How To Make Money Selling Ice Cream: Best 10 Ideas

Share this:

Chances are, if you are reading this, you are either thinking about starting an ice cream business or want to make more money. It is a small but popular business, especially in the summertime. Depending on how many flavors of ice cream you have and how much they cost, you can easily make money selling ice cream. 

Ice cream is an extremely lucrative genre of the food industry and a 13 billion dollar business. So, if you want to make money in the ice cream business, it is certainly a promising field to work in. Here are some tips to make more.

1. Run An Ice Cream Truck Or Stand

The first and most obvious way to make money with ice cream is to run your own business selling ice cream. Mobile ice cream trucks and carts are surprisingly profitable, and if you get enough traffic, they can be extremely lucrative. They’re cheap, easy to get started, and a breeze to operate.

If you have never done so before, consider opening an ice cream stand or truck. Many franchise companies specialize in this type of business. Furthermore, ice cream trucks are available for rental on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You can even opt for a low-cost alternative by buying an ice cream cart and setting it up at local events in your area. 

However, the best way to get the highest profits is to combine a mobile ice cream business with another type of business. For example, you could work as an assistant teacher or paraeducator at a nearby preschool, selling ice cream on your breaks. That way, you’d be making money not just from the ice cream itself but also from your regular salary.

SEE: Do you have a dump trailer? Learn how to make money with it

2. Be Strategic About Your Location

Want to sell ice cream? It’s possible, but it’s also a serious business. Many people have started successful businesses selling ice cream, and one of the most important factors in their success has been location.

If you want to start an ice cream business, you have to be strategic when picking your location of operation. It should be far from the competition but near a large population, so that it is easily accessible to many people.

While most stores want to be on heavily trafficked streets, there are many other factors to consider when choosing a location. You can attract customers to your store by having a thriving neighborhood, such as an outdoor mall or a downtown district. 

Choose a place that is appropriately sized for your business. When selecting your ice cream shop’s location, consider the size of your store and the number of employees you will hire. If your business is large, it may be in your best interest to invest in building or renting a spot.

3. Have Your Special Flavor And Toppings

Ice cream is one of the most popular desserts in the world, and chances are good that people in your area like it too. Make customers happy with your special flavor combinations and add toppings like sprinkles, hot fudge, and fruit loops to give them just what they want. 

When selling ice cream, try to give a unique taste with unique toppings. Don’t forget about the price. The more money you ask for your ice cream, the fewer people will buy it. So, do everything you can to make your ice cream cheaper. Add toppings to your ice cream (like chocolate drops or corn flakes), but don’t overdo it. 

Customers prefer tasty and cheap food to beautiful but expensive food. If you have enough money, instead of asking for one dollar per ice cream cone, ask for half a dollar. You will gain more customers this way, and each person will spend less money on your products.

Choose your special flavors, design your logo and prepare to stand out from the crowd. Think about packaging that appeals to kids, like comic book-themed ice cream cones or ice pops you put on a lollipop stick. The possibilities are nearly limitless.

4. Invite Kids To Sell With You

You can make money selling ice cream by running your own business. There are many ways to sell your product, and one of them is to ask kids for help. By asking kids, not only can you sell more ice cream, but you will also earn the loyalty of many potential customers. 

You can increase your profits by enlisting children’s help. You probably won’t want them to take part in all phases of the operation: you might not want preschool children scooping ice cream at a public event, for instance. If you have slow times at the stand, you might be able to use young children to attract customers’ attention or hand out samples.

A great way to make money is by selling ice cream. Besides, it’s a fun job for kids. You can give them a few percentages or ice cream cones based on what they sell. And you trust kids, they will drag friends and parents to your stand.

SEE: Explore tips to make money with childcare 

5. Sell Ice Cream Near Schools And Colleges

Did you know that ice cream is one of the most bought items in retail stores in the country? If you own a store that sells ice cream, this means that you can make money easily by choosing to set up shop near schools and other educational institutions. 

There are also a lot of people who buy ice cream on their way to school. This gives you more time to sell them ice cream, as more people pass your shop every day. This strategy is a brainer. Just open ice cream parlors within a 50-meter radius of schools and colleges. 

You want to be close enough for people to get there conveniently, but not so close that you will be competing with another business owner selling the same product. Whenever the kids get some free time, they will crave something delicious and rich, like ice cream. The profit margin per sale is pretty high if you sell mixed flavors.

6. Cater To More Events Where You Can Sell Ice Cream

Ice cream is a favorite treat for kids and adults alike. People will always be in the mood for something sweet. Events that involve children such as birthday parties, barbeques, and picnics are a good place to start. One way to make more money with ice cream is to increase the number of events you’re doing every month.

