SPECIAL: OPENING AN ICE-CREAM BUSINESS
What to know, with Cavigar on your side
What type of Ice-Cream business
Ice-cream vending: what you need to know. If you want to set up an ice-cream business it is important to first consider the multiple professional aspects and create an operative strategy that goes from the making of the ice-cream to the type of sales point and the relative equipment.
With modern technology, it is possible to choose a format for:
- Home-made ice-cream shops
- Soft ice-cream vending
- Combined ice-cream parlour and coffee house
Cavigar has the furnishing and equipment solution for all the above types of business, perfected in the course of 50 years in business through case analysis of our success stories.
Home-made ice-cream shop
A home-made ice-cream workshop requires less onerous initial investment: reduced space for the premises, lower costs for the personnel, purchase of specific equipment only for the ice-cream, slush, frozen yogurt etc. Furthermore the cost of the ingredients for home-made ice-cream are around 12% of the end product's price (around 20% if we also consider milk, cream and eggs) guaranteeing therefore a good profit margin on each cone or tub sold. However home-made ice-cream shop sales are also seasonal; it's difficult to be open for more than 7 or 8 months a year.
Soft ice-cream vending
Soft ice-cream vending offers a great opportunity to sell ice-cream in a more economic form, considering that the equipment and the production machinery do not need a work -shop but only the availability of space in which to place the production machinery that can then be also used in self-service mode by the client, readying a service and topping queue.
Combined ice-cream parlour and coffee house
The advantages of the combined ice-cream parlour and coffee house are instead represented above all by the possibility of offering a service where the variety of products includes the ice-cream in a wider context which in turn guarantees a wider clientele. The whole obtained by elaborating a project which gives personality and a "soul" to your service and sales space.
There is one final aspect that needs to be taken into consideration and which is common to all the typologies of premises: the geomarketing, that is the choice of the zone in which to open the business on the basis of the analysis of the commercial activity already present in the area under consideration. What are the other businesses that yours will be compared with? What are their strengths? How to compete with them? Note that areas particularly targeted for opening ice-cream sales are pedestrian zones, much frequented by potential clients.
Cavigar offers consultation on all three types in order to analyse each of the factors to evaluate one by one. Not only for the furnishings and the equipment; Cavigar is further able to create specific projects and to estimate investment, image of the business and organisation of the production and the service free of charge and also to advise on eventual partners for the supply of the raw materials, courses for professional qualifications and suppliers of accessories and integrated products, leaving maximum liberty of choice to the client.
Phases in the preparation
The preparation of home made ice-cream requires diverse phases that go from pastuerisation to homogenisation , to maturation and to whipping/creaming. These may be carried out working with heat or with cold.
Cold preparation of ingredients for home made ice-cream.
Simple mixing of the ingredients, brief rest period and successive cooling of the mix obtained, called "creaming". This rapid method, generally used for fruit ices, sorbet and slush can also be used for milk based ice-cream. It requires careful cleaning.
Heat based preparation of ingredients for home made ice-cream
This occurs with pastuerisation of all the ingredients. Heat based preparation of the basic mix is advised when producing large quantities of home made ice-cream. The base mix is used in small portions, spread out over time (within 72 hours).
Pastuerisation of home made ice-cream
In order to kill off any bacteria, the home made ice-cream mix undergoes pastuerisation . Pastuerising a liquid means heating it to a temperature between +65°C and +85°C, keeping it at that temperature for a time proportional to the temperature itself (the higher the temperature, the shorter the time period) and then rapidly cooling it to the average conservation temperature 4°C/5°C, inside the pastueriser.
Maturing home made ice-cream
This phase serves to make the diverse ingredients that make up the mix amalgamate perfectly, thus absorbing the liquid that was added (water and/or milk). Maturing takes from 4 to 6 hours. The temperature for maturing is around 4°C, that is that of a normal refrigerator at positive temperature.
Creaming home made ice-cream
The freezing process is without any doubt the most important operation in the preparation of home made ice-cream , since a goodly part of the quality and the yield of the product depends on it . The freezing process may be divided into two very different operations:
- Freezing, in which the mix to be frozen is frozen while being stirred and air is incorporated;
- Hardening, during which the ice-cream undergoes further freezing
The composition of the ingredients of a mix influences the body of the ice-cream while the freezing influences its structure.
Conserving and display
Once made, the home made ice-cream has to be conserved in the appropriate fridges. These are divided into standing fridges and counters ( which include ice-cream wells and display cases) and , together with the creamer and the pastueriser , form the basic equipment which an ice-cream vendor must have when deciding to open a sales point.
Standing fridges may be located both in the workshop and in the sales point and are divided into those with positive and those with negative temperature.The former are for the conserving of raw materials (such as milk, eggs, fruit etc.), the latter maintain the tubs of creamed home made ice-cream at a temperature that goes from -15 to -25 °C. The standing fridges within the sales point hold ice-cream cakes and similar desserts.
The counters, indispensable in a ice-cream sales point, may be of various types: glycol wells, fan assisted wells, display cases with liquid or dry cooling, with or without fan assisted capacity.
So called because the cooling system runs on a mix of ethylene and glycol in which the containers of ice-cream are immersed. Glycol wells are the most traditional method for conserving home made ice-cream . They have, however, various disadvantages amongst which is that of not being able to display the ice-cream to the client ( diversely , as we will see, from the display cases).
Fan assisted wells
Diversely from the preceeding type of conservation , fan assisted wells offer various advantages. Above all they are lighter, since refrigeration is through a fan and not through liquid. Disposal of waste is easier and the start-up costs are decidedly inferior. However, in this case too the disadvantage is that of not being able to display the ice-cream to the client
These form the upper part of the counter and have a tilted surface that allow the client better viewing of the ice-cream in the wells . Surely one of the methods of presentation and conservation most used nowadays , the display case has the notable advantage of appealing to the client through sight as well as taste.
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