How to Start a Shaved Ice Business

Published: 01st October 2009
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Many individuals are attracted to starting a shaved ice business because of low start-up costs and high profit potential. The operation of a shaved ice stand is relatively easy to learn. Many retirees enjoy this type of business because of the opportunity to interact with community members. But depending on what part of the country you live in, this business can be seasonal in nature. Here's how to start a shaved ice business.

Things you will need:

  • Ice Shaver

  • Flavors

  • Freezer

  • Block Ice maker

  • Shaved Ice Cups

Step 1: Find a Location
A successful shaved ice business is typically located in a high traffic area dense with businesses. The location should be close to schools, special events and have heavy foot traffic.

Step 2: Secure the Proper Permits
All states require that a business be registered with their local or municipal governing agency. Contact the city and county where you'll operate your shaved ice business and ask about obtaining the necessary licenses. The cost for a business license can range from $50 to $100.

Step 3: Contact Your State Heath Food Department
You will need to contact your state health food department to obtain a food card. Most state health departments require those serving food to obtain a food handlers card. Contact the department and ask what is required. You will typically need to take a test and pay a nominal fee.

Step 4: Purchase the Necessary Equipment
After you secure the required permits and location, you're ready to purchase equipment. You will need an ice shaver, flavors, freezer, a block ice maker and shaved ice cups. If you will be running your business from a mobile unit, you will need to purchase that as well. Companies such as Snowie sell these units.

Step 5: Make a Plan for Staffing
While first starting out, most shaved ice businesses are a one-person operation. However, as your business grows, you may need to hire an extra person to staff your business.

Tip: Focus On Events
Mobile shaved ice businesses have an opportunity to target community events. Read your daily newspaper for concerts, little league games, art festivals and other types of community announcements.

Warning: Find a Reliable Supplier
When interviewing potential suppliers find a business that can turn around a shipment in a week or less. Also, consider purchasing higher volumes of supplies to qualify for price breaks.

eHow. "How to Start a Snow Cone Business." Sidney. 29 Sep. 2009 [].

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