Helpful ReplyItalian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there?

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IceMan1969
Junior Burger
2009/02/14 17:15:57

Hi,  I'm Neil......been awhile since I posted out here. Just seeing if anyone out here is currently or planning on opening an Italian Ice business in 09 or beyond? Just looking to exchange ideas and information, also encouragement since perseverance seems to be a key ingredient to future success. I am in Florida and am an ex-New Englander. Feel free to message me directly or on this thread and it would be a pleasure to communicate with you. Take care......Neil
ice queen
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/18 10:34:54
Hi Neil,

I'm Stephanie in VA (actually currently in VT but returning to VA soon) and am starting up a push cart Italian Ice business this summer.  How are things going with you? Have you done any events yet? I hope to have my cart in the next month or so and go from there, although I'm in the process of booking events now. I grew up on the east coast of FL, you should do well there in the hot sun!

s
IceMan1969
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/21 20:00:08
I am still in the planning stages Stephanie. Where are you getting your cart and ice from ? Have you found out or gotten your licences, permits , etc? Let me know, interested to hear how it's going for you so far........Neil
Curbside Grill
Filet Mignon
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/22 13:58:53
Since they don't allow me to get to the big city to much with this ankle bracelet.LOL
What really is the difference between snow cone and italian ice. Can you use the same flavors on either. Have heard of Hawaian Ice also. Is the ice shaved or pulverized,graded. Flavorings different? See snow cone flavors at the Wally world
Met a lady that says her best selling flavor is dill pickle.
Sour candy still big too. 
Me just inquiring. Next time I see one or the other will have to try. Know snowcones from the past.
post edited by Curbside Grill - 2009/03/22 14:11:30
ice queen
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 10:10:47
I'll be getting my ice from Via Veneto since there is a distributor near my home. I'm hoping to avoid the cold storage route if at all possible. My cart is coming from Custom Carts out of NJ and will probably be here in a couple of weeks - yikes! The health dept has already reviewed the specs for the cart and provided me with the necessary forms but obviously there is nothing for them to inspect just yet. Everything else is basically in order although, and I can't believe this didn't occur to me sooner, I really don't have a name yet! I really have to get on the ball about that since I want it on the side of the cart.
 
Curbside - Funny about the ankle bracelet! My understanding is that the ingredients of snow cones and Italian Ice aren't really different but the preparation is. So with a snow cone, you make it on the spot while Italian Ice is mixed up and frozen. Italian Ice is creamier and smoother. I've also heard people say Italian Ice flavor is richer than that of a snow cone. Snow cones and I never got along because the paper cups would always leak and then I would have snow cone syrup all over me :)
Curbside Grill
Filet Mignon
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 10:29:26
Just know at small feativals we do, we do not have these, only one ice cream vendor. Never seen this. Always hear about them. Snow cones I know from youth. And always looking when going out. Must not be a big draw here in my area. Hawiian Ice is shaved and never seen. By the time I get horse and buggy there product would be  melted. Just wondering.
post edited by Curbside Grill - 2009/03/25 10:32:55
PopsDogHouse
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 10:49:24
ice queen

 Everything else is basically in order although, and I can't believe this didn't occur to me sooner, I really don't have a name yet! I really have to get on the ball about that since I want it on the side of the cart.
 

 
How about your username, "The Ice Queen"?  or "The Italian Ice Queen"?  Just a thought.


RoyalDogs
Hamburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 17:29:36
Empress of Ice is a good one 
I like this idea, the machines are pricey...
post edited by RoyalDogs - 2009/03/25 17:31:23
RobInNY
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 17:43:07
RobInNY
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 17:43:07
RobInNY
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 17:54:45
Hello there in Fla.  Here on the NY / VT bvorder we tried Gellato at various hi-end events and fairs.  Folks here in the Agricultural regions still like their Fries and Dogs.  That food type (Italian Ice) is highly weather-restrictive...give it some thought.  The equipment is pricey too, unless you have other uses for it.  I'd rather a cold-stone for serving premium Ice Cream...you'll attract a larger variety of customers (Kids don't know what italian Ice is, nor do the teens.  You want something to sell everyone recognizes immediately, and buys on impulse or necessity.
   You're in Florida, how about "Sunshine flavored" (Anything!)
Be well, good luck out there....

