Mobile Vending

Here at Southern Ice Cream & Gourmet Foods we only offer “The Best” in ice cream products. We carry brands that have been celebrated from generation to generation. The brands who are notorious for their caliber and taste, which include: Blue BunnyNestleEdy’s and Häagen Dazs.

These celebrated brands are widely recognized and are sure to bring the attention to your truck. Bringing your customers back everyday, and will keep you in front of your competition.

Owning your own business is great! However, we would like to assist you in the beginning steps to ensure that it is done right. First, safety is always you number one priority, and keeping that in mind all the time. Never forget that your customers safety is you responsibility.

sicgf-truckWe would like to provide you a little information about mobile vending. Such as licenses you may need, types of freezers, music, and a few first steps to getting started to owning your own business.  Also, in this digital world that we all live in now, it is not uncommon to find that some of your customers- or potential customers, simply do not carry cash anymore. To avoid missing out on a sale because you have a customer who does not have cash in their pocket, try out the new card readers available now. Being able to offer this to your customers will increase your profits.  All you need to have is either an Android or iPhone/ iPad, and download the app- which is usually free. You simply plug the small card reader into your phone and you’re in business. The card reader will provide a direct link to your bank account. Allowing you to accept VISA, MasterCard, AMEX and Discover as payment option for your customers.  There are several different options available to you. Some banks offer these devices and services as well as some companies. You can check out a few different choices between intuit and the square options.

Your first steps to getting your business up and running are to obtain your privilege/peddle license and then to purchase your ice cream truck. After that you will be up and running in no time.

conesYour truck will be classified as a novelty truck. Which means, you will only carry prepackage items and does not require running water. The ice cream comes from the distributor, and the ice cream bars will come prepackage in boxes of 12 or 24 count. You must obtain a privilege/peddlers license in order to sell from your novelty truck.
You can easily obtain a privilege/peddlers license by simply going to your Town Hall and paying a small annual fee. Of course licenses very depending on jurisdictions, so if you plan on covering a large amount of area, you will need to obtain a license for each of the areas you are going to be selling. You will also need to carry your license in your truck.

As far as purchasing your ice cream truck, you have a few options to consider. You can purchase one, convert to, or rent an ice cream truck.
When purchasing and ice cream truck from someone who has one for sale, you would use the same criteria and tactics as if you were buying a personal vehicle.
coneTruckYou can also convert a truck or van into an ice cream truck.  The most popular models that people have used to convert to an ice cream truck are the Dodge Ram Van, Chevy Van, and Ford Vans.  However, you can also use a retired bread or mail truck.
Another option is to rent.  Rent from one of the well established mobile vendors who offer renting here at Southern Ice Cream & Gourmet Foods.  However, that is solely up to the vendor and you. Southern Ice Cream & Gourmet Foods has no part in the rental what so ever. In fact, Southern Ice Cream & Gourmet Foods and Blue Bunny do not sell or lease ice cream trucks or hire employees to work the trucks.
This information that we have provided to you is merely a guide to help assist you through your first few beginner steps to getting started. If you have any questions feel free to give us as call.

SICGF-Truck-Wrap-2Wraps have been on the forefront of the emerging need for low cost, high-impact advertising which helps you stand out.


When it comes to freezers you have a choice between a chest freezer or a cold plated freezer. The chest freezer is the most affordable, but the cold plated freezer is the most reliable.

freezerThe chest freezers are the more commonly used freezers due to their affordability. Although the chest freezers are more affordable they are not the mot reliable during hot and humid weather. During the hot and humid season dry ice may be required to keep your ice cream frozen.

 The cold plated freezers are more expensive, but work the best in hot and humid weather. Cold plate freezers have plates inside of it’s walls, and when allowed to freeze overnight will have an approximate temperature of -20F with an approximate span of 8 hours before need to plug in the compressor or use dry ice. Cold plate freezers have two different compressor options. There is an efficient 110 volt, and then there is a highly proficient 220 volt compressor.
To buy a cold plate freezer you can contact the manufacturer, Nelson Freezer Equipment. To buy a chest freezer you can look at Sears, Best Buy or similar stores.  Here at Southern Ice Cream & Gourmet Foods we will be glad to assist you with any questions during your purchasing of freezer.

