Our newly redesigned ice cream dipping cabinets feature extra insulation and exclusive digital temperature controls. The extra insulation will lower your operating cost. We admit, it’s a small amount, but we are always looking for ways to help you squeeze even a dollar out of your operating costs. Our exclusive digital thermostat lets you set, a degree at a time, the precise operating temperature for your particular product, whether you are service ice cream, gelato, Italian ices, or any other frozen dessert.
Now Nelson offers a complete line of visual dipping cabinets from 4 to 16 facings, with a clean line, nearly unbreakable lift lids and complete with optional can racking systems. Our can racking system is designed for the standard 3 gallon round cardboard tub; however, the side rails can be purchased seperately for use with the Ropak tubs and can skirts.
All equipment shipped standard with Nelson’s exceptional quality. You have enough to worry about whan you’re running a business. When you buy a Nelson, your equipment isn’t one of them.
Nelson offers the most complete line of dipping cabinets for store operators, whether you are serving ice cream, gelato, Italian ices, water ices, or soft frozen lemonade.
All Nelson dipping cabinets, whether flip-lid conventional ice cream dipping cabinets, back bar flavor-rail cabinets, or visual display dipping cabinets, feature our exclusive digital temperature control. Regardless of the temperature of your particular product, you can set the operating temperature of our cabinets from -30 degrees to +40 degree, 1 degree at a time, with precision and repeatability not available on any other manufacturer’s ice cream cabinets.
We offer our cabinets in a variety of configurations- stainless steel interior and/or exteriors, special sizes, custom can skirts for the various types of containers used by the ice cream, Italian ice, gelato, and other frozen dessert producers.
Also, all of our dipping cabinets can be made with raised-bottom or flat-bottom interiors. Let’s face it, many of you, like me, are getting old and lazy and don’t want to reach into the bottom of an ice cream freezer. You use milk crates, empty containers, whatever, and really only use the top layer of product. So we will make our dipping freezers without the deep step. So you don’t have to clean it, or pay the energy cost of refrigerating a space you just never use.
Have a special product or a special packaging method?? Let us know, and we’ll try to configure an ice cream cabinet to meet your needs. NELSON, the Best Deal in ice cream cabinets online.
The main purpose of the overhead canopy is to announce your presence in whatever venue you are selling your products. And the types and styles of canopies are limited only by one’s imagination. For your ice cream cart, pretzel cart, beer cart, or any outdoor pushcart, the overhead canopy can be a very cost-effective way of advertising your products.
We have included some basic designs and concepts, along with the specifications and drawings. Standard with our canopies are spring-assist support poles, a light & outlet and a pull-out shade for the operator. The canopies break down without tools and can be effortlessly raised and lower for set-up. With the canopy lowered, or in the down position, the cart will fit through a man door.
Custom Graphics are another way to advertise your product. When you choose to upgrade your cart and canopy with graphics, you have options. Any option will require that you produce a design, a logo, that represents you and your product.
A graphics artist can help you design your image and produce the proper files for printing.
Your local sign maker can print vinyl decals and apply them to your cart after you take delivery. Alternately you can provide print-ready files to Nelson so we can print and install them at the factory before shipping your cart to you complete.
The print process used by Nelson is tried and true. We print second surface onto the lexan cart and canopy panels with an expensive high tech print machine then backed up for protection on the inside. This process, although more costly than vinyl decals, promises vibrant, durable, full color graphics protected from fading and scratching.
The Basic Canopy Styles are standard and composed of aluminum frames with white lexan (space age UV treated polymer) panels riveted to the frames. They include a pull-out shade, light, electrical outlet, spring-assist poles, and depending on the design, a storage shelf for lightweight paper products.
If your opting for custom graphics purchased from us, your printed panels with be installed on your cart at the factory and your cart will arrive complete. No assembly required.
If you elect to have a local sign maker wrap your cart with vinyl after taking delivery, the white lexan with accept this method nicely.
You may elect no canopy at this time, but the cart will be manufactured to accept a canopy at a later date, with the holes covered with removeable caps.
Just remember, it’s cheap real estate up there. Consider the visability at an event after dark when you have your name in lights over the heads of any crowded venue.
Some of the canopies shown have additional charges. Custom canopies can also be made. Just ask.
