Interesting and problem-solving products, scoured from around the web. From lighting your tent to even lighting your cups! From keeping ice cold to keeping sink water hot. You can find it here. If you've got a Cool Product to share with other members, let us know and we'll highlight it here!
Italian Ice easily fits into a tropical theme as a cold, refreshing treat! So playing up that theme makes great sense. And what could be more tropical looking than a thatched grass umbrella for your setup? If you wanted to add some pizzazz to your vendor setup and break from the usual, try taking it to the tropics this season!
Here are two options to consider. One is the entire umbrella: 8-foot diameter, wood-toned aluminum pole, weatherproof vinyl raffia topping, and its own carry bag for transporting. This umbrella has received excellent reviews and looks fantastic!
The other is a cover of authentic hand-woven palm that goes over your own 8- or 9-foot umbrella. It's made of real Mexican palm thatch.
Whichever you choose to attain the coolest Italian Ice vendor look, a beautiful umbrella is sure to draw the crowds to your Italian Ice!
See more options HERE.
While other vendors serve using styrofoam cups, you can pull ahead of the competition at events with these affordable novelties. At 5.1 oz. size, these should be able to hold 3 scoops of Italian Ice in a beautiful display. They are ideal for children's parties and other gigs where lots of kids will attend.
As with the other items, more color changing combinations are sure to be on the horizon! For now, find pink cups changing to purple HERE.
One of the toughest decisions when your Health Department tells you that you need a handsink is finding one. But sometimes the easiest, and cheapest, solution is making your own. Well, that option just became even easier with the launch of this new handsink! For less than $30!
This unit comes with quick-connect tubing and is being marketed as a garden sink. But methinks it can make a super lightweight option for us Italian Ice vendors. It would need a few add-ons like a portable water heater and, of course, water tanks and a small propane tank. For those needing a mounted sink option, this may be a very compact and affordable answer.
I can think of no cuter setup at an event than this half-sized tent for an Italian Ice booth! While many of us sell from large 10' x 10' tents, still a good number start out or continue to sell from a cart with an umbrella. This smaller size tent, at 5' x5', offers a whole slew of advantages! First, it's super portable, so it fits in any vehicle. Secondly, it's available in 8 colors, including pink, white, yellow, blue, black, purple, red, teal and white! You can buy one to match your company colors and get noticed. Thirdly, at only $70, it's affordable! Fourthly... okay enough counting... it also covers your entire cart, much more than an umbrella and would look super with an equally affordable custom banner to fit at the top! And if you want to still use a larger tent, the smaller one can be added as an ideal outpost for samples in the crowd, a toppings stand or even additional merchandise sales, such as candy and water. Add to all this a carrying case, and you're good to go. Find it HERE!
Just when you thought a cup dispenser couldn't make your Italian Ice vending life any easier, along comes a tweak that rattles everything you knew! While still holding multiple cup sizes, this unit takes up less space in your setup and allows multiple helpers in your booth to easily grab the cup they need. The easy spinning action keeps it all within reach and holds more cups than most dispensers with its four compartments. Sold only by the manufacturer and Made in the USA! Get it HERE!
Insane? Or Ingenious?! I can't tell! When I stumbled on this inflatable igloo, I could instantly see me selling like a madman from this booth setup! This would attract customers (especially the kids!) like nothing else I could come up with! But at the steep price, I don't think I personally will be able to jump on this coolest of Cool Product ideas... yet. But maybe you can! Maybe you need it to kickstart some serious sales. Then again... at a third the cost of a trailer, maybe I SHOULD get it! The igloo screams cool and refreshing... the perfect Italian Ice sales promo item. If you want to break away from the concession crowd, here's where to get it!
Sometimes in our Italian Ice business, all we want is some efficiency! The faster we can grab supplies, the faster we can sell the ice. To the rescue comes this rather simplistic looking cup dispenser. It can hold a variety of cup sizes if you need that, or a lot of just one size. It can sit on a table with its non-slip feet, but even better, this little unit has holes for mounting! Mount one (or two or three) on the walls of your trailer or truck to keep cups right at grab-level and off of precious counter space. For cart owners, this lightweight plastic dispenser can be added to the side of your cart with just a bit of industrial-strength Velcro. No more leaning over to get a cup - it's all right there front and center. Mounting also keeps cups from falling off tables and all over the ground (as has happened to me!). Heck, people are even mounting these in their pantries at home to hold their to-go coffee cups! Genius!
