How to Start a Smoothie Business / Ice Cream
Smoothie and frozen yogurt shops have grown in popularity as a healthy alternative to fast food - and they
offer all the consumer benefits of being fast, cheap and convenient.
In the frozen treat business, it is essential to operate in a high-traffic location. Many shops do well
close to schools, playgrounds or other restaurants. Find out
Some businesses have also gone mobile (see ice cream truck business) - bringing their treats to
the eaters - by way of a truck or van. This can be a smart way to find customers who are working in office
buildings, or cater special events.
Licenses and Permits:
Requirements for licenses and permits vary by state. Normally, shops that serve food
are required to obtain a general business license and food handler certification. Your food preparation space will need
to pass an inspection by the Department of Health as well. When approved, you will be able to receive your
Retail Space & Smoothie/Ice Cream Shop Design:
Commercial real estate agents can help you locate vacancies within you budget. You can also use a free
service called Office Finder that can help you locate a profitable
and affordable storefront for your shop. Check the city's zoning restrictions,
Generally, you want to be near businesses already attracting shoppers and that complement what you are
selling. When looking for possible locations, notice traffic patterns, construction projects, where your
competitors are located and also parking situations.
After you secure a retail space, you want to create a design and layout that works for your particular
eatery. You can create the interior design layout of your smoothie business, juice bar or ice cream shop using
restaurant floor plan software that you can download. The
Ice Cream Shop Start-Up Guide also includes sample floor
Selling from a Vehicle:
The smaller the vehicle, the lower the cost. Look at small used trucks or vans if you are working in a tight
budget. I have even seen ice cream vendors selling from bicycle "carts" with refrigeration units attached.
Do your city's regulations state vending trucks be stored in a special facility? Do you know where your
vehicle can be parked - legally? Each locale is different, and you can get the answers to these questions at
your local city office.
Smoothie/Yogurt/Juice Bar/Ice Cream Shop Start-Up
How to decide what type of shop to open, put together a business plan, where to find financing and other
necessary information on licenses, insurance, etc.
- Designing your shop, where to get equipment and supplies, find wholesale suppliers, set prices and
accept payments from customers.
- Ways to cheaply attract new customers, get repeat business, handle difficult
customers and hire a great staff.
- Plus sample forms and checklists (including floor plans, supply checklist, lease
agreement and more) and lots of free resources that will save you time and money.
Cream/Smoothie Shop Quick-Start Plan
Since ice cream parlors, smoothie shops and juice bars vary by size, location, type, staff and items sold,
start-up costs vary. Find out how much it will cost to start a business using a start up costs worksheet.