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Business Discussions | 22 February, 2024

Ice Cream Shop Business Plan

The dairy product industry in Pittsburgh, PA is competitive, especially for entrepreneurs opening ice cream shop. This article will help you understand key aspects of creating a strong business plan for your ice cream shop, including insights on how to start an ice cream business, your mission statement, and how profitable are ice cream shops.

Our team of business plan writers in Pittsburgh has created a sample ice cream store business plan. This resource is here to guide you in developing strategic plans for starting an ice cream business of your own confidently. The competitive nature of Pittsburgh’s dairy product industry emphasizes the importance of clearly defining your vision, mission, and unique selling points in a well-thought-out ice cream parlor business plan.


What Type of Business is an Ice Cream Shop

An ice cream shop is typically categorized as a retail business, specifically within the food and beverage industry. It falls under the broader classification of the hospitality sector, as it provides a service by offering ice cream and related products to customers. Additionally, an ice cream shop may be considered a specialty or niche business within the broader category of dessert or confectionery establishments.


How to Start Ice Cream Business

Opening an ice cream store begins with creating a solid business plan. The business plan contains all the essential steps to ensure success. Our team created a sample ice cream business plan outlined below: 


Executive Summary

Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop is a charming and innovative ice cream shop that aims to delight customers with a unique and high-quality ice cream experience. Located in the city of Pittsburgh, our shop will offer a diverse range of flavors and toppings, creating an inviting space for families, friends, and ice cream enthusiasts.

Our main goals are to be the best place for really good ice cream in Pittsburgh, make people know and like our brand by being involved in the community and on social media, get 15% of the market in the first two years, and open more shops in Pennsylvania by the third year.


Mission Statement

At Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop, our mission is to create memorable and joyful experiences by providing delicious, artisanal ice cream crafted with the finest ingredients. We are committed to offering a welcoming atmosphere where customers can savor exceptional treats and make lasting memories.


Vision Statement

Empowering communities through the joy of exceptional ice cream, Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop envisions becoming the cherished hub where families and friends come together to create lasting memories. We aspire to elevate the ice cream experience with our artisanal creations, fostering a warm and welcoming environment that celebrates quality, diversity, and shared moments in the heart of Pennsylvania.


Company Overview

Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop is a single-operator ice cream shop situated in the vibrant, mid-sized City of Pittsburgh. Our main location, strategically positioned for optimal foot traffic and close proximity to popular attractions, is 1001 Oldmill Rd., Pittsburgh, PA. Established in 2019 by William Stanton, Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop takes pride in delivering delightful ice cream experiences in a welcoming environment.


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Market Analysis

Target Market

The ice cream target market for our business primarily includes families, young adults, and tourists in Pittsburgh. Additionally, we aim to attract local businesses for potential ice cream catering opportunities.


Competitive Analysis

In the vibrant landscape of ice cream offerings, Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop faces competition from key players such as Dream Palace, Merry Dairy, and Freezing Point. While each competitor brings its own strengths to the table, Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop distinguishes itself through a combination of distinctive flavors, premium-quality ingredients, and an inviting ambiance. This unique blend positions Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop as a standout choice for those seeking a delightful and memorable ice cream experience.


SWOT Analysis

Strengths: Unique flavors, high-quality ingredients, strategic location.

Weaknesses: New entrant, limited initial brand recognition.

Opportunities: Growing demand for artisanal ice cream, local partnerships.

Threats: Intense competition, economic downturn affecting consumer spending.


Products and Services

Ice Cream Menu

Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop offers a diverse menu of ice cream flavors, including classic favorites and unique, seasonal creations. Churned Creamery also provides a variety of toppings, sauces, and cones to enhance the customer experience.

Catering Services

In addition to our storefront offerings, Churned Creamery provides catering services for events, parties, and corporate functions, further expanding our market reach.


Marketing Plan

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop will implement robust SEO strategies to improve its online visibility. Through the use of relevant keywords, link-building, and creating value-driven content, the company’s website will be optimized to rank higher on search engine results pages. This organic approach will make it easier for potential customers to discover the company’s offerings when they search for relevant terms online.


Social Media Strategy: To leverage platforms such as Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook to showcase our products, engage with the community, and run promotions.

