Preparing for an Ice Cream Stand Business

Do you love ice cream and want to spread your love for it to other people? Why not start your own ice cream stand business? This venture is a great start up business since you won’t have to limit yourself with a set location. You can take the ice cream stand to different locations to see where you can increase your profits. Likewise, you can start off by operating on a seasonal basis—hello summer!—when there is high demand for ice cream stand

As with any business undertaking however, you have to take in some important considerations before you dive business. Generally speaking, you have to have a solid business plan, a sufficient budget, dependable and sturdy equipment and stand structure, a well-organized marketing approach, and the necessary permits and licenses.

To start, you should have a solid business plan for your venture. A well thought out and organized business plan will act as your guide as you go along. Things you must consider include the following:

  • Possible locations of your stand.
  • Will you be selling in only one location or moving your stand. If so, think about how often you will move your stand, as well as times throughout the day.
  • Power supply considerations, most importantly, if you have access to it.
  • What items you will be selling. Your own ice cream recipe or prepackaged ice cream products?
  • Equipment you’ll need.
  • Market research
  • Marketing plan

Once you’ve created a business plan, you should definitely factor in your budget for the stand. Will you be using your own money or will you need to source money from other sources to get you started? You can always opt to partner up with a trusted family or friend, ask your family, or close relatives and friends for a loan, or consider taking out a small business loan from a reputable financial institution. Consider the scope of your business first so that you can gauge just how much money you’ll need to get the wheels turning.

ice cream standWhen you have the necessary budget, you should then think about what products to sell and the equipment that you need to invest in. Research is key. Look around similar ice cream businesses to see what products sell and what equipment they are using. You should definitely invest in reliable equipment, but without blowing your budget on fancy stuff you don’t really need. Likewise, check the dimensions of possible locations so you will be sure that your stand will fit.

Don’t forget to get the required permits and licenses that come with starting a business. First of, you should get in touch with local government to determine all the specific rules and regulations since these are different from state to state and area to area. Commonly, aside from business permits and health permits from the food department in your area, you should also acquire the necessary permits to sell in different locations if you plan on having a mobile stand.

Lastly, you should think about marketing tactics, especially since your business is just starting out. Make use of all marketing media available to you, banners, print ads, flyers, and most of all, since this is the age of the Internet, build a blog or pages in various social networking sites. You can also consider offering promos or discounts on the opening day, and similar strategies that will surely bring customers in.

Important Considerations When Buying Ice Cream Freezers

Having an ice cream maker, also called ice cream freezers, at home is that you can make ice cream anytime the mood strikes you. However, ice cream makers come in different types so selecting what you need can be quit confusing. To make sure that you won’t be wasting your hard earned cash for something that you can’t use to its maximum capacity, here are some important things to consider before buying the best ice cream maker for your kitchen.

Capacity and Size

Ice cream freezers come in a variety of sizes and capacities. When choosing the right product for you, consider how much ice cream you are planning to make. Ask yourself this: are you regularly going to make ice cream for a handful of people, for more people, or are you going to use it for an ice cream business?

Built-in Freezer or Bowl

Ice Cream FreezerThe affordable types are those that come with removable pre-freezing bowls which have to be frozen ahead of time prior to using the machine. These types are perfect for those who don’t have a load of cash to spend. You can simply store the bowl in your freezer so that when you are ready to make ice cream, the bowl’s also ready to go. Read the product leaflets when picking among bowl-type ice cream machines since pre-freezing time varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and some may require wrapping the bowl in plastic or something similar.

On the other hand, if you don’t have the patience for pre-freezing bowls and you have a bigger budget, you can purchase them with built-in freezers instead. These are also ideal for those who will be making ice cream on a regular basis since the higher cost will be justified by how frequently you will be using the machine.


What exactly will you do with your ice cream machine? Note that there are models that exclusively make regular ice cream, while some are capable of making soft-serve, cocktails, and slushies.

Cycle Time

Majority of freezers are capable of churning or freezing ice cream in around 20-30 minutes. Check manufacturer information to get specifics.

Safety Features and Warranties

Read the manufacturer’s description carefully to see if the machine offers safety features like interlocking lids or non-slip feet. Likewise, check to see if a unit has a recognized safety mark indicating that the manufacturer complies with the proper safety measures. In addition, check the warranty coverage.


Considering that you won’t be using the ice cream maker for business purposes, check your kitchen for possible storage locations.

