- The TurnKey Parlor Consulting site is run by Neil Williams, and was my first source of advice as to what it takes to get started in the business. I signed up for Neil's "Friend in the Business" consulting offering, which allowed me to email him with my startup questions. I've found Neil to be both very knowledgeable about the ice cream industry and very easy to correspond with. I certainly recommend his consulting services to anyone seriously thinking about getting into this business.
Update: 4/28/2005 I no longer recommend TurnkeyParlor's services, as I've recently found out that the business plan that I wrote and shared with Neil Williams has been blatantly plagierized, and a poorly disguised version was being sold as part of their consulting package. To say the least, I'm extremely disappointed to learn that my trust has been betrayed, and I can no longer recommend Neil Williams as reputable -- in fact, this is the single most reprehensible act I've ever come across in the ice cream consulting industry, and I certainly advise others not to do business with them.
- Carpigiani (Coldelite) ice cream school. This is by far the best training I've attended. The class was well structured, and covered an unbelievable amount of topics. If your training dollars are short, go to this one -- and it's one quarter of the cost of others.
- Lots of good links. Also, a RealPlayer video showing the making of an ice cream batch using an Emery Thompson 20 quart batch freezer.
- Self-described ice cream industry guru. I attended Malcolm's business seminar, as well as his batch freezer class.
- Emery Thompson -- Makers of the '65 Chevy of the ice cream batch freezers (not a ton of bells and whistles, but well engineered, and just runs forever!) (Steve Thompson, president)
- Good info -- supplier locator, legal info, classified, etc.
- Ice Cream Folks Discussion Group
- The best discussion group you'll find for information about the ice cream business. With over 600 participants, most of whom run existing ice cream businesses, this is a great resource for those looking for information on what it takes to run an ice cream business. It's free to join, and very easy to participate.
- Great Lakes Ice Cream and Fast Food Association
- This is a trade group made up of shop owners mostly from in the Great Lakes area, but open to members of any area. I've found them to be a fun, welcoming, helpful organization, and the cost of both annual membership and of attending their annual convention is extremely reasonable.
- New England Ice Cream Restaurant Association
- National Ice Cream Retailers Association
- Frozen Desserts Magazine -- an up and coming trade publication.
- This is an attempt to build a USA equivalent of the annual ice cream/gelato show held each year in Rimini, Italy. Somehow tied in with Frozen Desserts magazine. I find this a completely mystifying group, as they simply refuse to publish information concerning the content of their upcoming shows.
These are a couple of stores that have some ideas we admire:
- Nifty Fifty's -- This is a really fun looking place, with a fifties motif, and a decent web site. The "ShakeMan" idea is a great one for getting attraction in the community.
- Marble Slab Creamery -- a chain of ice cream stores, predominately in the southern US. Neat concept, but pricey.
- Custom Bars -- great ideas for the counter.
- Hmmm. I like the design here. Nice model for merchandising too...
- Turtle Lane Maple Farm is North Andover's authentic New England sugar house, producing wonderful, dark maple syrup from trees grown right here in North Andover. We use their syrup in our delicious Maple Walnut ice cream. Try it -- we think you'll find it's the best Maple Walnut you'll find.
- Panza Distributors: All types of ice cream ingredients and supplies.
- Limpert Brothers, NJ
- www.andoverretractablescreens.com -- Andover Retractable Screens
- Makers of the retractable screens that keep flying pests out of our shop. If you're looking for an unobtrusive solution for screening for your home or business, give them a try, they're great people, and they have a wonderful product!
- www.coldmolds.com -- Cold Molds
- Makers of flexible molds for ice cream cakes and pops.
- Restaurant equipment and supplies. Best prices I've found on Cambro containers!
- Suppliers of retro furnishings.
- Serv-U -- Supplies, signs, furniture.
- International Restaurant Distributors -- suppliers of equipment and store furnishings.
- Restaurant supplier.
- Restaurant equipment -- good online pricing.
- Nice web site, prices are more expensive than others (but include shipping...)
- Jantec Neon Products -- signs
- Silk-screened or embroidered custom T-shirts.
- Custom T-shirts and other promotional merchandise.
- Refrigeration Hardware Supply -- Replacement parts for all refrigeration equipment.
- Delivering restaurant equipment and supplies to foodservice operators throughout North America. From ice machines and cooking equipment to menu covers, aprons and shelving, CentralRestaurant.com has all the restaurant equipment and supplies for your foodservice needs.
- Loads of information on Massachusetts dining businesses.
- We sell flavorings, ingredients, cones and equipment too!
- Massachusetts Small Business Development Training Calendar
- Schedule of courses / seminars sponsored by the SBA/SBDC.
- Search Engine Optimization techniques.
- More Search Engine Optimization techniques. (Spoke at NEICRA convention, October 2003)