Supplies that you need to open an ice cream shop

supplies for ice cream shop

Opening an ice cream shop is something many of us dream of doing, but how do you make it a reality?

Do you have the drive and ambition to steer you on the path to success? And just as importantly, can you afford the ice cream shop supplies UK which you need for your business?

While ice cream selling is a pretty competitive arena, there is always room for another player, especially if you want to go down the artisanal, home-made route with great flavours and interesting combinations, or ones that cater for specific dietary needs such as vegan and dairy free.

After you have decided upon the product you will sell, and who your ideal customer will be, you then need to sort out all your paperwork and permits.

You’ll need to understand UK health and safety laws, get a business bank account, and register for tax.

You will of course have to acquire premises in the kind of location where there is plenty of footfall, such as a busy town or beach resort. Once all that is done it’s time to order in your ice cream shop supplies.

What ice cream shop supplies do I need?

If you are opening an ice cream shop then you will be focused on selling as much ice cream as possible, so your approach to the way you produce your product will involve ice cream shop supplies wholesale.

However, the ice cream shop supplies you require will depend upon whether you are going produce it yourself or plan to buy in your ice cream.

Let’s assume you intend to make your own.

Here is a checklist of all the elements you need for your business.

Ice cream machine

The one supply you cannot do without is the commercial ice cream maker. You need a machine that is reliable and able to create the kind of ice cream you want to sell. You might think that all ice cream makers are the same, but they are not. You really need to get it right at the outset as this will save you a lot of hassle and time, so do your research. This is why it is essential that you are sure of the type of ice cream you will be making from the start. Will it be Italian gelato, for example? Or are you planning an array of different variations? If you decide on the artisan route you will need a machine that is up to doing the job. And while cost is always a consideration when setting up a new business, don’t just go for the cheapest machine. Names to look out for include Vinmax, Vevor and Costway.

What to consider when buying an ice cream maker…

Your budget

The ice cream maker is the one thing that is going to have an impact on the success, or indeed failure, of your business, so you need one that is fit for purpose. That means the cheaper option will not always be the best way to go. The one thing you must do is ensure that you have enough in your budget for a reliable machine.

The quality of ice cream

It sounds obvious, but the ice cream maker you choose should be capable of producing the best quality ice cream possible. It’s a crowded market out there and you need to be able to stand out.

Ease of use

Electric ice cream makers with powerful compressors are the ones that are a breeze to use, as they will produce ice cream within minutes without long lead times and intermittent breaks. The brand Vevor has high-quality ice cream makers which incorporate advanced production technology that makes it easy and safe to use.  Yes, you may need to pay more, but it will save you time and money in the long run.

Low power consumption

It is a good idea in these days of high energy costs to look for power efficient machines, as this will help you to generate more income in the long run.

Easy to clean

Cleaning your ice cream maker is essential. It will not function properly if you allow product to build up and you don’t want your machine to become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. What you don’t need is an ice cream maker that’s a pain to keep clean. Hygiene is high priority when you have an ice cream shop, so look at ice cream makers that have a one-click cleaning feature, as this means all you have to do is press a button and hey presto! You’ll only need to wait a few minutes for your ice cream maker to be clean and ready to use again.


Will this machine help you to reinvent or recreate new flavours, or be capable of making frozen yoghurt, or sorbet? Depending upon what you decide to sell, ensure that the machine is versatile enough to deliver the desired dessert.


In effect, can it churn out enough ice cream for your business to make money? If you are making large quantities, you need an ice cream maker with an extra-large refrigeration cylinder and rapid freezing facility.

This way you will be able to meet the demands of your customer base.

Ingredients for your ice cream

If you are intent on making your own ice cream, you need to stock up on ingredients including milk and cream, maybe eggs, flavourings, colouring, etc. These also need to be stored correctly, so make sure that you have a selection of food safe containers that can be clearly labelled to signpost allergens and use by dates.

Blast freezer

In order for your ice cream to be the best quality you, should freeze it as rapidly as possible and that is where the blast or shock freezer comes into its own. Using a blast freezer will minimise the size of ice crystals which are formed within the product. The smaller the crystals, the creamier and smoother your ice cream will be. Micro crystals also ensure that when defrosted the ice cream doesn’t lose any of its consistency. A blast freezer is also an asset when it comes to energy efficiency and can increase the life span of the product so it may be an expensive piece of equipment, but it will be worth the money.