The Best Value with the Features You Need! Take Your Products to the People with these ice cream pushcarts designed to HEAT UP Your Sales!
While these carts are used primarily for selling ice cream novelites, many people will use these carts to scoop ice cream, serve frozen lemonade, water ice, gelato, or Italian ice. These pushcarts can be built many ways.
Whether these carts are built and configured as ice cream carts or Italian ice carts, or water ice carts, you can be sure you are getting a quality piece of equipment made in the USA. We do not start with a cheap store freezer and try to modify for outdoor use. We build our own. And nobody produces more varieties and sizes of ice cream carts than Nelson does.
This section contains the most economical carts we make.
1. These carts can be built with refrigeration systems only.
2. Simplest and least expensive, these carts can be built as insulated units only, with you providing dry ice or some other means of cooling, such as our re-useable cold packs.
3. Nelson makes more sizes and styles of ice cream carts than any other supplier. We make carts for standard ice cream containers, we can outfit the carts with specialized racks for custom products, and we make wide-body carts for those of you who make your own homemade ice cream or water ice with larger containers.
We do not simply modify store cabinets; all of our carts cabinets are built from the ground up to provide the extra performance you need in the vending business.
Digital temperature controls allow for any temperature setting for the pushcarts that have a refrigeration system built into them.
Capacity 5 cu.ft.
Approx 500 Novelties
1/3 h.p. compressor
115 volts, 8 amps
Capacity 7 cu.ft.
Approx 700 novelties
Capacity 8 cu.ft.
Approx 800 novelties
1/3 hp 404a refrigerant
8 amps, 115v.
Capacity 10 cu.ft.
Approx 1000 Novelties
Capacity 14.5 cu.ft.
Approx 1500 novelties
Capacity 12.5 cu.ft.
Approx 1250 Novelties
1/3 h.p. Compressor
115 v., 8 amps
Specs for the CLT Models:
Lid locks standard on all models.
Top to be 18 ga. type 304 stainless steel, standard. Optional solid surface materials.
Base frame to be welded aluminum.
All exposed corners welded and polished smooth.
Finished exterior standard in white pre-paint steel. Optional Lexan panels at additional charge.
Wheels to be 6″ or 8″ diameter (2) swivel w/locks, (2) rigid. Load rating of wheel to be a minimum of 350 lbs. each.
Interior of cart to be 24 ga. stainless steel, standard.
Bottom drain installed for defrost.
Condensing unit mounted on glide out base with service valves.
Carts to have 5 year limited warranty against insulation failure or internal tubing leaks.
Nelson ice cream pushcarts with cold plates are designed for use ANYTIME or ANYWHERE.
Cold plates are standard on these models. Simply plug the ice cream cart into a standard electrical outlet overnight and the next day you are ready for a full day of selling ice cream and other frozen desserts without the need for electricity or dry ice.
Our New Hi_R carts, introduced in January 2011, is the most energy-efficient ice cream cart produced on earth. The HiR carts are lighter and totally recyclable, after their long useful life.
Standard features on all of our ice cream carts include a push bar, umbrella bracket, white lexan exterior, 6″ or 8″ rubber wheels, and a lid locking bar. Options include graphics, canopy, umbrella, bicycle wheels and a fold down shelf.
These pushcarts are available for a wide variety of different products and temperatures. Ice cream carts for novelties are generally set for -10 degrees and holding temperatures of around 0 degrees after the overnight charge. Scooping carts, gelato carts, Italian ice carts and water ice carts can be ordered for special temperatures and can be equipped with our exclusive digital temperature control to dial in exactly the right operating temperature for your special product.
All Nelson ice cream pushcarts have available optional overhead canopies with pull-out shades for the operator and spring-assit canopy support poles. Even the largest and most complex carts can be easily broken down to fit thru a standard doorway without tools.
The spring-assist canopy support poles are a Nelson exclusive, and are standard with all canopies. No tools and very little effort is required to raise and lower the canopy, making setup and tear down a breeze.
All Nelson cold plate pushcarts are manufactured with stainless steel bottoms and have built-in cold plates for maximum efficiency and quick freezing for an overnight charge.
Nelson cold plate pushcarts have an average of 3″ of poured insulation and over-sized compressors and are capable of operating at the specified temperature in 90 degree weather.
