How To Start A Popsicle Business

How To Start A Popsicle Business

On hot days, many people enjoy popsicles. They are cold, delicious, and sweet treats. Popsicle shops specialize in making popsicles. Companies sell their popsicles to customers from a storefront, truck, or cart.

Learn how to start your own popsicle business and if it’s right for you.

Start an ice cream popsicle business by following these 9 steps:

You’ve found the perfect business idea and now you’re ready to take the next step. Starting a business involves more than simply registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your popsicle business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned, properly registered, and compliant with the law.

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential to success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the details of your business and uncover some unknowns. Some important issues to consider are:

  • What are the initial and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How much can you charge customers?
  • How will you name your business?

Fortunately, we’ve done a lot of this research for you.

What are the costs involved in opening a popsicle business?

Opening a pallet business costs very little. King of Pops was started with just a couple thousand dollars and a used pushcart. Stephen DiMare opened The Hyppo with the savings of working a single ski season.

The biggest initial expense is purchasing a place to sell popsicles. Business owners who want to keep their costs down can rent a stall at a market. Or they can get a mobile cart to take you to different locations. Those with a little more startup capital can look for a store that they can lease.

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Business owners should also purchase popsicle-making equipment and ingredients. Equipment can range from cheap molds to expensive automated equipment. Ingredients often include fruits, vegetables, water, sugar, milk, and flavorings.

What are the running expenses of a popsicle business?

The running costs of a popsicle business are minimal. They include rent for commercial space, utilities, and the cost of ingredients and supplies.

Who is the target market?

The ideal customer for a popsicle business is someone who enjoys cold treats and has discretionary income. Such a customer will want a popsicle and will have enough money to pay for a gourmet one. 

How does an ice cream popsicle business make money?

A popsicle business makes money by selling popsicles. Most are sold to customers at retail prices. Some companies also have wholesale customers, such as local grocery stores. For example, The Hyppo has over 40 stores that sell their popsicles.

How much can you charge customers?

The Hyppo charges $3.75 for their popsicles. Keeping prices below $5.00 ensures that lollipops are an affordable gift.

How much profit can a popsicle business make?

A successful popsicle business can generate tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Some contribute even more. For example, The Hyppo produces between 20,000 and 30,000 popsicles per week. At $3.75 each, this equates to a weekly income of between $75,000 and $112,500. The company’s annual revenues are in the millions.

How can you make your business more profitable?

A popsicle business can sell to customers outside of their area through a website. When sold online, popsicles are usually sold out. King of Pops, for example, offers 50- and 100-popsicle coolers.

A company can also increase profits by catering events. King of Pops also does this. The company caters to groups of 25 to 2,500 people.

How will you name your business?

Choosing the correct name is important and challenging. If you don’t have a name in mind yet, visit our Try it for a free guide

The types of What is an EIN? Or search for your existing EIN using our EIN lookup guide.

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Small Business Taxes

Depending on the business structure you choose, you may have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs might benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).

You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:

  • LLC Taxes
  • Sole proprietorship vs LLC
  • LLC vs Corporation
  • LLC vs. S Corp
  • How to Start an S Corp

There are specific state taxes that may apply to your business. Learn more about state sales taxes and franchises in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account and credit card

The use of bank and credit accounts dedicated to companies is essential for the protection of personal assets.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is known as piercing your corporate veil.

Also, learn the SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

For more information on local licenses and permits:

certificate of occupancy

Typically, a pallet business is run from a storefront. Businesses that operate from a physical location generally require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws, and government regulations have been met.

  • If you plan to lease a location :
    • It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
    • Before leasing, please confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to an ice cream business.
    • After a major renovation, it is often necessary to issue a new CO. If your workplace will be renovated prior to opening, it is recommended that you include language in your lease stating that lease payments will not begin until a valid CO is issued.
  • If you plan to buy or build a location :
    • You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
    • Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business location to ensure your pallet business is compliant and able to obtain a CO.


food regulations

When selling food, you will need a license from a local health department; All establishments that serve food must pass a sanitary inspection. Tips for doing well in health inspections.

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There are federal regulations about what can and cannot be added, sold, and processed with food. Attached is a Food and Drug Administration resource detailing the process for starting a food business: How to Start a Food Business.

liquor licenses

Businesses involved in the sale of alcoholic beverages must obtain a liquor license from the appropriate state or local agency. Here is a complete list of laws by state (including required licenses, zoning laws, etc.), curated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

STEP 7: Get Business Insurance

As with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance to operate safely and legally. Beau Shell even started a business selling popsicles while he was still in school.

What happens during a typical day at a popsicle business?

The owner of a popsicle business spends a lot of time making and selling popsicles. When they’re not making or selling popsicles, business owners take on other tasks. They clean your facility, order more supplies, pay bills, and market your business.

Finally, business owners should also research new popsicle flavors. Investigating new flavors implies experimenting. Often the process is trial and error.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful popsicle business?

To run a popsicle business, business owners need to know how to make popsicles.

Business owners can learn how to make ice cream by taking a class. Ice Pop University offers one-day hands-on courses and a two-hour video course. Finamac has online courses that cover the ice cream and popsicle making.

People’s Pops is a book that has 55 recipes for popsicles and shaved ice. After taking a course, these recipes can serve as inspiration for other flavor ideas.

What is the growth potential of a popsicle business?

Successful popsicle businesses often start small. They can then become regional or national businesses. The Hyppo started with a single location in St. Augustine. Along with its retail partners, the company now owns seven locations. King of Pops started with a used ice cream cart. The company now has locations throughout the Southeast and the East Coast.

Finally, Popbar is an example of a national popsicle business. Popbar has locations in cities throughout the United States.



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