Regardless of the type of freezer you choose to buy, or the kind of compressor you get, you will have to provide a source of electricity to your freezer. Here at Southern Ice Cream & Gourmet Foods we offer parking places with either a 110 or 220 volt plug-in for your compressor for a small monthly fee. Another way to supply your freezer with electricity is with an inverter, you can check out some options at valco electronics.

The inverter works by taking the DC current from the battery and supplying you with the power you need, which drains your battery. This means you have to keep your engine running. The regular battery in your vehicle was not intended nor designed for serving this kind of purposes.  You will quickly wear out your battery from repeated deep discharging and re-charging cycles. However, deep cycle batteries are designed to repeatedly be discharged and recharged. Making sure that you use good dual deep cycle battery system can really be beneficial.
Your alternator is what keeps charging the battery. A standard engine alternator with rating of 90-105 amp can only deliver a maximum of 60-80 amps while being actively used. Therefore my not meet the demands of your equipment. You can either install an alternator controller or a high-output alternator. We recommend a heavy duty alternator, rated at 180-200 amps.

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 4.07.56 PMThe most popular box in the industry is made by Nichols Electronics. Nichols Electronics has a large selection of music boxes and caters to the ice cream truck industry. You can check them out at Nicholes Electronics or Southern Ice Cream & Gourmet Foods will assist you in acquiring a music box.
They have selections that consist of a 4-tune box, 8-tune box, 16-tune box, or 32-tune box. The also have an adjustable internal volume limiter, which allows for compliance with local noise ordinance. On average, a regular music box is going to cost around $200, which includes a speaker.
Another option is to install a CD player which is then hooked up to outside/weather proof speakers. This option is beneficial when serving to your adult customers, who would rather not come running up to your truck to “Little Brown Jug” or “La Cucaracha”. Having both, a music box and CD player, is a very good combination to have on your truck.
Your customer’s safety is your responsibility, and should always be your number one priority. Always taking any and every precaution necessary due to your main clientele are children. Check out the IAICDV , it is a great place to get more information regarding safety.
kid_icecreamThere are a few safety features that can be added to the truck. You can check out these features at Nichols Electronics. Being alert and vigilant while informing the kids how to behave around the truck is most important. Pick a meeting point or a landmark where you will stop each time and that the kids know and can wait on the truck. Picking a few of the school bus stops in a neighborhood is a good idea. This will avoid you being flagged down, and from having to make several stops. Also avoids the running a cross the street, not paying any attention, trying to get to the truck. Picking a spot that is fully visible, and you can stop your tuck at each time.
Once you have stopped at your usual place, scan your surrounds, checking that there are no cars coming. Then you can signal the children to approach your truck. Once the children have received their ice cream, you want to ensure their safety crossing back across the street. Having a safety swing arm on your truck is very beneficial to the safety of your customers, as well as altering traffic to the children crossing. You can find safety swing arms at Nichols Electronics. Nichols Electronics has been name exclusive distributor to the ice cream vending industry for specialty manufacturing’s safety swing arms for street vending.

Since you are providing this service to kids, and standard mirrors do not allow you to see the front of your truck, it is a good idea to install “fish eye” mirrors. These “fish eye” mirrors you can find at most auto places, and they allow you to see the front of you truck. You also always want to check you mirror at the back to make sure you do not have a child waiting.

Having a back up horn is another good safety instrument to have installed on your truck. You can check out back up horns/alarms here at BeStar. You should also try to avoid putting you truck in a position that would require going in reverse.

Do Not Be Tricked, into thinking that buying non-braded, low quality ice cream will help you succeed. In fact, that is the fastest way to ruin your business. When you have unsatisfied customers they are not going to return.

A tip to being a successful ice cream truck is having repeat sales. Repeat customers are what will make you successful. To have an established business in your area you have to rely on repeat sales which you will get by relying on high quality- branded ice cream.


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