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How to Start Ice Cream Business

Are you tired of that 9-5 job you’ve had for the past few years? Or you probably have too much time in your hands that you feel it’s time to venture out and start your own business.

The truth is, 9 to 5 jobs can get monotonous and you are limited when it comes to how much money you make and the amount of control and flexibility you have.

For some reason though, most people shy away from entrepreneurship since It seems so complicated and too risky. When we think about where we’ll get capital, how we’ll find clients, it gets overwhelming so you are always procrastinating and using the excuse that you are not ready.

However, it doesn’t have to be that hard.

The hot season is back, guess what that means, there is more demand for ice cream. To start a simple ice cream business, you need a fridge and basic ingredients and you are good to go.

You could start a simple ice cream joint in your estate or target specific places such as outside supermarkets, offices, schools and colleges.

However, expect a lot of competition. Like many small businesses in Kenya, once you are all set up and have a steady stream of customers, expect three, four people to come set up right next to you.

*Business Location*

Starting a successful and profitable ice cream business in Kenya requires careful consideration of multiple factors.

The location you choose can be the most critical factor in determining whether your business succeeds or fails. It can be the difference between booming sales figures or a lifeless shopfront.

Factors to consider include:

*Foot-traffic, pedestrian accessibility

*Competition from other businesses

*Convenience for customers

*Access to services such as electricity and water

*Nearby parking options

*Rent prices

*Potential customer demographics

Finding a unique and memorable spot to create an exciting atmosphere and attract new customers is ideal. Do your research, take the time to think strategically about where you locate your business, and you will significantly increase the likelihood of success.

*Choose Your Equipment*

You will require specific equipment to make and serve your ice cream. These can range from freezers to topping dispensers, ice cream machines, and blenders.

Not all of the equipment is necessary for every business. You will need to consider different factors, such as the size of your space and how much product you want to offer.

You will need chairs, tables, and display refrigerators for physical shops. Think about the kind of atmosphere you want to create that is inviting and comfortable for customers.

Investing in good quality packaging (like waffle cones, disposable cups, and spoons) can make a massive difference to the success of your business.

*Invest in Quality Ingredients*

Regular vanilla or strawberry flavors are common. They sell well, and customers usually love them. However, it would help if you offered something unique to make your business stand out.

You can provide personalized flavors and combinations or source local ingredients to make exotic flavors.

In Kenya, sourcing premium natural ingredients that align with local palates can drive success for brands looking to gain market share. Ensure these high-quality components are sourced from sustainable suppliers. Doing so ensures the integrity of the flavour profile and establishes a lasting relationship between customers and the business.

*Obtain Licenses & Permits*

You will need to obtain several licenses and permits before opening for business. Depending on where you are in Kenya, you can start the process by registering your business with the local authority or county government.

This enables you to get necessary permits and licenses, such as health and food safety certification, a permit from Kenya Dairy Board, and a business permit.

Check with your local authority to ensure you comply with all the necessary regulations, as failure can be costly.

*Promote your Business*

Knowing where to start is half the battle. Once everything is in place, you will need to let people know about your business.

Promote it through word of mouth, social media, advertising, and other channels you think might work. You may need to hire a marketing professional to help create an effective strategy.

Put yourself out there and make sure your brand is seen.

*How profitable is the ice cream business?*

Ice-cream business is a lucrative venture in major towns in Kenya, especially during dry or hot periods. Most people who engage in this business don’t want to reveal the secrets to others because they fear competition.

If you have a fridge, you can comfortably start the business without any sweat, but ensure the business is close to the main road.

To start Ice-Cream Business, you require a capital of between Ksh.20,000 – Ksh.70,000.

Some of the best places to start ice cream business include near schools and colleges, in Shopping Malls and Supermarkets, besides busy roads, near offices and near hospitals.

*Bottom Line*

Starting an ice cream business in Kenya is a fascinating and potentially lucrative venture, but the path to success can be treacherous. You need to stay abreast of local laws, plan carefully for your start-up capital and consider ways to differentiate yourself in a crowded market.

As we always tell you, there’s no marathon race that has ever been won by those who did not start the race. If you like the idea discussed above and you have what it takes to actualize it…then don’t wait to start…just do it.


Timothy Angwenyi
Business Consultant

Justine Nyachieo
Business Man & Mentor.

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