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How Much Does It Cost to Open an Ice Cream Shop?

The amount required to start an ice cream shop business in the United States is not uniform and will vary a great deal based on certain factors.

You may choose to invest over $150,000 to set up an ice cream shop business. The bottom line is that you can work with whatever budget you have and still establish your ice cream business.

In as much as you can work with any amount you have and still run an ice cream shop business, it is important to note that there are certain important factors that can determine the amount it will cost you to successfully start an ice cream shop business.

Factors That Determine the Cost of Opening an Ice Cream Shop

  1. The Location You Want to Start the Ice Cream Shop 

For example, the cost of living and the real estate market are more expensive in cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, and Dallas when compared to smaller cities in the United States of America.

If you choose to start your ice cream shop business in any of such cities, you will spend more and that will to a large extent affect the overall cost of starting your ice cream business.

  1. The Cost of Equipping Your Ice Cream Shop 

If you have plans to start a standard ice cream shop business, you are required to rent or lease either a restaurant, or a shop facility, and then equip the facility.

Aside from getting comfortable furniture such as stools, couches, sofas, tables, and shelves et al, you will definitely need to purchase ice cream machines (gelato or soft-serve), display freezers or dipping cabinets, refrigerators and freezers for storage,

Ice cream scoops and spades, toppings and ingredient dispensers, point-of-sale (POS) system, cash register, cold storage for ingredients, cleaning supplies and equipment, tables and chairs for seating (if applicable), sinks and handwashing stations, etc.

  1. The Number of Staff You Want to Recruit

If you choose to start a standard ice cream shop business, then you must make plans to recruit and train key employees who will occupy different roles in your organization.

Basically, you should make plans to recruit a manager, an accountant or cashier, an ice cream maker, salesgirls and salesboys, and kitchen staff. As expected, the budget for recruiting and training your employees is going to take a significant portion of your budget.

  1. The Cost of Obtaining the Needed Licenses and Permits

Note that different states require different types of licenses and permits, and as such your budget for permits and licenses will be determined by the state you want to start your ice cream shop business in.

You may need to acquire a general business license, seller’s permit, food handlers permit, building permit, fire and safety permit, zonal permit, and signage permit amongst others.

  1. Your Ongoing Expenses

Ongoing expenses at an ice cream shop are usually unique to the business owner and their preferences. However, any entrepreneur who wants to start an ice cream shop business should have a budget for regular maintenance and repair of equipment, such as blenders, refrigeration units, and food processors.

You will also need a budget for ingredients and supplies such as bowls, cups, straws, lids, milk and dairy products, sugar and sweeteners, flavorings and extracts, fruits and toppings, nuts and sprinkles, chocolate, and caramel sauce, whipped cream, cones and waffle bowls, napkins and spoons, etc.

  1. Miscellaneous Expenses

Just like your ongoing expenditure, the amount you are expected to spend on your miscellaneous expenses is unique to you and the type of business model you want to operate.

An entrepreneur may decide to include the cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney, the cost of branding, promotion, and marketing of the ice cream shop business, the cost of logistics, the cost of the purchase and customizing of uniforms, and the cost of the grand opening of the ice cream shop as part of the miscellaneous expenses.