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soda/ice cream machine commissions?

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I have a guy wanting to put ice cream and soda machines in a few of his laundry mats but he's really interested in the commission.  I'm waiting to monday to call Vistar about ice cream pricing to determine profit.  Is this where you buy your ice creams?

Where do you buy your sodas(cans/bottles)?  Sams? 

Any input is appreciated.

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I just check the local grocery stores for sales on 12 packs. I stock up when I find them 5/ 12 dollars thats about .22 cents per can. Also try Walgreens and CVS they usually switch between the two stores on who has the cheapest price each week.

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Findout where your local convenience stores are getting their ice cream from. Usually their is a wholesaler in the are that will sell everything. depends on big your city is, but vistar sells Ice cream too. Being small , you will have to pick it up by 4:00 PM

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I just had a chance to read your request for Ice Cream information.  I am not sure where you are located but if you have a Rainbow Vending in your area they will often team up with a vendor on the ice cream.  Ice Cream sometimes is a hassel.  They will put in the machine and handle that part while you take care of the soda.  Just a heads up.


Blue Moose Vending Mgt


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Vistar should have a good variety of ice cream if you have one near you. In MA they carry/carried the Blue Bunny line. That should be the easy part. The hard part is the handling of the ice cream. Ice cream requires a hard freeze. This is a temperature of -6 to - 11 degrees. You will need to have a place to store you products as well as a way to get it to location in this frozen state. Once you have figured out the best way for you to do this next is finding a machine that will best suit your needs. Be forewarned that most glassfront frozen are around $6000.00 new. While that is a lot of up front costs the profit margin on ice cream is great as well as the shelf life of the product.

Key location keys to be 100% sure of:

Dedicated outlet with the proper amperage.

Protected outlet where the cleaning guy wont unplug the machine to plug in his buffer.

In an area that the noise of the machine wont be a distraction so someone unplugs it.

As cool and dry of an environment as you can place it.

As you can see the main issue is continuous power. There is nothing fun about cleaning up a frozen ice cream machine after a melt down.

Back to the machine. While for the most part are very reliable, remember that all operating components are in a very harsh environment. Wires get brittle and moisture can lock up motors and switches. They can be more labor intensive then most people want to deal with.

I never recommend anyone dabble in vending ice cream. You need to fully commit to truly succeed in ice cream vending.

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I strongly agree with that last line. 

My employer has at least seven frozen food machines. After he had TWO(!!!) I was trying to get him to stop buying the damn things. However, HE isn't the one that has to clean up the mess when something goes wrong (nor try to transport the product when the machines needs stocking.)

Back then I thought the cost of lost product would have been enough to get him to stop. But with the margins being what they are, and in most cases the requirement for frozen from the account, he continued buying more.

I would think the heat and humidity of a laundromat would be a nightmare location for this type of equipment, but I may be wrong.


P.S. If you end up getting machines, make sure you'll have access to VERY hot water when the times comes to clean up after a meltdown. 

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  • 2 months later...

we have 28 ice cream machines. they do great. meltdowns sucks. If you but a ice cream machine buy a fastcorp parts are high but if you lose power for 2 or 3 hours you dont lose a ton of money i had a fostcorp that some one unpluged for a day and only 2 in each row was melted  the rest was frozen. the ice cream machine that looks like a snack machine had a floor crew come wax the floor at a stop and it was off for 2 hours and lost every thing.

vistar is where we get are ice cream and we also get mayfield. If you do it make sure you have a good place to keep it cold.  We have a truck that keeps all of are ice cream on it at all times b4 we had it we would go take a order then go back and pull all of it put it in ice cream bags not sure what the name of the bag is but vistar does I think we got them from vistar. hopes that helps

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Check with your local dairy people, some of them distribute ice cream as well since it is a similar product.

Transportation can be a big hassle. If you prechill an icechest and then fill it with ice blocks (frozen soda bottles) you can get an hour or two at most before you start having problems. The higher the ambient temp the less time you have. This can work if you service one location at a time and make that your first stop of the day when temps are cooler.

If you have multiple locations to service then things get harder. You can use dry ice, but that gets expensive and if the ice cream is in the icechest for more than a day it will get a funny taste from the carbon dioxide.

Option 2 Use a cold plate freezer, very expensive, approx 3K, and very heavy, around 800 lbs empty, for a decent sized one.

Another option, the one I use, a 14 cu ft freezer for around 200-250 on sale if you are patient, a 3000 watt power inverter around 500, and an extra large capacity battery (Northern Tools) minimum 300amp hours around 300. Hook the inverter to the battery and the freezer to the inverter and your in business with a running freezer on your truck that is lightweight and can easily be pulled off the truck. Don't forget to put the battery on the charger every night and to plug the freezer into an extension cord. ;D

The meltdowns suck, there are not many things worse than having to clean out a machine that has had a meltdown but it's a cost of doing business. The margins make it worth it, I pay around .22-.24 for sandwiches, fudge bars etc and charge $1.00 for them and 1.50-3.00 for the premium stuff.

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  • 4 months later...

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