The tops on the Nelson cold plate ice cream carts are made of stainless steel with welded corners.
All electrically operated Nelson carts will be ETL or UL listed for outdoor use.
All Nelson pushcarts will be NSF listed for the appropriate use.
All Nelson ice cream pushcarts have over-sized electrical power cords suitable for outdoor use.
Lid locks and umbrella brackets are provided on all ice cream carts as standard equipment.
All Nelson ice cream carts have heavy-duty welded aluminum base frames for maximum strength and minimum weight.
Nelson carts are standard for ice cream novelty temperatures. Alternate uses, such as carts for Italian ice, water ice, other products can be specified at time of order for other temperatures.
Standard sizes of cold plate ice cream carts listed below.
Make Your Own Ice Cream or Buy 3 Gallon Containers from a Distributor?
17 January, 2011
What’s the better option, making your own ice cream or buying and reselling 3 gallon tubs of a recognized brand? Truthfully, there is no right answer. Both could be great options. This post will simply to outline reasons why you would go in one direction vs. the other depending on your specific situation and your specific goals.
This question is frequently debated and asked by almost everyone planning to enter the ice cream store business. In my opinion, it depends on many factors. I encourage those of you who make your own or buy a national brand in 3 gallon cans to post what led you to your specific strategy.
I’ll start with the benefits of buying a national or strong regional ice cream brand that is pre-packaged in 3 or 2.5 gallon round tubs:
People like to buy what they are familiar with
Initial investment is lower – you only have to buy dipping cabinets and storage cabinets vs. a batch freezer, hardening cabinet, dipping cabinets, etc.
Less machinery means less utilities expense
Product consistency – making your own can also be consistent if you are the only one doing it, but once you have employees start making ice cream too, it can get tricky to maintain that consistency
Simplicity – no manufacturing labor – you buy 3 gallon tubs from an ice cream distributor, you drop them in the dipping cabinet and scoop away
Ok, now we move on to why making your own ice cream might be the best choice:
Cost – normal markup on ice cream you purchase from a distributor allows you to make around 70% gross profit when charging what the market will bear. In other words, if you charge $2 for a scoop, your cost is about $.60 for that scoop. When you make your own, the materials cost is much lower. That $2 scoop should cost you more like $.30-$.40. If you make Italian Ices, your cost is even less
Exclusivity – Only YOU can sell your ice cream. Customers can buy national brands in many parlors and can also pick them up at the local grocery store
Variety – With an Emery-Thompson Batch Freezer, you can make not only ice cream, but you can also make your own Italian Ice and Gelato.
Homemade - People love homemade ice cream. Customers like the idea that the ice cream is made fresh and with a local twist to it. Customers like to see and know the owner of the business
Creativity – You can invent new flavors. You can make changes to the product suit your region’s tastes. You can hold contests for new flavors using social media tools. The options are limitless
As you can see, the decision to make your own or purchase a pre-made product depends on many factors. You can make good money with both options. For those who are on a tighter budget, the best option might be to start with a pre-packaged product. For those of you who are creative and have the necessary start-up financing, you might want to consider making your own.
Look forward to hearing the comments and stories of those who have made the decision one way or another.
Interested in attending a FREE, live webcast on how to make ice cream, gelato and italian ice? Click the link below to read more and to sign up if you’re up for it. Don’t forget to come back here and post your comments!
Watch the full episode below. It will take a few minutes to load, and you have to watch the commercials, but it is well worth it.
For those of you who made it to this page and watched the episode, your reward is a free copy of our Cart Vending Guide!
Click the e-book cover below to download your FREE COPY
Click the e-book cover above to begin download
Opening an Ice Cream Store
23 July, 2010
This article was written to provide a few basics on opening an ice cream parlor. There’s a lot more to it that is listed here, but reading this might give you a little bit of an idea of what is required. If you own an ice cream store, and would like to comment, please do. We encourage you to challenge our assumptions and contribute to our knowledge base.
The most important decision you will make on the road to success is most likely to be the location you choose. You’ve probably already heard of the 3 most important factors involved in a successful retail operation: location, location, location. I cannot stress enough the importance of this, especially when it comes to ice cream.
