Choosing An Ice Cream Supplier For Your Shop

If you want to open an ice cream shop, the fastest and simplest approach is often to sell ice cream that is made and sold wholesale by an outside supplier. You can always add your own flavors and ice cream creations to the menu later on, but when you're getting started, it's nice to have a reliable supplier you can turn to for inventory. But what if you have multiple suppliers in your area that you can order from? How do you go about picking one? Here are some top things to consider as you compare your supplier options.

Does the supplier have a following in your area?

Some ice cream brands are going to be well-known already. Customers will recognize their name and may buy from you or visit your shop largely because you sell that brand of ice cream. If you're not sure what suppliers in your area have this sort of following, try visiting a few other ice cream shops. What brands of ice cream do you see them selling? If they advertise the brand heavily, that's a sign that the brand has a following. 

How many flavors does the supplier offer?

It is often a good idea to offer a limited number of flavors but to cycle through some of them. In other words, you can always sell the staples like vanilla and chocolate. But you can also have four or five wildcard flavors that you change often. This way, you can feature more flavors and cater to the more adventurous customers without having opened containers of ice cream sitting around and spoiling because you're not going through them quickly enough. Consider whether the supplier has enough flavors for you to take this approach. If they only offer a dozen flavors, they may not be the best fit unless you also bring in ice cream from a second brand.

What is their minimum order?

As a new ice cream shop, you may not immediately have a huge following or make a ton of sales. So, you want to choose a supplier with a reasonable minimum order. This way, you won't have to order more ice cream than you sell only for it to sit around and get old. And you won't have to pay an extra "small order" fee.

Consider the elements above when choosing an ice cream supplier, and you should fare well. Contact a local ice cream supplier to learn more.