Reputable Reviews

Surf the Internet (especially forums and personal blogs) and read magazines to check the feedback on different ice cream freezers.

Extras and Spare Parts

Refer to descriptions of ice cream makers to check if they come with extra items. Extra items normally include recipe booklets, spatulas, and pouring jugs to name a few. Also check out Sweet Ice Cream Love for reviews. Recipe books will definitely come in very handy since the recipes included will provide you with a practical guide concerning ingredients, freezing times, etc. since the recipes are tailor-fitted and tested using the machine.

Some also come with LCD panels that can display the time it takes to finish the churning process so you know when to check. Some also come with bigger spouts to make it easier for you to add ingredients. In addition, confirm if the manufacturer also makes spare parts such as separate freezer bowls or paddles which may be useful as backups.

Ice Cream Maker: Manual and Electric Types

Chocolate and vanilla ice creamThose looking to invest in an ice cream machine, commonly called an ice cream maker, can choose from the manual or electric types. A manual ice cream maker is made up of an outer bigger bowl and an inner smaller bowl that makes use of a hand-cracked system for turning the paddle or dasher used for stirring the ice cream mixture. The outer bigger bowl on the other hand is filled with a mixture of ice and salt.

The combination of ice and salt will result in freezing point depression. This process occurs because of the heat of fusion resulting from the salt melting the ice, which in turn absorbs this heat from the mixture and freezes the ice cream. This kind of ice cream machine is very affordable but will suffice for those making ice cream at home. However, it can be sometimes messy since the salt and ice mixture generates extra salty water that should be properly cleaned up. Likewise, the mixture should always be replenished for each new batch of ice cream.

Other manual machine units can hold 500ml or a pint of ice cream mixture and have hollow walls that contain cooling element. Usually, the paddle is placed into a plastic top. The ice cream mixture will be placed in the frozen bowl and then put in the freezer. The paddles should be operated by hand every 10 minutes or more in the course of several hours until your reach the ideal flavor and consistency.

The electric ice cream maker comes in three types. All types use an electric motor for stirring the ice cream, but each has different cooling mechanisms. Freezer-unit, electric ice cream makers’ functions similar to food processors. The paddles automatically turn every several seconds when stirring the ice cream and will stop automatically once the ice cream is sufficiently frozen. Because the ice cream will be cooled via storing it in a freezer as opposed to the bowl having direct contact with a coolant, the ice cream tends to freeze slower than other types.

Two scoops of chocolate ice cream

Two scoops of chocolate ice cream

On the other hand, a countertop ice cream machine utilizes a two-walled bowl that holds a solution in the middle, usually made of urea and distilled water. This solution is capable of freezing well below the water’s freezing point. The unit must be frozen a solid day in advance in a freezer before using. The frozen bowl is then placed in the maker, filled with the ice cream mixture, and turned on. The mixture will slowly freeze because of contact with the bowl as the paddles continuously stirs. The cooling solution will thaw out in 20-30 minutes and you’ll see the finished ice cream product.

Ice cream makers that are bigger, sturdier, and more expensive make use of a built-in freezing system that doesn’t require pre-chilling bowls. Once you turn on the cooling mechanism, you can pour the ice cream mix in several minutes and activate the paddles. Depending on how much ice cream you are making, the freezing process can take around 20-30 minutes.

This type of ice cream maker is perfect for small-scale commercial ice cream production since you can use it on the fly and can accommodate countless ice cream batches without delays. However, some models can’t be moved around without a 12-hour waiting time prior to use since moving the machine around will negatively affect the coolant’s integrity. They are therefore not practical for home kitchens where appliances are more often than not re-positioned before and after use.

Easy Ice Cream Making Process

strawberry ice creamAlthough ice cream making is not for everyone, those who love ice cream will be glad to know that it is actually easy and don’t take up much of your time. With making your own ice cream, you get to pick the freshest ingredients and flavors that you want. To start you off, below is an easy ice cream making process for strawberry ice cream.

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups of sugar6 tbsp. of flour
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ pint of fresh strawberries
  • 4 cups of half and half cream or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring
  • Rock salt
  • Crushed ice

The prep time for this ice cream is around 20 minutes.

Combine and whisk together 2 cups of sugar, flour, and salt in a three-quart pan until blended well. Mix in eggs and milk and blend some more. Cook the ice cream base custard over mid-low heat while stirring frequently and let it thicken; this takes about 7-10 minutes. Use a thermometer to determine if the temperature of the mixture has reached 165-180 degrees F, remove from the heat and cool.