Rob Wyman, CEC,  Wyman Concession and Catering, LLC  Salem, NY (a Florida Corporation)
Curbside Grill
Filet Mignon
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 20:14:47
We don't even have an Ice Cream Shop in town.
These people want fried foods. The more the better.
Curbside Grill
Filet Mignon
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 20:16:47
RoyalDogs

Empress of Ice is a good one 
I like this idea, the machines are pricey...



Now what is this. Gelato, hawaiin ice, italian ice.
Looks good
ice queen
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/03/25 20:20:09
Ha - just thought about using something like "The Italian Ice Queen" myself and may go with it! Thanks for the idea!
mm2k
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/05/24 23:28:40
Hello everyone!!!

I live in the Atlanta GA area & became interested in the Italian ice biz the beginning of 2008.  I, like many of you here on this forum also seek some info. for startup.  I did read most of the threads & really didn't see a large selection for inexpensive carts.  Anyone have any suggestions of where to buy or build carts less than 2500 to 5000 dollars?  I did some footwork last year (2008)  about permits or licenses.  I plan to only do events where venders obtain the permits for the areas of use.  Many venders said that the permits they held for their event covered what I would bring (Italian ice).   Is this a case anyone else has encountered?  
suem961
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/05/29 17:45:31
Hi Iceman
I live in Stuart Fl ,just north of West Palm Beach. I am currently looking to start up a pushcart italian ice business. I have had a problem with some discrepancies regarding info,and thought you might be able to clear up what I need . I notified the dept of agriculture in Fl and was told I would need a commissary or a sink with hot/cold water on the cart. I had another gentelman in the busines  down here who said since italian ice was water based and not dairy that I would not need a sink. Any info???? I want to make sure I have all my info straight before I invest in the cart.
I am also undecided ...I have researched Little jimmy(seems a bit too costly) Via Venetto (seemed very helpful with any info regarding startup) Mootzs Works with Flava Shack down here (also helpful)  just alot of info to take in and decide on....Always best when someone who has been down the same road can help wih any advice. Would love to hear from you...SUE
OzDogs
Cheeseburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/05/30 20:31:27
Hello Neil et al, I'm OzDogs.

I think about snow-cones all the time. I've tried ice-cream but honestly, this is the Sonoran desert. Forget about anything that doesn't come in it's own cup if you are working out of coolers, and dry ice is nice but it adds to cost and it's so cold it can crack things like coolers, even the cases on your hot dog rig.

I checked out some of the products discussed here and they all come in buckets which means you have a lot of product out there and heavens help you if it starts melting. You need electricity or a location to serve out of. Electricity means you can set up shop. Location means you get one of those 3-wheeled vending trikes.

Now the neat thing about snow cones is that it's shaved ice and you buy the ice in a block. If some melts off, big deal, it's water. Much less expensive than other product. That you can keep in a cooler. Now all you need is the power to shave it and flavor it.

People, you can rasp ice with a drywall shaver you get at the hardware store if you have to. It's not going to be that reliable technique, but it gets us thinking. We have hand-press lemonade juicers. We need to research some early technology for hand-driven ice shavers. People will love the presentation and we'll all have huge arms.

Any other way and you are plugged in. And as soon as you are plugged in, you loose self-contained capability on the street.

To me, everything goes one of two ways: cash sales on location or private catering. For private catering, I'll sub out frozen desserts to someone who makes a nice presentation like the pictures above. But we get to plug into house power. For street stuff, I don't want to be plugged into anything or anybody. I don't want a gas genny running beside me and toxifying me or my customers to death. And I don't want a bunch of perishable (high risk) product out there.

OzDogs
Cheeseburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/05/30 20:54:43
Oh yeah, I forgot to say, all we gotta do is research. Gellato is a more involved frozen confection than snow-cones which are essentially a very basic glace. Glace with a little accent over the E at the end. We might pronounce it "glassay" but in French is pronounced more like "gloss" or "glass". Anyways, it's the predecessor of ice cream and gellatto and it's very simple: it's shaved ice with flavoring added or it's shaved, flavored ice.

