I am looking to start a shaved ice rental business.
I’ve been considering it for quite some time.
Lets rewind back on how I got to this point.
At first I wanted to open a shaved ice shop.
The only thing that stops me from opening one is the massive amount of money you would need to get started. On top of that shaved ice is very seasonal which meant when winter rolls around, your sales will drop dramatically.
Meanwhile you still have to pay your lease, commons, liability insurance, employees, electricity, wifi, etc.
Then the next best thing I wanted to do was sell at events.
I like this route because it was a lot cheaper startup wise.
My schedule would be more flexible since I don’t have a physical storefront.
Also selling at events practically guarantees you’ll make money, or so I thought.
So I started of with 1 canopy, 2 chairs and 2 tables that I borrowed. I made the sign from cardboard.
I bought a used shaved ice machine. I think it was the machine that makes coarse crunch shaved ice. It was terrible the ice was hard and stuck together, some people broke their plastic spoon trying to chisel at it.
I started with 2 flavors (taro, coconut) and 2 real fruit toppings (banana, strawberry).
How the product works is they pick a flavor and a fresh fruit topping and the product gets a scoop of ice-cream on the bottom and a drizzle of condense milk on top.
At this point I wanted a proof of concept to see if selling shaved ice had any demand. So I tried to keep my initial cost very very low in case things didn’t go as planned.
I got into an event for like $50, it was a 2 day event.
On my first day I sold out in 3 hours. crazy right. I didn’t expect to sell out that fast. So you can say I was hooked on selling at events.
So I got really excited and continue on into the shaved ice business.
This is the first cardboard banner I did for that event. I charged $3 per cup. In hindsight I might of charged too little for the amount of work that was involved.
After that event I had the banner professionally done. I also invested in a block shaver which is why I put “soft ice” on the banner 😉
Fast forward to today
I don’t sell the fruits on ice cup anymore just because there is a lot of prep work that goes into making one cup. I instead focus on just the basic shaved ice in a flower cup.
One of the biggest setback on selling shaved ice is getting into events.
Every event from small to big in my area already has a shaved ice vendor so its very hard to get into one.
That brings me back to the shaved ice rental business. With shaved ice rental, I don’t need to worry about getting into events.
I figure I can rent to birthday parties, private parties, corporate events and fundraisers.
I’m looking to have 3 different rental packages. I’m still trying to figure out the fundraising part of the business.
I already bought a unique shaved ice website that I think will gain traction locally.
I’ve been quietly working on it.
We’ll see how it goes, I’ll blog more about it as I have more to update.