You can sell your products at some events, especially at festivals and parades. Do not forget to bring your business cards and flyers so that people will remember you when they need your products. You can also give free samples of ice cream to people, which may encourage them further to buy from you. 

Furthermore, you can do a little price promo like only selling 50 cents for a cup of ice cream during the event. Also, sign up for events where there are a lot of crowds, like fairs and festivals.

7. Use Social Media to Gain Publicity

If you’re just starting to set up your ice cream business, gaining publicity is a great way to get more customers. Most successful ice cream shops have a presence on social media, so you must do the same. Post about new flavors and ice-cream treats, post about the shop and its opening hours, and generally build up a following. 

A consistent and ongoing voice presence on social media platforms is important to build engagement and communicate your message with the right audience. Posting daily updates means you are more likely to grab people’s attention while saving valuable time by keeping up with consumer interest in real-time. 

Using the right hashtags ensures that your content is easily found by those who are looking for it, and presents yourself as an authority on a topic. The more people who are aware of your shop, the more people who will come in for a taste.

SEE: Here’s all you need to know about social media marketing 

8. Provide Delivery Services to Offices, Businesses, And Houses

There are many ways to make money with your ice cream business. Make sure you not only sell your ice cream but also provide delivery service. Consider building a delivery service for office workers and residents after they get off work to boost your ice cream sales. The delivery service provides unlimited growth for your ice cream business. 

You can provide the services to any client who will make use of your mobile service carts, kiosks, and shops. You should consider offering your services to offices, businesses, and houses. Some of the places you can provide your services are fast food restaurants, hospitals, and entertainment places like nightclubs. You can also offer free ice cream samples to the clients in the above places to encourage them to buy your products.

You can also offer free home delivery with large orders, and no additional purchase is necessary. Check with local offices regarding time restrictions or access to doors. For the best possible results, make sure you have permission from the property owner or management before starting.

9. Sell Unique Add-ons Like Cones And Sprinkles

Did you know that you can make money by adding extras to ice cream in your very own homemade ice cream shop? If you make your own ice cream and would like to earn some extra money with an ice cream truck, you need to find ways to make money that other trucks aren’t doing. 

One easy way to do this is to sell add-ons for cones, like sprinkles or candy flakes. These are popular with kids, and people will wait in line longer for a cone that comes with something extra. Unique ice cream add-ons like cones and sprinkles can make millions. 

All you have to do is create new recipes and then add accessories like toppings, cones, and sprinkles to your freshly made treats. If you expand your offerings and hook up with creative customers, perhaps you can even grow a thriving business.

10. Teach People How to Make Ice Cream

Do you like ice cream? So do other people. Now you can make money from it by teaching others how to make it. This is one of the best ways to make money selling ice cream: teaching people how to make it. 

If you can teach people how to make tasty, premium ice cream, they will be glad to pay you for a lifetime supply of ice cream that they can continue to make themselves.

SEE: Discover ways to make money with tutoring

How Much Money Can You Make Selling Ice Cream?

Well, it depends on how much ice cream you sell. If you get good at making money with ice cream, you could make $600-$1000 per day in profit from your ice cream business. 


How big is the ice cream business?

According to IDFA, the ice cream business has a $13.1 billion impact on the US economy. It also employs about 30,000 people. The facts speak for themselves, but if you need more convincing, just ask anyone you know when they want to go out for dessert. Or just look at the cool ice cream trucks that are cruising the neighborhood on hot summer days. This industry is booming.

What is the best way to start an ice cream business?

Start by owning or leasing an ice cream truck. A small investment will help you buy any ice cream truck that is available in the market. Place the truck in key areas, such as food truck festivals or flea markets, and see if your business grows organically from there. The key to success is all about the right location and marketing.

Is the ice cream business right for you?

If owning your own business is something you’d like to someday achieve, selling ice cream is a great option for your first business venture. Ice cream is delicious, you can make a variety of different flavors, and kids will love your store.

Final Thoughts 

The ice cream business is a refreshingly delicious and profitable one. Furthermore, selling ice cream to people is a wonderful way to make money. However, think carefully before you give up the day job. 

Before starting your own business, consider what’s involved. Some people are drawn to ice cream because they love its sweet taste. But being in the ice cream business takes more than a palate for novelty flavors and colors.

You’ll need enough space to handle most of your production and storage needs. Customers will want to visit your retail shop, so do plan for an on-site store with picnic tables or benches, and be sure to provide free parking (if possible). Beach towns or high-traffic areas are generally best suited for your business model. Nonetheless, don’t limit yourself by location. There is room for you all over the world.

You can also consider other food delivery services alongside your ice cream business. If you would like to try this idea, some platforms will make food delivery services easy for you. Learn more by reading the article that outlines platforms you can use to make money with food delivery services.

Thanks for reading.