Ice cream is an “impulse” product. In other words, people who buy ice cream usually do it on impulse when they see it and are tempted. It is less likely these days that people will make a conscious thought to go to an ice cream parlor. Sure, some still do, but more sales are made to customers who happen to be brought to the area for another reason.
I have listed the key factors to look for when considering your location below. If your location meets most of these, you are off to a good start:
Car traffic is nice, but more importantly, how many people are walking by?
If you are counting on high car traffic, make sure that your location is easily visible from the street and easy to access (parking, etc.)
Are they typically there to browse or to buy?
Being in a Wal-mart type plaza doesn’t guarantee success. It depends on how close to the Wal-Mart door you are.
Talk to existing businesses and ask them what the traffic is like.
If you are counting on car traffic as your main traffic, a drive thru window is almost mandatory.
Enclosed malls are better for year round traffic and people prefer them to stroll through and buy ice cream! In general, it’s better to pay more rent and be in an enclosed mall than to pay less and be in a strip mall.
3-4 good anchor stores would help.
Visit the site on different days at different times to see how consistent the traffic is.
Competition: How many parlors within a 1 mile radius? If inside a mall, who else is serving ice cream? Competition is not necessarily a bad thing. If someone else is on one side of the mall and doing well, chances are that you will do well on the extreme other side of the mall.
Population is key. If the area is somewhat congested, that’s a good sign.
Visibility. Will everyone who walks close by know that there is ice cream there?
Would you buy ice cream there?
Hours of operation: Make sure that the peak traffic flow is during hours that you’re willing and able to be open.
Make sure you have adequate space. 800-1000 sq ft is a pretty good middle ground.
Is the area growing?
Good locations/Bad locations:
Indoor Malls, airports, zoo’s, university campus, amusement parks, strip malls (high traffic), next to a movie theatre, superstore (inside a Wal-mart), professional building, train station, beach area, sporting arena.
Strip Mall unless in thriving area with obvious high traffic (low traffic, no real anchor’s), busy street (but being on the wrong side), gas station, defunct fast food/snack operation.
After you find out what they want for monthly rent, don’t be afraid to ask for a stepped up lease with a low initial amount. For example, free rent for the first month, half the rent for the next three months, then full rent beginning in month four. Or a couple of hundred off per month for the first year. This is just a negotiating guideline. They may not go for it, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. In fact, they may be expecting you to. If you don’t, they may feel they can take advantage of you in some way. So it’s always best to shoot for the sky and then see what they will give in to. It is in their best interest to help you get off on the right foot and be successful. Many will be willing to help if they believe in you.
From my experience, you probably don’t want to pay more than $3000 per month. It’s very hard to make a go of it at a higher monthly rent unless you are talking about an airport or ridiculously high traffic mall. An average rent for a parlor is in the $1800 range. Of course, these are just general benchmarks. An average parlor should sell around $18,000 per month. A rough industry standard says that rent should fall within 8-12% (10% x $18,000 = $1800 per month)
INCORPORATING/FORMING YOUR BUSINESS:
I am not qualified to give legal or tax advice, so I really cannot guide you here. I can tell you that incorporate.com is a great website that can explain in pretty basic terms what would be best for you as an individual or group of people and do it pretty cheap and painlessly.
COST PER SCOOP ANALYSIS:
In general, parlor ice cream is packed in 3-gallon tubs. Edy’s, Breyer’s, Blue Bell and most premium brands come in 3 gallon, round cans. A ballpark figure as far as cost is concerned is about $26/tub for premium ice cream. Some companies charge less for Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry and a little more for everything else. The $26 is a good average figure for premium ice cream. You are supposed to get 55 four-ounce scoops out of a 3-gallon tub. This works out to .47 cents per scoop. I like to add 8 cents to the cost to cover waste, giveaways, etc. So were looking at .55 cents per scoop. Many companies will try to manipulate these figures in their best interests, but I can tell you from experience that the $.55 per 4 oz scoop is pretty reliable. Add another 5 cents for cup and spoon or the cone for a total of .60 cents per scoop. Very doubtful that in real life it works out to be any less, even if you are paying a few bucks less for the tub. Cheaper tubs usually have more air whipped in and you yield less, therefore having the same or higher cost when it comes down to it. My recommended retail is $2.00.
