How To Open Your Own Gelato or Ice Cream Store

How To Open Your Own Gelato or Ice Cream Store

Gelateria Papilla - Gelato Refrigerated Display Case Portfolio 5
Plamen Marinov, Advanced Gourmet

Chef Plamen Marinov

Gelato and ice cream shops have grown in popularity in recent years as travel and cooking shows and social media have ignited people’s imaginations of International culinary adventures.

Opening your own gelato or ice cream shop is a great way of combining your dream of own owing and bringing International flavor, culture and yes, even romance, to your community.

Dreaming the Dream

As with any business venture it is very important to ask yourself some questions as you put your business plan together. The answers to these questions will help get you on the right path to success.  Below are just a few questions to ask yourself when considering entering the frozen dessert industry:

  • What do you envision your shop looking like?
  • Do you want to serve a high-end frozen dessert like Gelato or Made-From-Scratch Gourmet Ice Cream?
  • What other items do you want on your menu?
    • Frozen Dessert Novelties – Popsicles – Frozen Cakes – Frozen Gelato/Ice Cream Sandwiches
    • Specialty Coffee
    • Baked Items
    • Sandwiches
  • What hours do you want your shop to be open? Are you looking to serve the morning, noon and evening patron or do you want to focus on afternoon – evening?
  • If you have an existing business, such as a coffee or sandwich shop, how can specialty frozen desserts fit into your concept?


Why Advanced Gourmet Should be your Partner in your Adventure

Our Client Focused Team Approach

It’s okay if you are not sure of your answers to the questions.  After all, this may be the first time you’ve thought about the frozen dessert industry as a business opportunity.  This is why, we at Advanced Gourmet, offer a wholistic, client focused team approach to our suite of expert frozen dessert industry services. For over twenty-five years our team of seasoned professionals have helped thousands of entrepreneurs answer the hard questions on their journey to building a successful frozen dessert business.

Costs that you should consider.

Besides passion, information and education you will also need some capital to open your new business.  One of the first questions people ask us is “how much will it cost to start my new business?”.  The answer is it varies.  There are many variables in how much you’ll need but the basics for determining the amount needed are the same. Calculating your capital cost and gross margins are important to determine how much money you need to build your business and how much you will make once it is open.  We can help you understand the financial side of the frozen dessert business including start-up capital, operating costs and profit margins. Our design and culinary team will lead you through the process. Our first suggestion is to develop a comprehensive business plan and we can provide the answers to the many factors necessary to design your project.  For instance:

  • Capital cost – Cost of front of house, back of house including production equipment, all display of frozen desserts and menu items, point of sale, back bar for dessert/food preparation, cold and dry storage for ingredients and finished products and other components. Our design team can provide you with a full drawing and quotation for front and back of house design and layout to be sure you have accounted for unexpected costs.
  • Food cost and profit margins – It is important to fully define your production process to determine ingredients, processes and labor cost. Our chef has year of experience and can walk you through recipe decisions and ingredient choices as well as associated cost.


How Much Money Can I Make Owning My Own Gelato/Ice Cream Shop or How Much Can I Add To My Existing Income By Adding Frozen Desserts

The second most often asked question we receive is “how much money can I make?”. Just like “how much money do I need?” this question depends on the goals for your business.  The good news is that frozen desserts like gelato and ice cream are high profit margin items and you can make a good income from a well-planned business.

Some key points that set the stage for success:

Provide Quality and be Original

  • What Is your hook? What will compel customers to visit your shop?
  • What sets you apart from other retailers? What makes your product better?
  • What are YOUR signature flavors that no one else has or makes nearly as well as you do?

Location. Location. Location.

  • Where will your business be located? Will you have good food traffic?
  • Is there a complimentary business nearby that already attracts your target audience?


  • Social media makes it easier than ever to promote your new business.
  • Let people know you are there by engaging your target audience.
  • Build a reputation of having an inviting atmosphere, a good quality product and being an outstanding member of your community.
  • Give customers a reason to first try your business, to love it, to come back and to tell their friends and family.


Think Beyond the Brick-And-Mortar as a Way to Add Revenue

  • Mobile carts that can be taken to local parks, festivals and other places where people gather.
  • Provide catering services at weddings, parties, office events, holidays parties and other special occasions.


Our Invitation to You

Start your new adventure by contacting our team of frozen dessert industry experts. We’ll discuss ideas you may have and explore ways to fulfil your individualized plans and dreams.  Our experienced corporate chefis always available for one on one, hands-on training in our show room Online demonstrations are also available to fit your schedule.

Our design team is a tremendous resource for space planning and getting a handle on the start-up and capital investment necessary for your project.  Our Gelato Supply division offers everything one could imagine for planning your presentation. Plus, we are North America’s premier supplier of the most versatile production equipment on the market today.  Whether you are a small startup or a large chain looking to build a concept, we are your number one resource for all things gelato and ice cream!

Contact us to get started today!