I like the creative kinds of flavors that have come out, but what most of the manufacturers have just started to realize is they have a non-dairy, usually non-fat confection. Now just put it together with the all-natural or organic thing and YOU HAVE A PRODUCT.

My Gods, why do all ice-shavers get that artificial, chemical crap flavoring when there are like 20 JIUCE BARS IN TOWN for you to wholesale from? They will complain that you want it really sweetened up with sugar, so tell them to use raw, unwashed, cain sugar. It ups product cost but WHO CARES when we can access that high-dollar, health-conscious market? It's not an easy thing for us doggers to break into.

That breaks open a whole other subject. Why form a retail relationship when you can form one with a local, specialty provider? Why source from BenitiFrangelicoDiItalia or some crap which is available everywhere when you can build brand identity with a local merchant and utilize their LOCALLY TARGETED promotions?

Me, I always try to think in basics. Logic dictates that icey cold things sell in summer, so all we need is ice and a way to shave it. The flavors are easy.

There's this outfit in Phoenix and they sell smoothies over the counter. To cater, they send them out fully frozen in cardboard boxes and let them thaw to proper consistency. Now we use atmospheric heat FOR us rather than against us and the product is WONDERFUL. No cart, no refrigerators, no dry ice, no genny, no nothing.

Think people. I just told you how to sell smoothies with nothing but a cardboard box and your vending permit. If you have a bathing suit and a sexy body we just made you.

Again, I like low-risk. Especially for Roadfood forums readers because so many of you are just starting out. Most of the real pros don't hang out here for long. But I still come here when I want to try out a new idea and I try to pay something back when I come. And we'll crack this shaved-ice thing. We always do.
OzDogs
Cheeseburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/05/30 21:00:54
Dang it, I always side-track muself. All we gotta do is research how they shaved massive amounts of ice off a block in the old days. I can tell you what it's going to look like. It's going to look like a really long, two-handed drywall rasp.

You see one of those in a thrift store, you pick it up and call us www.AZHotDog.com and we'll learn how to put an old technology back to work.

Dangit, that was supposed to be my whole point. Let's find us some simple, man (or woman) powered ice-shavers and go to work. I always get side-tracked into a story.
OzDogs
Cheeseburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/01 02:28:16
OK, you guys are probably gonna laugh at me, but I found it. Took a couple hours of Ebay searching, but yes, people used hand ice shavers or "shaves" all the time in the 1800s. I found two designs, check out this website:

http://icetoolcollections.com/

You'll see "box" and "bowl" type tools. And I was quickly able to locate some of these on Ebay. But they kind of looked a little....pretty beat up and I thought somebody has to be making these things today.

Shebang!

http://www.koldkiss.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=HANDSHAVER

There it is. Want to get your feet wet (literally) without a lot of up-front investment? What more could you ask for? Well, maybe one of these:

http://www.1-800-shaved-ice.com/swhacrblices.html

I really like the looks of that baby.
IceMan1969
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/08 16:54:43
After talking with a few people already operating Italian Ice Pushcarts I am very confident in the ability of a quality constructed cart to keep the Italian Ice at the proper temp over a long period of time. The cold plate cart can be plugged in over night and 2 people have told me from experience it will keep the Italian Ice past 12 hours, even longer. And the insulated carts without coldplate slightly less. Of course factors such as outdoor temperature and whether you have an umbrella shading the cart also factor in.
IceMan1969
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/08 16:58:47
suem961

Hi Iceman
I live in Stuart Fl ,just north of West Palm Beach. I am currently looking to start up a pushcart italian ice business. I have had a problem with some discrepancies regarding info,and thought you might be able to clear up what I need . I notified the dept of agriculture in Fl and was told I would need a commissary or a sink with hot/cold water on the cart. I had another gentelman in the busines  down here who said since italian ice was water based and not dairy that I would not need a sink. Any info???? I want to make sure I have all my info straight before I invest in the cart.
I am also undecided ...I have researched Little jimmy(seems a bit too costly) Via Venetto (seemed very helpful with any info regarding startup) Mootzs Works with Flava Shack down here (also helpful)  just alot of info to take in and decide on....Always best when someone who has been down the same road can help wih any advice. Would love to hear from you...SUE