Refrigeration units

You need a refrigeration unit for all your ingredients, primarily milk and cream and fruit purees etc. You will also need storage containers that are food safe, and can protect your ingredients from contamination.

Serving equipment

Of course, you need something with which to serve up your ice cream so another essential will be serving scoops and spades. You’ll be serving up different portion sizes so make sure your scoops are in different sizes.

Ice cream containers

Not only do you need containers for your ingredients, you also require ice cream containers designed for storing your delectable desserts – and did you know that not all containers are equal to the task?

Consider that ice cream is a perishable product. This means that it should be treated with care. Storing it at the wrong temperature, in the wrong container and even in the wrong part of the freezer can all have dire consequences for your iced creations.

Store ice cream in a container that isn’t airtight can for example result in freezer burn, discolouration and other changes in taste and texture.

Therefore, the kind of containers you need to be looking for should be robust enough to cope with the temperatures at which ice cream must be stored, they should be food safe, that is made from plastic that isn’t likely to contaminate the product and have an airtight lid. Anything else and you run the risk of damaging your beautifully crafted ice cream.

At Venturepak, you can be assured that the containers we recommend for storing ice cream will be the right ones for you.

And that’s one less thing to worry about when setting up your business and looking for ice cream shop supplies wholesale.

Dispensers for toppings

Everyone loves toppings on their ice cream, so to ensure that each serving delivers the sprinkles, nuts, caramel sauce or whatever else you’d like to add to your creations, you definitely need topping dispensers. Some are display style topping dispensers, others are wall mounted and you can also opt for free standing dispensers. The choice is yours.

Dipping cabinets

These are the display cases you’ll see in most shops selling ice cream which tempt customers with all the different flavours that are on offer. They are characterised by a see-through top beneath which are containers of uniform sizes showcasing all the ices.


You may need a commercial blender if you decide upon extending your repertoire into products like milk shakes and smoothies.

Tubs and cones

Among your essential ice cream shop supplies are tubs and cones with which to serve your iced confections. You’ll need a variety of these, from standard sugar cones to chocolate dipped waffle cones, all of which need to be in different sizes. Remember that if you are serving up artisan ice cream you can definitely not go down the cheap route. Look at tubs made from recycled materials, printed in brand colours with your logo and ensure your cones are top quality.

A POS (or point-of-sale) system

The POS system will help you manage orders and keep track of sales, as well as take those all-important online payments.


As well as scoops to serve your ice cream you’ll need other utensils, such as measuring implements and bowls, serving spoons and ladles.

Dishwashers and sinks

Hygiene is all important so you need to invest in sinks and dishwashers to maintain levels of hygiene, failure to do so will most definitely lead to a negative hygiene rating which will impact enormously on the success of your business.


Your ice cream shop should be working flat out in summer months when it is much hotter, so ventilation and exhaust systems are essential, not if you want a working environment that is comfortable and safe for you and your staff but also to avoid unpleasant odours from occurring.

Tables and chairs

If you want to open an ice cream shop which offers customers more of an experience, then you’ll need to invest in seating and tables. This may be for an outdoor area, indoors or both.


Do you go down the route of a printed menu or provide a board onto which all available choices are displayed? If you intend upon regularly adding new flavours, you might invest in a chalk board. This will not only be easy to update each day but give your business an artisanal feel.


What are you going to call your ice cream shop? Once you’ve decided on a name you need to devise a sign to let everyone on the high street know what you are called and what you sell. And as well as a sign for your shop you will need A boards to position on the pavement close by to alert your potential customers to your existence.


You and your staff need at least aprons, caps and T-shirts, not only for hygiene purposes but to make your business look slicker and more professional.

And that’s it.

The ingredients for your ice cream shop in a nutshell! Add a dollop of enthusiasm, a sprinkle of invention and a bunch of delighted customers and you have the menu for success.

At Venturepak we are always here to help any aspiring ice cream shop seller so if you are looking for supplies for ice cream shop head over to the relevant page on our website and should you require advice about what containers you need, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.