I know what you’re thinking, sweeties – why on earth would anyone want to sell anything other than ice cream at an ice cream shop?
But hear me out!
As someone who has spent years working in the ice cream business, I can tell you that offering a variety of products beyond just ice cream can be a real game-changer for small ice cream shops.
In this blog post, I’ll be discussing some of the best choices to sell at your ice cream shop besides ice cream, where to buy ice cream for resale, where to sell ice cream, and some creative small ice cream shop ideas.
What are some good choices to sell at my ice cream shop, other than ice cream?
Sorbets and Italian ice
For customers who are looking for non-dairy or low-fat options, sorbets and Italian ice are a great alternatives to ice cream.
These refreshing treats are made with fresh fruit, water, and sugar, and are perfect for a hot summer day.
Plus, they come in a variety of flavors and can be customized to suit any taste.
Baked goods like cookies, brownies, and cakes are the perfect complement to ice cream.
Not only do they provide a delicious contrast in texture, but they also come in a wide range of flavors and can be customized to match the ice cream flavors on offer.
Selling baked goods can also help to increase sales and attract customers who might not be in the mood for ice cream.
Coffee and tea
For customers who prefer a warm beverage, offering coffee and tea can be a great way to diversify your product range.
Not only does it cater to a different taste preference, but it also offers a chance to increase sales throughout the day, even when it’s not quite ice cream weather.
You could even offer ice cream coffee drinks, like affogatos or frappes.
Milkshakes and smoothies
Milkshakes and smoothies made with ice cream, fresh fruit, and other ingredients are a great way to offer something different and exciting to your customers.
They’re perfect for customers who want a refreshing treat that’s a bit more substantial than ice cream, and they can be customized to suit any taste.
Plus, offering milkshakes and smoothies can be a great way to increase sales during the summer months.
H2: Where can I buy ice cream for resale?
One of the best places to buy ice cream for resale is from wholesale suppliers.
These suppliers offer bulk purchases at discounted prices, which can help you to save money in the long run.
Some popular wholesale suppliers include Gordon Food Service, Sysco, and US Foods.
Local dairy farms
If you’re looking for fresh, locally sourced ice cream, then local dairy farms are a great option.
Not only can you support local businesses, but you can also offer a unique and high-quality product to your customers.
To find local dairy farms near you, try searching on LocalHarvest.org or contacting your state’s dairy association.
Large chain stores
Large chain stores like Costco, Walmart, and Sam’s Club offer a wide variety of ice cream brands and flavors at competitive prices.
While these stores may not offer the same level of customization or quality as other suppliers, they can be a great option for small ice cream shops looking to keep costs low.
Where Can I Sell Ice Cream?
Of course, once you’ve purchased your ice cream, you need to figure out where to sell it.
Here are some popular venues to consider:
- Farmers’ markets and food festivals: These events are a great way to showcase your ice cream shop and connect with potential customers. Farmers’ markets and food festivals often attract people who are looking for unique and artisanal products, making them a perfect fit for small ice cream shops.
- Sporting events and outdoor concerts: If there’s a local sports team or concert venue in your area, consider setting up a mobile ice cream stand to sell your products. These types of events often draw large crowds, and people are always looking for a refreshing treat to enjoy during halftime or intermission.
- Catering events: Weddings, corporate events, and other types of catering events often require dessert options. Consider reaching out to local event planners and catering companies to see if they’re interested in partnering with your ice cream shop.
- Your own shop: Of course, the most obvious place to sell ice cream is in your own shop! Make sure your shop is in a high-traffic area and is easily accessible to potential customers. Consider offering discounts and promotions to first-time customers to encourage them to try your products.
Small Ice Cream Shop Ideas
If you’re looking for creative ways to stand out and attract customers, here are some ideas to consider:
- Offer a unique and varied menu of ice cream flavors: While vanilla and chocolate are always popular options, consider experimenting with unique and creative flavors to set your ice cream shop apart. Some popular flavors include lavender honey, basil, and matcha green tea.
- Create custom ice cream cakes and cater to special events: Ice cream cakes are a great way to offer a unique and personalized dessert option for special occasions. Consider offering customizable cakes for weddings, birthdays, and other events to attract new customers.
- Host ice cream socials and events at the shop: Hosting events like ice cream socials, tastings, and workshops can help you engage with the community and attract new customers. Consider partnering with other local businesses to co-host events and offer joint promotions.
- Collaborate with other local businesses to cross-promote and offer joint promotions: Partnering with other businesses in your area can be a great way to reach new customers and expand your customer base. Consider partnering with nearby restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries to offer joint promotions and cross-promote each other’s products.
How can I ensure the quality and consistency of my ice cream?
Ensuring the quality and consistency of your ice cream is crucial to the success of your ice cream shop. Here are some tips to help you maintain high standards:
- Use high-quality ingredients: Start with fresh and high-quality ingredients to create your ice cream base. Use milk and cream from trusted suppliers and fresh fruits and other flavorings.
- Maintain equipment: Regularly clean and maintain your ice cream making equipment to ensure it is in top working condition. This will help you achieve consistent results every time.
- Follow recipes: Follow your recipes carefully, and make sure to measure ingredients accurately. This will help you maintain consistency in your ice cream products.
- Conduct taste tests: Taste your ice cream regularly to ensure that it meets your standards. Ask for feedback from customers and adjust your recipes accordingly.
What are some effective marketing strategies for promoting my ice cream shop?
Marketing your ice cream shop is essential to attract new customers and retaining existing ones. Here are some effective strategies to promote your ice cream shop:
- Use social media: Create social media accounts for your ice cream shop and regularly post photos of your products, promotions, and events. Encourage customers to share their experiences and tag your shop in their posts.
- Collaborate with influencers: Partner with social media influencers to promote your ice cream shop. Reach out to local influencers or those with an interest in food or desserts.
- Host events: Host events such as ice cream socials, tastings, or workshops to engage with the community and attract new customers.
- Offer loyalty programs: Implement a loyalty program to reward repeat customers and encourage them to return to your shop.
How can I manage inventory and avoid waste in my ice cream shop?
Managing inventory and avoiding waste are crucial for the success of your ice cream shop. Here are some tips to help you manage inventory and reduce waste:
- Monitor sales: Keep track of your sales to help you understand which products are popular and which ones are not. This will help you adjust your inventory levels accordingly.
- Use inventory management software: Consider using inventory management software to help you keep track of your stock levels and prevent over-ordering or under-ordering.
- Offer samples: Offer samples of your products to customers to help them make informed purchasing decisions. This can help reduce waste from unsold products.
- Donate excess product: Consider donating excess products to local food banks or shelters to reduce waste and give back to the community.
In conclusion, offering a variety of products in your ice cream shop can help you overcome common challenges and increase sales.
Sorbets, baked goods, coffee, and milkshakes are all great options to offer alongside your ice cream products.
Additionally, finding the right suppliers, exploring different selling opportunities, and implementing effective marketing strategies can help your ice cream shop thrive.
Remember to experiment with different product offerings and selling strategies to find what works best for your business.
Rosy is a passionate ice cream blogger and vlogger. She shares her love for ice cream through reviews, recipes, and tips on finding the best ice cream shops. She attends festivals and events to try new flavors and connect with fellow enthusiasts. Follow her on this delicious journey to explore the world of ice cream.