11 Unique Ice Cream Business Ideas: Ice Cream Store Ideas

Joanna Okedara
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    Starting an ice cream business is a very rewarding venture if you know what you are doing. From the very moment you make this decision, it is important you begin your research into the various types of ice cream available and the ice cream business ideas you can start.

    Key Takeaway: Besides this research, you must also look into writing an ice cream eCommerce business plan, finding the right wholesale ice cream distributors, strategic sourcing of affordable wholesale ice cream supplies, and implementing the right ice cream eCommerce marketing strategies.

    However, all this planning and research still depends on your ice cream shop ideas. It may be difficult to choose a unique ice cream shop idea - because there are so many of them available.

    In this article we’ll look at several ice cream shop ideas you can begin with and give you some insights on how to start each idea.

    Let’s begin!


    Top 11 Unique Ice Cream Shop Ideas

    Here are some of the simple ice cream ideas you can adopt for your ice cream shop.

    1. Artisanal Gelato with Local Flavors

    Consider opening an artisanal gelato shop that focuses on using locally sourced ingredients and unique flavor combinations. You can collaborate with nearby farms and producers for fresh fruits, herbs, and dairy. 

    To start, conduct thorough market research to understand the preferences of your target audience. Develop a rotating menu of seasonal flavors and offer small tasting portions to entice customers. 

    Establishing strong ties with local wholesale restaurant supplies distributor can lead to cost-effective sourcing. If you market this idea well enough, you can make an average of 50-60%.

    1. Ice Cream Truck with a Twist

    Instead of a traditional brick-and-mortar store, invest in an ice cream truck with a unique twist. You can connect with more customers by incorporating eye-catching designs that resonate with them. 

    Additionally, you have the liberty to make your ice cream truck design modern or vintage-themed. Scout popular locations and events to park your truck, maximizing foot traffic. 

    1. Specialized Rolled Ice Cream

    Ride the trend of rolled ice cream, a visually appealing and customizable frozen treat. Invest in specialized ice cream equipment to create rolls of ice cream on a frozen surface. Offer an array of flavors, mix-ins, and toppings. 

    When you are visually creative in presenting your ice cream business, then you can be sure to attract more customers. With relatively low overhead cost of starting ice cream business, profit margins for rolled ice cream shops can range from 50-60%.

    1. Heritage-inspired Ice Creams

    If you love history and culture, you can capture your passion in your ice cream shop ideas. Celebrate the culinary heritage of a specific culture or region by offering ice creams inspired by traditional recipes and ingredients. 

    Source authentic wholesale spices, fruits, and flavorings to create a genuine experience. You can market your shop to both locals interested in exploring new flavors and tourists seeking an authentic taste of the area.

    1. Ice Cream and Coffee Fusion

    Another unique ice cream store idea is to combine the popularity of ice cream with the evergreen demand for coffee by opening a shop that offers both. You can even craft specialty wholesale coffee drinks or matcha drinks, and pair them with unique ice cream creations. 

    This will help you create signature affogatos and coffee-flavored ice creams to entice customers. To make this idea work, consider partnering with a local coffee bean wholesale roasters for a sustainable and high-quality supply chain.

    1. Healthy and Protein-Packed Frozen Treats

    You can cater to the fitness and health-conscious market by offering a range of protein-packed, low-sugar, and nutritious frozen treats. Experiment with ingredients like Greek yogurt, protein powder, and natural sweeteners. 

    Make sure you promote your wholesale ice cream shop as a guilt-free indulgence for those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can even reach out to local fitness centers and trainers for promotional events. 

    1. International Flavor Showcase

    Starting an international flavor showcase is another unique ice cream business idea to start. You can take customers on a culinary journey by offering a rotating menu of ice creams inspired by different international cuisines. Try to add exotic organic herbs and spices, fruits, and techniques to create unique flavor profiles. 

    As a tip, let your customers know about the cultural significance of each flavor. This approach can garner a loyal customer base eager to explore new tastes. 

    1. Ice Cream Delivery Service

    Capitalize on the convenience trend by starting an ice cream delivery service. One thing that will streamline your business process flow is developing an easy-to-use app or website for orders, and partnering with local delivery services for efficient wholesale distribution. 

    You can offer a curated selection of popular flavors and a few unique options for variety. Consider creating special packages for occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.

    1. Cream Catering for Events

    If you already have a catering business, you can add ice cream catering to your menu. You will need to get the necessary equipment and possibly an ice cream truck, but, it is a great idea for caterers and event planners.

    To minimize your cost, you can invest in mobile catering equipment and a presentable setup. Build relationships with event planners, wedding venues, and corporate event organizers for a steady stream of bookings.

    1. Ice Cream Subscription Boxes

    You can tap into the subscription business trend by offering curated monthly ice cream boxes delivered to subscribers' doors. One way to go is to develop a selection of unique and seasonal flavors and package them attractively. 

    Ice cream subscription boxes will help you earn a recurring stream of revenue every month.

    1. Ice Cream and Craft Beer Menu Pairings

    If you are looking for something entirely different from the normal, then consider starting an ice cream and craft beer wholesale business. You can create a unique experience by pairing craft beers with complementary ice cream flavors. 

    Design a cozy tasting room where patrons can sample pairings.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Ice Cream Shop Ideas

    Scaling through the thick and thin of starting an ice cream business requires groundbreaking ice cream shop ideas. 

    Here are a few of the questions that can answer your thoughts.

    How Can I Make My Ice Cream Shop Unique?

    Here are some unique ice cream shop ideas you can adopt for your ice cream business:

    • Augmented reality menu experiences
    • Dairy-free and vegan-focused menu
    • Keto-focused ice cream menu
    • Winter-centered ice cream menu

    How Do You Attract Customers to Ice Cream?

    Here are things you must do to attract customers to your ice cream shop:

    • Sell specialty menus that cater to rare customers
    • Have a creative, and visually appealing ice cream presentation
    • You can allow your customers to know your ingredients so that they can be informed about your ice cream

    Are Ice Cream Shops Profitable?

    Yes, ice cream shops are highly profitable. With the current economic situation, you can make an average profit of about 40% annually.

    What Can I Sell Along With Ice Cream?

    You can sell the following items along with ice cream:

    • Milkshake
    • Sorbet
    • Gelato
    • Frozen yogurt
    • Coffee
    • Soft drinks
    • Wholesale snacks
    • Wholesale cookies
    • Nuts

    What are the Top 3 of Ice Cream?

    The top 3 of ice cream are:

    • Vanilla ice cream
    • Chocolate ice cream
    • Strawberry ice cream
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