Sue,  without having talked to the health inspector in my county Osceola, I've been told by a couple people who know that a commissary is likely not needed but a sink would be. I will be getting a firm answer on this very soon. Really want to know. Kind of got my checklist of things to do and call about in the planning stages here.
suem961
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/08 19:23:23
Hi Iceman,

   Thanks so much for the info, I was sent an entire health regulation pkt by the dept of agriculture for Fl. It appears to me that even though the the italian ice is non dairy if you are going to be scooping ,you would need a sink to clean utensils. I have also been told by fellow florida ice vendors that they have never needed a sink and have been doing events for years. I just want to make sure all my duck are in a row and I have my info correct,especially beofre I invest in my cart. Please let me know how you make out with your info. What company do you think you will be purchasing your ice from?
IceMan1969
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/09 08:30:02
Hey Sue, good morning. There is a company on the west coast called "Flava Shack" and among other things they distribute locally. You can either pick up the ice from them yourself or have it delivered. I've tried their Italian Ice and I really liked it, quality stuff. Ive been told by others who have sampled Little Jimmy's from New Jersey and Via Venetto that they are both very good but of course you're going to pay a lot more just for having it shipped from so far away. And you don't have to be a genius to figure out the more you pay for delivery of the Italian Ice the more it cuts into your profits. So its a no brainer to me, get the best quality ice as close to home as possible for both $$$ reasons and convenience purposes. I sent an email yesterday on the Oscelola County web site to try and find out if a hand sink is necessary. Its been awhile but someone I know who was vending ice up in Jacksonville area told me that we don't need a comissary space for an italian ice business. That would be awesome, one less monthly expense right there. I talked to a guy Larry who keeps his ice at a cold storage facility for $45 per month. Thats very affordable but even that if I can pick up my italian ice locally and just buy it when I need it then won't even need to rent out cold storage. At least knowing its very affordable is a great thing to keep in mind though. I was mostly concerned with having to rent a commisary space, so that's great that's not necessary. Ok Sue trying not to write a novel here lol, take care and keep in touch. Also my email is  mixndrink569@aol.com so feel free to email me directly  if you'd like. Both being in Florida I think we will run into similar situations/obstacles and can bounce ideas and info. off each other. Good luck and remember it's all about seeing the big picture and not letting minor obstacles get in the way. Be cool to chat about ways to get the business name out there and searching for quality events etc.  take care.......Neil
IceMan1969
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/09 08:36:33
suem961

Hi Iceman,

   Thanks so much for the info, I was sent an entire health regulation pkt by the dept of agriculture for Fl. It appears to me that even though the the italian ice is non dairy if you are going to be scooping ,you would need a sink to clean utensils. I have also been told by fellow florida ice vendors that they have never needed a sink and have been doing events for years. I just want to make sure all my duck are in a row and I have my info correct,especially beofre I invest in my cart. Please let me know how you make out with your info. What company do you think you will be purchasing your ice from?


Sue, just like many laws and regulations there are those that get enforced and those they mostly get overlooked. The sinks could be required in some places but even some police officers don't even know all the laws, I know because I have 2 friends back in New England that tell me all the time they overlook certain small violations when they know somebody is trying to make a living and not hurting anyone. So like you said you've talked to people who have operated for years with no sinks and if that's the case It wouldn't be something I'd be sweating too much. I'd be sweating more important issues like finding quality events and how to get my name out to the community on a local and regional level.
Dr of BBQ
Filet Mignon
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/09 09:16:41
suem961
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/17 19:51:09
Hi everyone...I've finally got my info from Fl Dept of Agriculture regarding an italian ice cart requiring a sink . I had been told by some cart owners that it might not be necessary because the ices were strictly water based and non dairy . No such luck DoA informed me a 3rd comparment for H2O was required. So I am now researching the purchase of the cart...any good suggestions I would love to hear from you!
SUE
neonlady
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/18 12:27:07
Sue,
 I have an Italian Ice pushcart in OR. Our state requires cleaning sinks as well, or a commissary for washing the utensils. That got me to thinking, what if my utensils were disposable every day? Bingo. The HD said if I kept them in the tubs, (handles up,not touching the product), and disposed of the spoons every day, I could get past the commissary / sink requirement. I did the math, and with the cost of a sink unit running $600+, I figured I had to "dispose" of a lot of spoons before getting to that expense.

