Startup Cost for Ice Cream Shop: Ice Cream Shop Startup Cost

Joanna Okedara
Table of Contents
    Thank you! Please check your inbox now for your welcome email.
    There was an issue with the form. Please try again.

    Ice cream has become the delight of everyone and a run-to savior on a sunny day. It transcends culture, age, grade, and time. No wonder that a number of business owners have continued to open ice cream businesses all around the world.

    Key Takeaway: The first hurdle you need to cross toward having a successful wholesale ice cream business is to understand the costs of opening an ice cream shop. One thing you should know is that the cost of opening an ice cream shop is a function of your aspired business size, ice cream packaging, ice cream shop layout, and design, the type of ice cream you make, your wholesale ice cream distributors, the eCommerce marketing strategies you adopt, and your wholesale food distribution channels. 

    Let’s look at the different items and ice cream supplies that make up the cost of your ice cream shop. We’ll also look at how much an ice cream shop makes in a day. 

    Ready to find out? Let’s get started!

    how much to start an ice cream shop

    Cost to Open an Ice Cream Shop

    To open an ice cream shop, here are the elements that constitute your startup capital: 


    You have to secure a suitable location for your brick-and-mortar ice cream business. The location determines the population of customers that will patronize your ice cream store. 

    Now, the costs of getting a location cover the funds you spend on the lease, and renovations and built outs. Your location must be conducive and cozy to accommodate walk-in customers.

    Average cost of getting a shop - $20,000 - $150,000

    Ice Cream Equipment

    Sourcing the equipment for your ice cream shop is the next thing to do. Basically, you’ll need kitchen appliances such as blenders, scoopers, spoons, knives among others. 

    Thereafter, you’ll buy ice cream makers, refrigerators, and freezers for storage. It is important to know that the cost of purchasing equipment will take a large chunk of your budget.

    Average cost of buying machines needed - $35,000 - $55,000

    Ice Cream Supplies

    The wholesale restaurant supplies and ice cream supplies you need to get at the inception of your ice cream business are toppings, cones, and ice cream ingredients among many others. 

    Average cost of initial ingredient cost: $3000 - $5000

    Wholesale Licenses

    It is important to get all the needed food safety permits and licenses. Failure to get your licenses can result in huge fines or a total shutdown of your ice cream business.

    As an ice cream business owner, your licenses are usually location-specific. This is because laws differ from states.

    Average cost of getting Licenses: $500 - $5,000

    Branding and Ice Cream Marketing

    Proper branding and wholesale marketing will help you attract your customers. Branding involves logos, colors, and signages. 

    On the other hand, eCommerce marketing involves eCommerce personalizationeCommerce content marketing, eCommerce email marketing, running ad campaigns, and social media marketing. All of these cost money and may take a huge chunk of your budget as well.

    Average cost of branding and marketing: $1500 - $7000


    Utility cost covers electricity bills, and water bills that are used for powering the ice cream equipment. 

    Average cost of utilities: $1000 - $3000  

    Staff Recruitment

    An ice cream shop cannot be operated alone. It is important you factor the cost of recruitment into your budget because you will have to train your staff and pay them. 

    Average cost of recruitment: $2,000 - $10,000

    Initial Running Costs

    Before the business can start funding itself, it is important you add initial operational costs to your budget. It includes rents, utilities, repairs, salaries, and other recurrent expenditures.

    Average Initial running costs: $7000 - $ 25,000

    Legal Consultation Fees

    You’ll need to add the consultation charges from your legal and accounting consultants. 

    Average legal consultation fees: $2,000 - $8,000 
    how much to start an ice cream shop

    Payment Software (POS)

    Getting a restaurant POS will ease the stress of payment management and accepting payments online. Make sure you have an online POS system that will enable your customers to make payments for call-in and online orders.

    Average cost for a POS system and software: $2000 - $4000

    Note that the average costs mentioned for each aspect of your ice cream business are rough estimates. It is advised that you do diligent research about your choice of ice cream and location.

    Also, get current market prices from wholesale distribution companies in order to have an accurate figure. In all, endeavor to have a provision to buffer your budget because of the incessant inflation.

    What Permits Do I Need to Open an Ice Cream Shop

    To operate a successful ice cream business, it is necessary to get the required permits. If you don’t get the permits, you stand the risk of the government closing down your ice cream shop.

    If you are hoping to start an ice cream business anytime soon, below are the licenses and permits you must have before you can start operations.

    1. Business license
    2. Food service permit
    3. Sign permit
    4. Building permits
    5. Health department permit
    6. Sales tax permit
    7. Employee Identification Number (EIN)
    8. Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)

    Ice Cream Shop Monthly Expenses

    Here are some of the recurrent expenses incurred every month in an ice cream shop. 

    • Rent
    • Utilities
    • Ice cream ingredients
    • Wages/Salaries
    • Insurance
    • Taxes
    • License renewal fees
    • POS system charges
    • Supplies 
    • Marketing 

    You have to pay more attention to your monthly spendings because it decides the financial healthiness of your ice cream business. So, it is essential for you to have a well structured budget that covers all the outlined expenditures as it concerns your ice cream shop.

    how much to start an ice cream shop

    How Much Does an Ice Cream Shop Make a Day?

    Recording the exact amount that an ice cream shop makes on a daily basis may be a hard nut to crack. It is because it depends on some set of factors. The factors include weather conditions, location, advertising and marketing efforts, and the quality of the ice cream sold. 

    If you’d extrapolate, a well-established and managed ice cream shop should make between $1000 to $3200. Since there are a lot of determining factors that could either reduce or increase the revenue, it is advised that you give space for huge deviations from the range mentioned.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Ice Cream Shop Startup Costs

    Let's answer a few questions about ice cream shop startup costs:

    Is the ice cream business profitable? 

    Yes, the Ice cream business is profitable. If the ice cream shop is well managed, you can make a gain of up to 28%. To be able to make a constant profit margin, you may consider selling artisanal ice cream, or unique ice cream shakes.

    What sugar is best for ice cream?

    Liquid sugars are the best for ice creams.

    What equipment is needed to start an ice cream business?

    The equipment needed to start an ice cream business includes:

    • Ice cream makers
    • Refrigerators
    • Storage freezers
    • Blenders
    • Ice cream scoops
    • Topping dispensers
    • Cones and cups

    What are the 4 most important ingredients of ice cream?

    • Milk
    • Liquid sugar
    • Cream
    • Eggs

    Which ice cream is best for selling?

    The types of ice cream that is best for selling are:

    • Vanilla
    • Chocolate
    • Strawberry
    • Cookies and Cream
    • Mint Chocolate Chip
    • Butter Pecan
    • Rocky Road
    • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
    • Neapolitan
    • Coffee
    • Peanut Butter Cup
    • Pistachio
    • Fudge Swirl
    • Black Raspberry
    • Caramel Swirl
    Book a Demo
    Streamline order management, grow your bottom line, and get back hours of your time with BlueCart. Schedule a demo now:
    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.