a blend of cardamom, saffron and creamy texture. Mango flavour is also another option that’s loved by the people of India especially because it’s the national fruit as well. People love the sweetness and tanginess of the mango ice cream. Almond and Pistachio ice creams are also a favorite. Rose is also a common flavor and is loved by the Indians.

Amongst all the competitors, Amul has been ruling the ice cream industry in India. They are known to provide a wide range of delicious and rich in flavor ice creams, from vanilla and chocolate to unique Indian fusions such as Kesar Pista and even Rajbhog. They have something available for all their clients.

8. How to make the ice cream? The preparation works:

When it comes to making ice creams, the first step is to hire an experienced ice cream maker or learn by yourself. Get knowledge on machinery and equipment needed. If you’re the maker yourself, then you probably have your own set of recipes, so the maker can be a helping hand and provide you with some tips needed for everything to go smoothly.

Ice cream recipe

Ice cream recipe is the key factor in starting the business. Before you begin, it’s best to begin experimenting and trying out different flavors. From seasonal fruits to different biscuits and even classic flavors, you can test them out and get feedback from your family and loved ones. With every new recipe that you try, make sure to write it down somewhere safe and then add feedback right after it so you know if it was a hit or miss.

Commercial ice cream equipment

While your home freezer might be perfect for small batches, commercial ice cream production requires proper equipment. Since the freezer is one of the most important parts, it must be spacious so you can store gallons of different flavors that you have created. These yummy flavors can only be created if you have a good ice cream machine that mixes everything properly to ensure a rich and creamy texture. You need proper containers, dipping cabinets, and waffle cone makers to add to the experience. This way, your customers can enjoy delicious flavors with a touch of fresh waffle cones. Last but not least, the topping bar plays a really important role. You need to make sure you have a variety so people of all ages can enjoy their favorites. Some options that you must keep include roasted nuts, gummy bears, fruits, chocolate sauce, biscuits, small candies, and more.

9. How to sell the ice cream?

Now that we have finally concluded and understood the formation of the business and what needs to be done to start your business. The important question is: Will it be an ice cream parlor or a van?

At the Ice cream Parlour

Having an ice cream parlor means a bigger investment, which means you need to purchase high-quality equipment, rent out a place, hire a decorator, come up with a theme, and whatnot. This means that the project will require more time and effort. Initially, profits may be reinvested, but with time and the right amount of bargaining, you can reach your goal.

Ice Cream Parlor Van

Now, it might sound small but it can be a game changer for your business. Having an ice cream parlor van means you start small and grow into something big. You can come up with a cute name and sell a limited stock. This means lesser chances of loss and a higher chance to grow. You can park it new a park or a cool and busy spot where you know you will attract customers. Make sure the ice cream looks eye-catching because it will play a part in attracting customers to your business. Summers is the best time because everyone wants to indulge in the creamy goodness to beat the heat.

10. Conclusion

As a professional manufacturer of commercial ice cream equipment, Acenox are capable to provide you lots of suggestions about how to choose the ice cream equipment and how to use. Get to know various ice cream display equipment? Here we go!

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