Starting out is expensive, many costs involved. I wanted to minimize my outlay as much as possible, so I opted to go the "disposable" route for the first year or so until I could get some cash flow going.  I went to the local dollar store and cheapie marts and boughht ice scream scoops.

Good luck with your new venture!
suem961
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/18 16:08:30

Thanks again for the advice...disposable would certainly be a better cost effective option. I will have to   reinquire once again with the HD and see where that route takes me. I was also told to check with my dept of agr to see if there is a local  commissary that vendors use..ANd the challenge continues for me ...Perserverance!!!
Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/18 20:43:30
I started in the Italian Ice business 3 years ago.  At that time I purchased a cart from a New Jersey Company for $2500, which wasn't a bad price.  Since then I started a company with 2 friends in which we make Italian water ice and sell it to many other vendors at a great price and we also sell Carts for our vendors that only cost $1500.  I can give anybody insight and information on rules and laws pertaining to ice carts as well as the difference in cold plates and such.   There is much to consider when becoming an Italian ice vendor.  Freight delivery cost, which venues create the best sales....etc.   We have some pretty big time vendors, for example, in Pittsburgh, PA we have a fellow who only sells June through September and last year made almost $70k in just those months!  He only used 5 carts to do it (with employees obviously) and this year he is doubling his carts.  Feel free to ask any questions or email me and I will give you my honest opinion and answers if they are wanted.
Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/18 20:50:30
In many states you need to have a "Wash area".   Many vendors get written permission from a local business to be able to wash their utensils at their facilities (regardless if they really would or not, they do get the written permission for the HD).  Some vendors also set up a folding table with an insulated beverage dispenser full of warm/hot water on top of it and a catch bucket underneath it.  This acts as their sink and works well especially when the cart will be stationary.  Bringing multiple scoopers and keeping them in ziplock bags help also.  Our carts have a stainless steel cup on the back in which you put water and hold your scooper and rinse your scooper in between servings.
Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/18 20:54:18
IceMan1969

After talking with a few people already operating Italian Ice Pushcarts I am very confident in the ability of a quality constructed cart to keep the Italian Ice at the proper temp over a long period of time. The cold plate cart can be plugged in over night and 2 people have told me from experience it will keep the Italian Ice past 12 hours, even longer. And the insulated carts without coldplate slightly less. Of course factors such as outdoor temperature and whether you have an umbrella shading the cart also factor in.


Your right on IceMan.   You really do not need coldplates.  Italian ice freezes harder than a plain ice cube.  It actually needs to warm up a bit to make it easier to serve.   Putting a bottle of room temp. water in with the italian ice in your cart will freeze that water quickly so long as the cart is well insulated.   If you have a quality cart without coldplates you can easily keep your Italian Ice at a good temp. for at least 8 hours.... but then again if you are in a good spot you should be running out of Ice and putting new buckets in your cart before that much time passes!
IceMan1969
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/19 10:13:16
Hey Swamp what is your  email addy?  Would like to see a picture of your Italian Ice Cart and find out the specs. Thanks.......Neil in Florida........
Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/19 11:39:01
IceMan1969

Hey Swamp what is your  email addy?  Would like to see a picture of your Italian Ice Cart and find out the specs. Thanks.......Neil in Florida........

Neil,
 
   You can reach me at info@kpsindustries.com  or at canadasino1@yahoo.com
 
Either one is fine and I can definitely show some pics.   We even do individual carts for personal name brand recognition (for example:  "Neil's Ice").    Also,  Where do you expect to get your product from?  Do you make your own ice or purchase it?

