How to Build a Shaved Ice Stand

Kids loved shaved ice in the summertime.
Kids loved shaved ice in the summertime. (Image: girl eating an ice cream. ice-cream cone. summer image by L. Shat from

Shaved ice, or snow cones, is a popular treat in the summer. Enterprising people often set up these shaved ice stands and sell these treats for a couple of dollars each, while only spending a small amount of money on overhead, allowing them to make an easy profit. Setting up a shaved ice stand yourself is not very difficult but can become a little involved and time consuming.

Things You'll Need

  • Pop-up tent
  • Table
  • Cooler
  • Ice maker
  • Generator
  • Ice scoop
  • Glasses
  • Bottles of flavoring
  • Paper
  • Markers
  • $100 in small bills

Pick a place to set up your shaved ice stand. It should be somewhere that has a lot of foot traffic, like a farmer's market or near a beach. Make sure to clear this with the landowner first and to purchase any necessary permits.

Buy and set up a pop-up tent, to create shade for your ice and for yourself while you and your employees are working the shaved ice stand. Set up a table beneath the shaved ice stand, which will hold the cups, flavor choices and menus. Make signs for the shaved ice stand, with a menu of flavors and how much each shaved ice will cost.

Purchase a generator and an ice maker. Plug the ice maker into the generator and begin making ice. Fill another cooler with the ice that is made so that space will be constantly available to make more ice. Serve customers out of the cooler of ice with an ice scoop.

Create different flavors out of syrup and food coloring. Store these different flavors in bottles on the table for customers to see, helping them to choose their flavor and color of shaved ice. Cups will be filled with shaved ice and then this syrup will be poured on top of it.

Break $100 into small bills so that you can give people change for their purchases over the course of the day.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't want to purchase a shaved ice machine and a generator, find someone with a crushed ice machine that is nearby and purchase a couple coolers full of ice to bring to your shaved ice stand.
  • Investigate health regulations when serving shaved ice, so that you are not shut down or fined by local health officials.

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