  • Facebook: The company is set to build a sense of community around the Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop brand through a dedicated Facebook Group. This group aims to facilitate open discussions, share exclusive offers, and provide a space for ice cream enthusiasts to connect. The primary objective is to encourage peer-to-peer recommendations and strengthen the bond between customers and the Churned Creamery brand.
  • Instagram: Leveraging the visually captivating nature of Instagram, Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop will feature photos of delighted customers enjoying their ice cream, showcasing the diverse array of flavors, and sharing short video clips that capture the vibrant atmosphere of the establishment. The strategic use of Instagram Stories and Reels will play a pivotal role in showcasing the brand’s personality, offering behind-the-scenes glimpses, and fostering a relatable connection with the audience.
  • TikTok: On TikTok, Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop will tap into trending formats and sounds to showcase its services and capture the delightful effects on customers. Engaging users with relatable and shareable content, the TikTok strategy aims to highlight the brand’s unique personality and expertise in a way that resonates with the platform’s dynamic and creative community.


Local Partnerships: To collaborate with local businesses, influencers, and community organizations to enhance brand visibility.


Opening Promotions: To offer special discounts and promotions during the opening weeks to attract a steady flow of customers.


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Operational Plan

Equipment Needed to Open Ice Cream Shop

  • Ice Cream Machines: High-quality machines for efficient ice cream production.
  • Refrigeration Units: Ensure optimal storage conditions for ice cream freshness.
  • Display Freezers: Showcase a diverse range of enticing ice cream flavors.
  • Preparation Counters: Designated space for crafting and assembling ice cream orders.
  • Point-of-Sale System (POS): Streamline transactions and ensure efficient order processing.
  • Utensils and Accessories: Including scoops, containers, and serving tools.


Aesthetic Ice Cream Shop

  • Interior Design: Create a welcoming atmosphere with vibrant colors and comfortable seating.
  • Lighting: Enhance the ambiance with ambient lighting.
  • Branding Elements: Display the ice cream shop’s logo and branding prominently.
  • Menu Boards: Clearly present ice cream flavors for easy customer selection.
  • Decor Elements: Incorporate thematic or decorative elements that align with the overall aesthetic.
  • Ice Cream Parlor Table and Chairs Value: Invest in durable, comfortable furniture for a pleasant dining experience.



  • Local and Reputable Relationships: Establish connections with local suppliers to source high-quality ingredients for ice cream production.



  • Skilled and Customer-Focused Team: Recruit experienced ice cream makers and friendly service staff to ensure exceptional customer experiences.



  • Point-of-Sale System: Facilitate seamless transactions at the checkout.
  • Inventory Management Software: Efficiently monitor and manage stock levels.


Management Team

William Stanton

Founder and Owner

William Staton is a visionary entrepreneur with a passion for creating exceptional ice cream experiences. With a founding date in 2019, William has brought a wealth of expertise to the helm of the company. As the driving force behind the brand, Mr. Stanton oversees key management positions, ensuring the seamless operation of the business. With a keen focus on innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction, William has played a pivotal role in establishing Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop as a go-to destination for those seeking unique flavors and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Mr. Stanton’s dedication to crafting a delightful and memorable ice cream journey has positioned Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop as a standout player in the industry.


Personnel Plan

General Manager

  • Supervise and coordinate daily store operations.
  • Manage staff, including recruitment, training, and scheduling.
  • Ensure customer satisfaction and resolve issues.
  • Implement and enforce company policies and procedures.


Head Ice Cream Maker

  • Oversee the production of ice cream.
  • Develop and create new flavors and recipes.
  • Maintain inventory and order supplies.
  • Ensure quality and consistency of ice cream products.


Marketing Coordinator

  • Develop and implement marketing strategies.
  • Manage social media accounts and promotional activities.
  • Collaborate with local businesses for partnerships.
  • Monitor customer feedback and reviews.


Ice Cream Scoopers

  • Scoop ice cream and assemble orders.
  • Keep display cases stocked and appealing.
  • Maintain cleanliness of the ice cream serving area.
  • Assist customers in choosing flavors and toppings.


Financial Plan

The financial projections presented here is a result of careful planning by the management team at Churned Creamery Ice Cream Shop. These projections look ahead and are subject to securing the required funding. It is the responsibility of the audience to conduct their own thorough investigation.