$2.25-$250 isn’t out of the question, but might be too much depending on the area. You are in this to make money, so do some competitive research in your area and make sure that you start off as high as the market will seem to bear. Raising prices later because you realize you aren’t charging enough is never good, so make sure you pay particular attention to your pricing strategy right off the bat. The majority of new business owners make the mistake of not pricing their products high enough. Don’t let this be you. A $2.00 retail makes the COGS (cost of goods sold) 30%. (.60/$2.00 = 30%)
BASIC SAMPLE OPERATING PROFIT/LOSS STATEMENT:
( this statement is intended to be a very basic example and is not a guarantee of anything. Actual p/l varies according to hours open, full time employees, etc.)
Cost of Goods: (30%) $(5,420)
Gross Profit $12,580
Equipment/Biz start Loan $(1,200)
Total Overhead $(8500)
Total Monthly Profit: $4080
OTHER ITEMS TO SELL:
It is not a bad idea to try and diversify your operation as much as possible. Popcorn, cotton candy, and other fun foods are a good incremental sale. Cookies and pastries are also good if you know a good place to get them fresh. A suggestion may be Otis Spunkmeyer, a vendor of cookies, brownies, pies, muffins, etc.). 888-ASK-OTIS.
It would be great to be able to have both soft serve and hard pack in your parlor. Depending on your financial situation, this may not be a reality. Soft Serve machines are relatively expensive. They are a good investment if you are adding them to an existing snack shop and want to get into the ice cream business, but I don’t necessarily recommend them to start off with if you are on a limited investment budget and trying to get a parlor off and running. You can purchase 2 sixteen-flavor dip freezers for less than what a 2 flavor soft serve machine will cost you. Hard pack yogurt can be excellent!
On the other hand, if you have the financial backing, there are many soft serve fans out there, and this can be an incremental sale.
CHOOSING YOUR BRAND
There are great premium brands out there such as Edy’s, Breyer’s, Blue Bell, Blue Bunny, as well as many strong regional brands. A key issue when choosing a brand is not only the quality of the product, but also the distribution services in your area. Not all brands are available in all states. You need to find out who distributes the brand (company owned routes vs. independent distributors) in your area and make sure that the organization seems capable and competent to handle your needs. Do they stock as many flavors as you want to carry? Can they give you a flavor list to order with? Who else do they service in your area (you can check with them to see if they give good service and are dependable). What brands to they distribute?
MAKING YOUR OWN ICE CREAM
If you feel you have the passion and ability that it takes to make your own ice cream I would not argue against it. If this is something you are thinking about, make sure you read the sample business plan closely. The bottom line is: you need to be extremely devoted (full time) to your parlor for this to work. If you are devoted, and passionate about the product you are making, you have a great chance of succeeding.
The investment for a parlor that makes their own requires a substantially higher investment.
Ballpark Initial Investment: (depending on what your situation is, the minimum investment would be 15-20k if you go with a portion of the equipment used)
It can be done for less, and certainly for more, but an average independently owned basic parlor would cost you in the vicinity of 50K to put together. Depending on the theme you choose, (“old fashioned parlor with steel stools, etc.) how much work needs to be done to the location, etc., you could be looking at 6 figures.The figures below are intended to give you an idea of how the initial start up costs might breakdown. Depending on your specific theme or situation these figures could be adjusted up or down. Working capital (basically what you should have in your checking account to maintain positive cash flow, etc.) can be as low as $3500. I’ve seen some franchise numbers that suggest a 10k working capital figure. Obviously, the higher the better and the main objective here is to guard against a slow start, unexpected costs, a need for increased advertising and promotions, etc.
