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Do you make a killer vanilla ice cream in your own kitchen that all your friends want to take home after a dinner party? You might be thinking about starting an ice cream business from home. While it may seem simple to just amp up production on your stand-mixer ice cream machine, running a home-based ice cream business is more complicated than expected.
First, you will need to do some research on how to make money selling ice cream. You may need to create a commercial kitchen in your home that is dedicated to the business with chest freezers, a commercial-sized ice cream machine, and a certified packaging system. The rules and regulations for operating a home-based food business vary greatly from state to state. Contact your local health and safety department to receive a complete list of licenses and permits that would be required for your project.
Look for creative ways to sell ice cream by establishing an online presence with a quick website design for ordering. Develop a store to give your fans easy access to your products. There are a variety of unique avenues to pursue for selling ice cream from home.
In almost every state, a home-based ice cream manufacturing business is not an option. However, you might have more success setting up shop with a commercial kitchen, an ice cream cart permit or ice cream truck with an online presence to generate business. The production of ice cream is a highly regulated industry as the product requires refrigeration for the raw ingredients, while it is made, during packaging, and for distribution. If you research how to sell food from home legally, serving as a distributor or reseller for a brand of ice cream is a more attainable goal.
The rules on selling food from home are called cottage food regulations and pertain to many types of non-refrigerated products such as bread, cakes, jellies, and candy. If your home-based industry includes perishable ingredients such as dairy, then you will need to verify all state and local selling ice cream regulations before you pack your first pint.
Now, you may also want to investigate the possibility of getting an ice cream shop license. This may work for you if you have a standalone storefront on your property with dedicated commercial food storage and preparation areas for the ice cream. You will need to apply for food handling permits, have your business inspected by the health department, and obtain a business license according to state regulations.
Perhaps running a cart or store is not quite your style. Can you sell and ship ice cream? Selling homemade food online is a great way to expand your visibility to your market. Working within your local food industry regulations, it is possible to pack and ship ice cream using styrofoam coolers and dry ice. Customers can order and receive their order overnight or in two days and the ice cream arrives still frozen solid.
Expand your business using creative advertising ideas for ice cream such as feeding a craving for your maple almond flavor or promoting a red, white, and blue ice cream for summer celebrations. Using social media, launch your ice cream marketing campaigns to targeted audiences who follow favorite food pages, celebrity chefs, or cooking shows.
Remember to include a full ingredients list, allergy information, and expiration dates on all the ice cream that you ship. That special box also serves as a smart marketing opportunity! Add an advertising flyer highlighting the next seasonal flavors or offering free shipping for return customers. Build your repeat business by creating a monthly subscription box packed with ice cream toppings and a scoop!
Selling ice cream out of your home may not be just a pipe dream! With a creative approach to building your home food business, it is possible to share your love of frozen treats with the world and turn it into a profitable enterprise.
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