Next, cover the mixture and chill in the ref for two hours minimum. Ideal chilling time is 24 hours. You can hasten the cooling process by placing the pan in a bigger pan with ice water and salt and stir for several minutes. The aging or chilling process provides better whipping features for producing a smoother finished product.

Combine strawberries with a cup of sugar and lemon juice and start crushing them in a bowl. Let sit for at least an hour.

Once you’re done chilling the ice cream base, add the cream, strawberry mix, vanilla extract, and red food coloring if you prefer. Prepare your ice cream machine.

Place the ice cream mixture in the machine and then freeze it by following the instructions that came with your machine. Serve and enjoy!

The aging or chilling process is crucial since this eliminate heat from the mixture and introduces air into it. The elimination of heat occurs through conduction via the metal pan to the ice water and salt solution that surrounds the pan. The amount of salt to use is also important since if you utilize too little salt, there is a huge possibility that freezing won’t occur. On the other hand, if you utilize too much salt, the mixture might freeze too fast and the consistency of the mixture won’t be smooth. In general, you should use half a cup of salt with 4 cups of ice.

Likewise, it should be noted that texture is a big factor when it comes to ice cream making. The constant churning of your ice cream maker is vital since it will add air. This will result in a smoother texture and will also increase its volume. Once the churning process has started, don’t stop. A break in the churning process may result in the formation of big ice crystals in the mixture’s coldest areas and will generate a grainy consistency. Additionally, there is a possibility that the center portion won’t even freeze.

The constant churning likewise distributes the added flavors and carries the unfrozen mixture parts to the surface for better blending action. With this easy ice cream procedure, your mixture will take around 20-30 minutes to freeze in the machine. Afterwards, you just put it in the freezer so that it will harden.

Easy Ice Cream Base Recipe

baseWhen making ice cream, it is imperative that you start out with a great ice cream base since the base is made up of basic ice cream ingredients for a wide variety of ice cream recipes. You can simply add your desired flavorings to the base. When you’ve familiarized yourself with a basic ice cream, you just experiment with different flavors and textures to make the ice cream recipe your own.

For a basic sweet ice cream, you will need 2 large eggs, 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, ¾ cup of sugar, and a cup of whole milk. This ice cream recipe will yield around one quart of ice cream.

Ice cream making instructions:

  1. To start with the base, mix the whole milk and whipping cream together in a pan over mid-low heat.
  2. Beat the two eggs in a bowl while waiting for the milk mixture to heat up.
  3. Add sugar very gradually while beating the eggs with an electric mixer and mix for a minute or two once you’ve added all the sugar.
  4. Once the milk mixture has been heated to around 140 degrees F, slowly whisk around a third of the mixture with the egg mixture. This tempering process will prevent the eggs from turning into scrambled eggs because of heat. Pour the rest of milk mixture after 30 seconds or so and mix well.
  5. Continue on heating the base to make certain that no bacteria will thrive in the mixture. This heating process will also lend a cooked flavor to the mixture. It should be heated over mid-low heat and constantly stirred until it is heated up to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Hold for 25 seconds at the least as per the requirement of the Food and Drug Administration.
  6. Next, strain the base and cool for a while prior to putting in extracts that can potentially evaporate. You can make the cooling process faster by putting the mixture in a metal bowl inside a bigger metal bowl with ice, salt, and a bit of water. You can now add a teaspoon of simple flavor extracts like cinnamon or vanilla.
  7. Chill the base by utilizing the bowl, salt, and ice process or chilling it inside the refrigerator until it reaches below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Chilling is crucial since the mixture will freeze quicker when chilled before putting it in the ice cream maker. More importantly, the quicker your base freezes, the tinier the ice crystals, resulting in a smoother, more ideal texture.
  8. The next step is using an ice cream machine. For this, (it doesn’t matter if you have a manual type ice cream maker or electric type) you should explicitly follow the instructions that come with your unit since no machine is ever really alike. Normally however, 30 minutes is sufficient for electric models. If you churned the ice cream more than you should have, you’ll end up with a stiff consistency.

These last steps should be done in a quick and efficient manner, lest you end up with “icy” ice cream. Remove the finished product from the ice cream maker, put them in suitable containers (you can reuse containers from store-brought ice creams), and place them in your freezer. Hopefully, you’ll end up with ice cream similar to store-brought ice cream after two to three hours. Consider putting the ice cream in pre-chilled and smaller containers for faster freezing time.