Considering the current state of the market and the specifics of our business, we outline the expected funding needs for the initial year of operations in the following financial plan. This plan serves as a transparent guide, showcasing our commitment to sound financial practices and strategic management.



Start-up Expenses
Accounting & Bookkeeping $3,900
Bank Charges $660
Contractor Fees $76,132
Employee Wages $76,132
Employee Benefits $3,807
Cost of Goods Sold $120,154
Insurance – Business $5,400
Insurance – WCB $3,807
Legal Fees $1,980
Marketing & Advertising $30,000
Phone, Internet, Cable $1,860
POS System Fees $4,796
Office Expenses $1,800
Utilities $7,800
Contingency $6,000
Total Start-up Expenses $344,227
Prepaid Expenses $20,000
Inventory $63,315
Property, Plant, Equipment $500,000
Total Assets $583,315
Total Requirements $927,541
Start-up Funding
Start-up Expenses to Fund $344,227
Start-up Assets to Fund $583,315
Total Funding Required $927,541



The Pro Forma Income Statement outlines the company’s anticipated financial performance for the next three years, with gross revenue projections of $456,795 in Year 1, $629,776 in Year 2, and $813,124 in Year 3. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) show positive growth, reaching $111,548 in Year 1, $180,456 in Year 2, and $248,423 in Year 3. The Pro Forma Income Statement provides key insights into the company’s profitability and financial trajectory.


Pro Forma Income Statement Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 TOTAL %
GROSS REVENUE $456,795 $629,776 $813,124 $1,899,695 100%
Cost of Goods Sold $120,154 $161,868 $211,152 $493,174 26%
GROSS PROFIT $336,641 $467,908 $601,971 $1,406,520 74%
Operating Expenses
Accounting & Bookkeeping 3,900 3,900 3,900 11,700
Alarm System 1,020 1,020 2,040
Bank Charges 660 660 660 1,980
Contractor Fees 76,132 104,962 135,519 316,613
Employee Wages 76,132 104,962 135,519 316,613
Employee Benefits 3,807 5,248 6,776 15,831
Insurance – Business 5,400 5,400 5,400 16,200
Insurance – WCB 3,807 5,248 6,776 15,831
Legal Fees 1,980 1,980 1,980 5,940
Marketing & Advertising 30,000 30,000 30,000 90,000
Phone, Internet, Cable 1,860 1,860 1,860 5,580
POS System Fees 4,796 6,613 8,538 19,947
Office Expenses 1,800 1,800 1,800 5,400
Utilities 7,800 7,800 7,800 23,400
Contingency 6,000 6,000 6,000 18,000
Total Operating Expenses $225,093 $287,452 $353,548 $866,093
EBITDA $111,548 $180,456 $248,423 $540,427 28%
Commercial Mortgage Interest 39,477 39,192 38,887 117,556
Depreciation 9,286 9,286 9,286 27,857
EBT $62,786 $131,978 $200,250 $395,014 21%
Corporate Taxes 7,534 15,837 24,030 47,402
Net Income $55,252 $116,141 $176,220 $347,613 18%




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The Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement is a vital component of the business plan, projecting cash inflows and outflows over the next three years. It anticipates a strong start in Year 1 with an opening cash balance of $10,000, followed by significant growth in Year 2 with an opening balance of $33,388. By Year 3, the business is poised for continued success, starting with an opening cash balance of $69,756. The statement serves as a critical tool for financial planning, providing insights for strategic decision-making and ensuring effective management of cash resources.


Pro Forma Cash Flow Statement Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Opening Cash Balance $10,000 $33,388 $69,756
Cash flow from operating activities
Net Income 55,252 116,141 176,220
Depreciation 9,286 9,286 9,286
GST Collected 22,840 31,489 40,656
GST Paid 13,265 16,956 21,120
Changes in non-working capital
GST Payable 9,574 14,533 19,536
Income Taxes Payable 7,534 15,837 24,030
Investment Activities
Owners’ Down Payment 60,000
Commercial Mortgage 440,000
Purchase of Commercial Property -500,000
Commercial Mortgage – Principal -3,006 -3,288 -3,596
Cash Flow from Financing Activities
Payment of Dividends -55,252 -116,141 -176,220
Cash Flow $23,388 $36,368 $49,256
Closing Cash Balance $33,388 $69,756 $119,012


Projected Cash flow



The Pro Forma Balance Sheet provides a snapshot of the company’s financial standing over the next three years, showcasing a progressive increase in total assets from $80,100 in the opening year to $760,612 in Year 3. Shareholders’ equity, a combination of invested equity, cumulative retained earnings, and dividends paid, is anticipated to grow from $70,100 in the opening year to $271,492 in Year 3, indicating a positive trajectory for the company’s financial health.