Once the hot auto accessory of the young, urban street kid, under-car lights have come into the spotlight for food vendors! You want to stand out at night events? Lights will definitely do it. But why buy those bright, white fluorescent lights that are only good for illuminating your sign or seeing what you're doing when you can have color, baby, and lots of it?! Light the inside of your trailer, or the underside of your truck and even your cart. These light kits come in many color options and will have you standing out in style! Make sure you choose the waterproof ones. And definitely get the remote control! Some packages even have sound sensitive modules so the lights rock to your tunes. Find a whole assortment here. Or find them in the Icy Profits Store. And then share your awesome looking setup in our Photo Gallery! And if stringing lights isn't your thing, what about just a staging uplight to shine on your trailer? Use them for selling Italian Ice in the summer and then to illuminate your house at Christmas. Either way... light it up!
This cool product is for those of you who sell Italian Ice from a 10' x 10' tent. The covered store-like feel of a tent is great for every vendor, and many Health Departments require it to cover the ice being served. Now here's something to make your tent or booth super functional and even more store-like... a walk up bar shelf! The portable, folding shelf attaches to your tent's side legs easily, with all the included hardware. It separates your customers from your operation, and gives them something to walk up to that feels like they've entered an ice cream shop, along with a place to put their stuff down while paying. A large, lively business sign placed under the shelf that reaches the floor would work well to hide the legs and allow for storage underneath. The shelf requires a straight leg tent (not slanted) with legs that are square shaped. At a cost of roughly $80, this is a great, affordable accessory that adds stability to your tent, convenience for you and your customers, and a professional appearance that sets you apart. If you've been using those bulky folding tables (like me!), you can leave them at home and use the shelf instead, which folds in half and comes in a carrying case. Heck, buy TWO and sell from both sides of a tent at a big event! The bar-height shelf can be found at Amazon HERE.
Those summer events - Movies in the Park, Carnivals, Fireworks Displays - are all screaming for these new Glow-in-the-Dark ice cream cups at your Italian Ice stand! You can be the vendor that leaps out from the crowd of frozen dessert booths. These new cups will glow for 6-8 hours when activated (one-time use), and even the accompanying spoon glows too! At just over $1 per cup, you can afford to put one out on display for the crowd. Though I haven't found information on the size of cup (since they're so new), if they are on the small side, then maybe you can offer your guests a free refill (always great for repeat business when the kid brings along a parent). If your summer night events have hot competition, smoke them with these amazing new cups!
While typically used for snow cones and shaved ice,
many of our vendors are having great success
selling Italian Ice in these plastic flower cups. They're a fun keepsake, perfect for boosting profits and giving the little girl customers a nice take-home to rival the boys' baseball helmets!
They come in many colors and in 4 oz., 8 oz., or 12 oz. sizes. Great for little hands to hold the base, and if very careful, they even stand on a table top!
Have you been searching for those cool "ice cream" helmets to serve Italian Ice in? Well, we've found them! These cups come in many officially licensed team logos to make your customers swell with team pride, and make your money apron swell with cash! These 8 oz. capacity helmets are excellent sellers, boosting both revenue and visibility when there are other frozen dessert sellers around. Vendors typically charge $2.00 more for the privilege of getting Italian Ice in a favorite team helmet. And we've found you the lowest price on these.
Find them at the best price here.
This may be the world's best little invention for us concession vendors! Make a sink out of anything at all, even a bucket! Using the Coleman Hot Water On Demand to get instant hot water wherever you need it, you can pass your Health Department's requirement for a handsink. It's what many other vendors use and allows us to make affordable, portable sinks for selling Italian Ice. The specs:
But one word of caution! The Coleman Hot Water On Demand is a very popular item come warm weather, when vendors and campers need them, so it's often out of stock. Buy it before you need it! And check out the accessories for it here.
