How to Start an Ice Cream Parlor Business

Written by ken mccarron
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How to Start an Ice Cream Parlor Business
An ice cream parlour can be an extremely successful business. (ice cream image by AGphotographer from

An ice cream parlour is typically a very happy place, packed with many smiling faces. Something about this frozen treat just seems to draw people. An ice cream parlour can be an extremely successful business, but as with any business, there are steps to follow to aid your success.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Write a business plan. Every successful business starts with a detailed business plan. Include your mission statement, a financial breakdown, operating plan, marketing plan and competitor analysis.

  2. 2

    Visit local and state government offices and obtain any licenses and permits you will need to run your business. Your business will likely fall under the same regulations as restaurants, so food handling certificates and special permits may be required.

  3. 3

    Secure a location for your ice cream parlour. An area with a lot of foot traffic in a mall or on a busy street would be ideal. Look for ample counter space, and an area to include tables and chairs. Decide if you will seek to open a franchise or independent shop, and create a menu of ice cream dishes you will offer.

  4. 4

    Purchase your supplies and equipment. You will need a soft-serve ice cream machine, different freezers and display cases, tables, plus other smaller tools of the trade. You will also need to find a vendor to supply your ice cream. Ask other ice cream parlour owners who they recommend, and shop around until you find the right one for your business.

  5. 5

    Market your ice cream parlour. Try and arrange for the outside sign to go up before you open to generate interest. Mail out flyers to homes and businesses in your area with introductory specials. Create a website to highlight the different flavours you carry. Offer frequent buyer specials and ice cream club memberships.

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