IceMan1969
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/19 11:44:54

Swamp right now I am up in the air as far as where I will be purchasing my Ice. I am looking into local distributors as well as national ones. We are still in the planning stages and probably won't be launching this until the fall at the earliest and possilbe next spring at the latest.
suem961
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/06/19 16:21:46
Hi,
 
 I realize now how much there is to consider after just beginning my research. I am in south Florida and am in the process of learning permit requirements thru the state Dept of AGr. and now the county.I am completely unfamiliar with all of it and am taking careful steps to make sure that I have all the correct info...a big feat in itself. I would love  any advice regarding the correct cart to purchase or the most cost effective approach to take. I have heard that Nelson carts are very good ,but it appears that would run me about $3000 . Please feel free to email me at suem961@comcast.net I would love your advice ,I have so much to learn .
Thanks SUE
dare
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/07/26 01:52:48
Another question for everyone.  I have been researching a way to receive italian via a freight truck.  I've checked with close to a half dozen cold storage places and they won't have anything to do with me unless I'm storing dozens of pallets with them.  How is everyone receiving there product?  and if by freight any suggestions?
IceMan1969
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/07/26 03:42:55
Dare, how are you doing? I am in the planning stages of my italian ice business and have learned a lot of good information along the way. As far as the cold storage facilities my advice would be to keep calling and eventually one of them will rent out smaller spaces to accomodate your say 1 pallett of ice. I know in Florida where I am they rent out all different sizes for different space needs. Also do you have the option to maybe buy a chest freezer and use your garage or rent garage space out to store the Italian Ice? I know this is what I want to do eventually. The closer to home I can keep my equipment and product the better. Do you have a cart yet and do you know who you want to buy your Italian Ice from yet?  Take care.....Neil
dare
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/07/26 10:27:32
Neil,  I haven't purchased a cart...  yet..  I've looked at lil Jimmy's and another one (drawing a blank what it's called right now)  I'm all about buying 2 or 3 large chest freezers and storing everything myself..  My problem is simply figuring out how to get the product off a truck..  I've talked with about 4 cold storage places, and at least 6 different shippers and hardware stores, but I haven't found any yet who are willing to receive the product.  I came close with one hardware store but as soon as I said it's ice they immediatly said no way.  I think there worried about liability...?  I think my step is looking at self storage sites I don't know if they do receiving from trucks or not.  If not though I guess I'll look at local food distributors and see what they offer.  I'm in Indiana so I doubt there is a lot of choices though for italian ice.
Florida_Ice_Man
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/07/27 17:53:33
Hey everyone!

I'm new to this Forum...does anyone have a link to a place online that makes and sales those Italian Ice Umbrellas wholesale?

Thanks in advance!!
IceMan1969
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/07/27 18:10:31
Florida_Ice_Man

Hey everyone!

I'm new to this Forum...does anyone have a link to a place online that makes and sales those Italian Ice Umbrellas wholesale?

Thanks in advance!!


Where in Florida are you?  Just google "Italian Ice" push cart or cart umbrellas and you'll get hits. Also try places like craigs list in their "for sale" sections and search there. Also just about any company that manufactures carts will also usually sell umbrellas as well. Are you just in the planning stages so far?  Take care........Neil in Florida
Florida_Ice_Man
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/07/27 21:58:25
IceMan1969

Florida_Ice_Man

Hey everyone!

I'm new to this Forum...does anyone have a link to a place online that makes and sales those Italian Ice Umbrellas wholesale?

Thanks in advance!!


Where in Florida are you?  Just google "Italian Ice" push cart or cart umbrellas and you'll get hits. Also try places like craigs list in their "for sale" sections and search there. Also just about any company that manufactures carts will also usually sell umbrellas as well. Are you just in the planning stages so far?  Take care........Neil in Florida


I'm over in Tampa, ya, I already did a Google search and I can't find a 2 tone that says Italian Ice on it, some of these are REALLY expensive!!
and yes just beginning...I think I'm going to be getting my Ices from Flava Shack, they are local and I don't have to go the Cold Storage route and also order more than I need.

