gelatoWhat sweeter a dream than to open up your very own ice cream shop? Considering that ice cream is one of the country's most beloved desserts as it's consumed by 90% of all U.S. households, opening an ice cream shop is an amazing way to get involved with your local and global community. It's also a great way to get creative. From innovative Coolhaus to Classic Ben and Jerry's, just about every ice cream shop is coming up with creative and delicious ways to serve America's favorite frozen treat.

And while it might not be the easiest venture, with a little guidance, hard work, and the proper ice cream shop supplies, you'll be on your way to opening your town's favorite parlor in no time. Here are some tips for starting your own ice cream business.

Choose Your Speciality
Before you even think about customized cups, equipment, and the like, you must determine what kind of frozen dessert product you'd like to offer, as there's a multitude of varieties available on the market. For example, there's classic ice cream, which contains approximately 50% more air after the churning process. And then there's gelato, a denser, more custard-like frozen treat that contains around 30% more air following the churning process. Then, of course, there's frozen yogurt, which is rapidly picking up in popularity. Whether you choose gelato, ice cream, or frozen yogurt, it's guaranteed you'll have plenty of customers.

Stand Alone or Franchise
Now that you know what your specialty is going to be, it's time to think a little bit bigger. What kind of business do you want? Are you looking to have a standalone ice cream shop with outsourced flavors and a specialty in sundaes? Or do you have a special recipe that you're looking to bring to the market, and are you looking to start your own franchise? While it's important to dream big, starting with a standalone shop will give you the financial and personal freedom to exercise your creativity and decide whether or not you'll expand.

Brand Creatively
Who is your ice cream shop and what does it value? That being said, this identity should be mirrored in every facet of your store, from its personalized gelato cups to its tasting spoons. Brands who resonate with their customers are more likely to connect and furthermore, succeed.

Now that you have the tools you need to get started, good luck and don't forget the whipped cream!