Rent ($1500) x 3 (first/last/security) $4500
Utilities (Deposit) $1000
Contractor (Cabinetry, etc) $10,000
Ice Cream, Drinks, Cones, Candies, etc. $2,500
Paper goods, cleaning supplies, office sup, misc $750
Plumbing (sink, dipper wells, etc.) $1500
Insurance Premium $400
Cosmetic work to space $1000
Working capital $7500
Architectural & Legal $2500
Dipping & Storage Freezers $8000
Under counter Fridge $1600
Waffle Cone Baker $600
Hot Fudge Warmer $400
Glasses/Metal Shake Tins $350
Shake Mixer $600
Ice Cream Temperature Setting
21 July, 2010
How to Set Your Ice Cream Freezer Thermostat to Hit the Optimal Scooping Temperature
Most thermostats are the “dial” type. Some have numbers, some simply have a screw that you turn clockwise or counterclockwise. Some freezers have digital thermostats, which are ideal. The thermostat is most commonly found by removing (unscrewing) the grill (vent). Regardless of what type of thermostat dial you’re dealing with, you need to understand that you should only adjust the dial one number at a time, up or down. When you re-adjust the dial, you have to be patient and wait 2 days to see where the average temperature settles. Only at this time can you determine if it needs another adjustment. If it does, you repeat this step. Again, you only adjust the dial one number at a time and wait two days to see where it settles. You repeat this process until you find the sweet spot. You need to be patient because the freezer compressor turns on and off intermittently while working its way toward the dial setting.
Other factors that come into play when finding your optimal dipping temperature include the flavors that you are scooping. Yes, some flavors are “softer” than others. For example, flavors like Rum Raisin or anything caramel based can be soft while some of the other flavors are at perfect scooping temperature. Chocolate is famous for being rock solid and virtually “unscoopable” when other flavors are at a good scooping temp.
How do you deal with this? The best way is to make sure that the flavors like chocolate stay out of the corners of the cabinet. Put the hard flavors in the middle of the freezer. Put your softest flavors in the corners. The reason you put soft flavors in the corners is because in this spot they are up against two freezer walls. The corners are the coldest area in the freezer. In the middle, the tub is only up against one wall and therefore the middle is a little warmer than the corner.
I know many of you already know this, but I’m hoping that some of you will benefit from the information.
Thanks for taking the time to watch this video on our SP Model Ice Cream and Gelato Dipping Cabinets manufactured by AHT out of Austria and distributed in the USA by TurnKeyParlor.com.
We have several versions of the SP models, but for this video, I’m going to concentrate on the SP 12H, which holds twelve (12) 3 gallon tubs on top, and another ten (10) 3 gallon tubs on the bottom in storage, for a total of 22. If you’re featuring gelato, the unit will hold twelve (12) 5 liter gelato tube on top, and 10 in storage.
The fact that it’s 110 power and plugs into a standard outlet makes it environmentally friendly since the energy consumption is extremely low. It’s got a simple to reach thermostat control which has a range of a -7 to +9 degrees Fahrenheit. It measures just under six feet long and has a beautiful glass sneeze guard. This unit is perfect if you’re planning on opening an ice cream parlor or planning on replacing older equipment in an ice cream parlor. It’s also a great way for a pizza parlor, a deli, a coffee shop, or any other restaurant to add incremental revenue to their business.
It has three pre-drilled holes, which makes it really easy to attach a dipper well, which is a mini sink where you keep your scoopers. Casters, which are small wheels, are standard on all SP models, which is really convenient if you want to move it from one spot to another or simply clean underneath it. The casters are simple to lock or unlock by simple pressing up or down on with foot. All SP models are relatively maintenance free and come with a 5-year warranty on the compressor. In the event that you do need service, there is a toll-free service line on all freezers.
3 gallon can holders are standard on all SP models. Essentially, these holders keep the tubs from spinning when you are scooping. They also come with night covers. If you prefer to scoop gelato, not a problem. We’ve got the 5 liter gelato pan racking system. Just make sure that prior to placing your order you let us know you’re planning on dipping gelato and we’ll make sure you get the right pan racking system. The versatility to dip both ice cream out of 3 liter containers and gelato out of 5 liter pans is a huge benefit. The easy sliding, two-part flat-glass lids provide more protection for your product and also seal in the cold much better. Although practically maintenance-free, you’re going to want to clean the frosties about every 6 months. That little orange drain cap pops right off and makes this really easy to do.
The curved glass sneeze guard give all the SP models a really modern and sleek look. Although the sneeze guard is curved, it still has enough flat surface on top where you can merchandise a cone holder or other items. These freezers ship about 2 to 3 days after you make payment and can get to you as soon as a week after that. Thanks for taking the time to watch this video and considering TurnKeyParlor.com. Give us a call, shoot us an email and if you have any other questions, we’ll be happy to help.