Thanks!
Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2009/08/01 21:14:18
Dare,
 
   We have several vendors that order Italian Ice  from us and receive the Italian Ice directly at their home where they have a few large chest freezers.  We sell the ice in plastic 3 Gal. tubs and a pallet of these tubs can easily be unloaded by hand in a few minutes time doing it one or 2 tubs at a time.  A large (not largest, just large) chest freezer can fit 26 3 gal. buckets in them if that helps you.    If unloading it by hand is not an option for some reasone we can always send a truck with a lift gate that will drop off the pallet for you.  Distributors should be more flexible and either way it is not an issue to get the ice to you if you talk to the right people. 
    Regarding your cart purchase.  These are the carts that we sell for Italian Ice.  They are $1500:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-il83GAtkoI
Ready2start
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/15 16:16:47
Hello all, I am ready to start an italian ice business in Miami, Fl. I was looking into purchasing the plan from Little Jimmy's that includes the cart, umbrella, signage, tshirts, hats, cups and 60 -5 gallon tubbs of product, however I am having trouble reaching a live person at the health dept to give me a little insight on what needs to be done. I am also having trouble finding a resonable cold storage warehouse to store the product. If you have any info that may help me get this show on the road before the start of summer please let me know!!!!!!
Ready2start
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/15 16:26:31
Hi Swamp, I am interested in seeing a picture of you cart as well. Can you send me an email with the picture and the dimentions to
Swamp
Junior Burger
☄ Helpful
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/20 02:05:30
Ready2start

Hello all, I am ready to start an italian ice business in Miami, Fl. I was looking into purchasing the plan from Little Jimmy's that includes the cart, umbrella, signage, tshirts, hats, cups and 60 -5 gallon tubbs of product, however I am having trouble reaching a live person at the health dept to give me a little insight on what needs to be done. I am also having trouble finding a resonable cold storage warehouse to store the product. If you have any info that may help me get this show on the road before the start of summer please let me know!!!!!!


I think that you may find that a lot of your money is wasted on some of these items.

You would do better to make your own signage.  The T-shirts and Hats are  not needed and do not add anything to your appearance or make you more noticeable.  The cups are not as good as simply purchasing your own styrofoam cups ( they hold up much better than the flimsy and SMALL paper cups).  The scooper is too small and you can find good ones for very cheap at Wal Mart that work great.  Going with these "packages" make you spend $thousands$ more than you need to in order to start up.

The carts/Umbrellas are also very expensive in comparison to actual cost.

You should research a bit before you commit to paying all of that out for a lot of stuff that you wont use at all.  I know, I did it when I started up and was very unhappy to learn that I wasted thousands that I didnt need to and never had use for much of it.   Many of our vendors started out by making the same mistake.  You would do much better for yourself to avoid the startup "packages".  They are a waste.


Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/20 02:08:01
Ready2start

Hi Swamp, I am interested in seeing a picture of you cart as well. Can you send me an email with the picture and the dimentions to



Sure! just look 3 posts above this one and click on the link so that you can view the carts!














post edited by Swamp - 2010/05/20 02:12:14
paul v
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/20 03:21:00
Swamp,
 
I am brand new to this site and the thought of starting my own Italian Ice vending cart.  Although I have been in the restaurant business for years, I am willing and excited to take this route due to the working for myself deal.  At the moment I do not have anything up and running (cart, license, permits etc.).  If there is any advice such as where to start and how to, carts, what type of events and anything else you want to throw at me, please feel free, I would love to hear it.
 
Thanks,
Paul
FriedTater
Cheeseburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/20 23:13:58
Swamp, caan you be more specific in the size of the chest freezer to store the 26 buckets of italian ice? And how many buckets come on a pallet?
Thanks
JodyP
Cheeseburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/24 10:23:13
I checked into the Italian ice a couple of years back.  Little Jimmy’s used to have a free down load booklet available. It explained all the particulars about the business. If I remember correctly there is a problem about storing the ice. Something about storing and serving at a certain temperature.  Also it has to be shipped to a cold storage facility. We are looking at putting a deposit down today on a 7’ x 14’ Horton Concession trailer and are seriously looking into a shaved ice machine and package from 1-800-SHAVEDICE. We figure that we can sell shaved ice, tropical drinks & hotdogs during the warmer weather months and switch over to coffees and hot drinks if we do any cold weather gigs.
Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/25 00:47:32
The issue with them is that they send 60 per pallet and if you don't have the chest freezers on hand to handle that amount then you need to find a cold storage somewhere, whether it be a cold storage warehouse or a local grocery store or restaraunt that allows you to store in their facility.
   When I started I found a locally owned grocery store that allowed me to do it for $30 per month.
Italian Ice has no dairy, there is no temperature issues like ice cream as to what it needs to be served at or anything like that.
    I would think that Italian Ice would be much more simple to vend than shaved ice and I guarantee it is MUCH more popular and sells better than shaved ice.  On top of that, with a cart you are mobile and can be much more dynamic from event to event or location to location.
Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/25 00:48:16
FriedTater