The ice cream shop business plan template above serves as a strategic guide outlining business objectives. It includes key elements such as business goals, operational strategies if you are starting a ice cream shop, and the measures you’ll implement to ensure its success.


Is an ice cream shop considered a restaurant?

The answer depends on factors like the shop’s size, what it sells, and how it operates (in a store or wholesale). If the shop mainly sells ready-made ice cream and focuses on managing deliveries and keeping inventory stocked, it might be seen as a food retail business.

On the other hand, if the ice cream is made in-house, and most of the time is spent creating treats, it could be considered a restaurant.


Small Ice Cream Shop Ideas

In the world of ice cream, small shops have a chance to not only make delicious treats but also create an enchanting ice cream shop aesthetic. Here are a few ice cream marketing ideas

to make your ice cream shop look great and feel special:

  • Offer Deals and Specials: Give people a reason to visit with regular promotions. Discounts like half-off or buy one, get one free are great ways to entice customers, especially during the summer.
  • Host Fun Ice Cream Events: Get creative by organizing events that go beyond the usual. Think of ice cream stations with different flavors and toppings. Encourage customers to mix and match for a unique experience.
  • Start a Referral Program: Use word-of-mouth marketing to your advantage. Create a simple referral program where customers recommend your shop to friends and family in exchange for rewards like discounts or freebies.
  • Introduce Unique Flavors: While classics are always popular, surprise your customers with unique flavors like ginger pineapple, honey pistachio, cinnamon toast, PB&J swirl, and s’mores. Keep things exciting during the hot summer months.
  • Explore Ice Cream Delivery: Boost your sales by delivering ice cream in your neighborhood. Contrary to what you might think, ice cream delivery can be a success if you plan it right. Consider this strategy to expand your reach and satisfy more customers.


Why should the entrepreneur revisit the business plan after launching?

It is essential for the entrepreneur to review the business plan after launching. Your ice cream business plan isn’t a one-time thing – it’s like a tool that needs adjusting, especially when you are just starting out. Keep an eye on it and update your projections, ice cream shop ideas, and plans regularly to make sure they still match what you want to achieve.

Checking your business plan each year is a smart move, especially when your ice cream shop revenue and ice cream shop profit becomes more stable and brings in more money than it spends. This way, you can see what you’ve accomplished, make changes to your plans if necessary, and come up with new ideas to help your ice cream shop business grow even more.

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As we wrap up our ice cream ideas for business, remember that running an ice cream shop is like making a perfect scoop – it needs careful planning. To start an ice cream shop means figuring out how much money goes in every month and at the beginning. It’s a bit like making sure your ice cream tastes just right.


Keep in mind that when you are opening an ice cream shop, there are costs like buying machines, freezers, and making the place look nice – these are the ice cream shop startup costs. But here’s the big question: Do ice cream shops make money? Absolutely. It’s like a perfect mix of tasty ice cream, happy customers, and smart money decisions. Starting ice cream business means understanding your ice cream shop monthly expenses and making sure your budget is just right. It’s about finding the right balance between the sweetness of your ice cream creations and a well-planned financial strategy for the continued success of your venture.


Sure, running an ice cream shop can be sweet, but it’s also about being smart with your money. So, is ice cream shop profitable? Yes, if you mix all the right ingredients – great ice cream, satisfied customers, and careful money planning.

Ice cream for business isn’t just a treat; it’s a business that thrives on creativity and customer delight. Exploring innovative ice cream marketing ideas will be the key to capturing hearts and taste buds, ensuring your shop becomes the go-to destination for a delightful and memorable experience.

If you want to start an ice cream shop of your own, remember, it is not just about the ice cream. It is about understanding the market, planning well, and being ready for changes.

And guess what? If you need help putting together a plan for your ice cream shop, we are here for you. Our team offers business plan writing services to make sure your dreams become a reality. Contact us, and let’s create a plan that scoops success.