Re:Italian Ice Pushcart Biz, anyone else out there?
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.