Swamp, caan you be more specific in the size of the chest freezer to store the 26 buckets of italian ice? And how many buckets come on a pallet?
Thanks


I have emailed you FriedTater :)

For reference, however, we ship to your home or to a business or to a cold storage warehouse... whatever you prefer.   Our pallets can have as many as 80 buckets on them but we will ship you as many or as few as YOU need.  Everybody has different budgets and different storage capacity so we are willing to send as many as you want and we don't have minimum order requirements.
post edited by Swamp - 2010/05/25 00:51:28
Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/25 00:58:00
paul v

Swamp,
 
I am brand new to this site and the thought of starting my own Italian Ice vending cart.  Although I have been in the restaurant business for years, I am willing and excited to take this route due to the working for myself deal.  At the moment I do not have anything up and running (cart, license, permits etc.).  If there is any advice such as where to start and how to, carts, what type of events and anything else you want to throw at me, please feel free, I would love to hear it.
 
Thanks,
Paul


I have a TON of advice for you lol.   I will PM you my information so as not to write a novel on the board here.

The number one advice I have is to not over pay to get started.   You shouldnt have to pay more than around $3000 for EVERYTHING to start.  if  you are paying much more than that then  you are very much overpaying.   It should be under $3000 to have what you need to start.    Be frugal and don't buy a bunch of things that you don't need or before you need them. The idea is to make money, not spend it :)  I look fwd to speaking with you Paul.
_TR_
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/27 19:09:52
Swamp

paul v

Swamp,

I am brand new to this site and the thought of starting my own Italian Ice vending cart.  Although I have been in the restaurant business for years, I am willing and excited to take this route due to the working for myself deal.  At the moment I do not have anything up and running (cart, license, permits etc.).  If there is any advice such as where to start and how to, carts, what type of events and anything else you want to throw at me, please feel free, I would love to hear it.

Thanks,
Paul


I have a TON of advice for you lol.   I will PM you my information so as not to write a novel on the board here.

The number one advice I have is to not over pay to get started.   You shouldnt have to pay more than around $3000 for EVERYTHING to start.  if  you are paying much more than that then  you are very much overpaying.   It should be under $3000 to have what you need to start.    Be frugal and don't buy a bunch of things that you don't need or before you need them. The idea is to make money, not spend it :)  I look fwd to speaking with you Paul.


Swamp, I would appreciate it if you could send me your Italian Ice info. Thanks!

FriedTater
Cheeseburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/27 23:39:37
Swamp, thanks for the e-mail. Still investigating this. Trying to downsize. The information and our chat on the phone was great.
Swamp
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/28 00:00:12
FriedTater

Swamp, thanks for the e-mail. Still investigating this. Trying to downsize. The information and our chat on the phone was great.


Thanks!  It was great speaking with you also and I hope that we do again.
olddude2
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/29 08:02:00
selling any thing from a cart in Florida other then boiled peanuts, or uncut whole fruit, requires a commissary, there are 3 regulatory agencies in Florida, you must check with all 3 . the AG dept. the HD dept, and the dept. of bis and pro regulations.
 in some areas where your inspector is your friend and neighbor, sure you can skip some steps. but to be legal you need to pay attention to the above.
JaysItalianIce
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/05/31 18:19:34
Hello everyone, I'm starting to sell Italian Ice here in FL. Can anyone from FL selling Ice give my info on there license and inspection requirements. Thanks Jay
ice4u
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/06/29 17:25:13
Try Scara's Italian Ice. They have a great selection of flavors and they are very helpful. You can also order carts.
iceyhot
Junior Burger
Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there? 2010/08/10 10:04:01
does anyone have any prefrences on italian ice carts. personally some of them seemed way over priced. i like little jimmys but theeir packages are to expensive. Penguinn ice is good ice but horrible customer service do not buy a cart from them. I seen nelson carts but again on the high end. does anyone have any suggestions
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