Many Italian Ice vendors operate from food booths at events, typically under a 10' x 10' tent. And nothing draws customers to that booth better than exciting printed banners, placed high overhead to draw folks from a distance. Yet, if you have one of these tents, you know, getting a banner to mount to the top portion of your tent can be tough. Sure, grommets help. And then you have cable ties, bungee cords, rope, or if you're like me, industrial strength Velcro, to attach the banner to the tent, usually drooping down in middle or flapping about.
Well, here is the solution! Super strong, neodymium magnets will hold that banner like a pro and look sleek doing it.
Simply place one magnet on the inside, back of the tent fabric, and another on the banner face. And distribute several of these magnets at the top and bottom of your banner. I use 4 pairs at the top and 2 at the bottom. Nothing disturbs my banner now! It lays flat all day, even in high wind! And though my current banner has grommet holes, my future ones won't need them now that I discovered these amazing little buggers.
They're also fantastic for a push cart with magnetic steel. Hang up all kinds of signs on your cart easily. Get new banners made for specific events and change them out as needed! These little magnets rock. They're strong, easy to pack, and best of all, they're not very expensive. You can get 10 for less than $10.00! Click here to learn more.
Here's a great new product for insurance on keeping your ice frozen when selling from a non-refrigerated cart! Walking along in the Home Depot the other day, I encountered these styrofoam bucket inserts. For about $4.00, I picked one up to try out for myself. Sure enough, I sat a 2.5 gallon round bucket of Italian Ice inside perfectly! The styrofoam lid didn't fit on top while the lid of the Italian Ice was on, but it's a good thing we have to take the top off to sell! What makes these inserts so useful is that the styrofoam acts as a wall of insulation right up against the ice. It fills up space in your cart or cooler, which is always good for keeping things cold a long time, and it helps keep the bucket from spinning when you're scooping. Finally, one major perk is this... When loading up for an event from freezer to cart, you know carrying bucket after bucket of ice is very cold on your hands and more than a little slippery (unless you're wearing gloves)! But not with these styrofoam liners. Pop your Italian Ice tubs in these and carry those buckets with ease and warm fingers! Next up for me will be a test run to see if two of my favorite selling flavors (Passion Fruit and Black Cherry), which melt way too fast, will stay frozen longer inside the liners. Stop by your local Home Depot or Lowe's, in the paint section, and see if they're in stock. Last I visited, both stores were sold out, so they're becoming popular. Stock up! Or find them online HERE.
There's nothing better than selling ice at a hot, summer nighttime event! But how do you see what you're doing when the sun goes down? You have enough to bring to an event. Bulky battery lamps just don't cut it. And electricity isn't always an option at every venue. In steps the coolest portable LED light! The OxyLED Q6 is an innovative, Mac-inspired, wireless wand that puts out some serious light! The light stick is easy to stash into your event gear, lightweight, sturdy, rechargeable and comes in a bunch of colors. But the best features are the amount of LED light it can emit and the long charge it holds. The Q6 can be set to 4 brightness levels, plus an emergency flash. At the highest brightness, it puts out 200 lumens, one of the highest outputs on the market in portable LED lights! It literally hurts my eyes! And the battery will last up to 15 years! Depending on the brightness level set, the Q6 can be used from 3 to 72 hours on one charge. When needed, recharge the light with the included USB cord. The Q6 also comes with two lanyards, which seems odd at first, until you see the cool way to attach it as an overhead light! Perfect for the nighttime Italian Ice vendor, whether it hangs from your tent or your umbrella. At $19.99, it's certainly not the cheapest light. But with 200 lumens and ridiculously long life, it beats out smaller, cheaper lights in the longrun, hands down. Get the OxyLED Q6 here.
UPDATE: This light is now also available with magnetic back to stick to any ferrous metal (trailer/cart?). And there's a new mini model at 100 lumens. Check them out here.
These temperature-sensitive plastic spoons change color when placed into a cold cup of Italian Ice! How cool is that? The kids are going to go crazy over them!
When events have competition, any little novelty can really set you apart. And even when there is no other competitive frozen dessert, these spoons will make a memorable impression for your customers that they can even keep! Something different from the usual white plastic spoons is sure to bring those customers back to you, to "collect them all"! You can buy them for a great price at FrozenSolutions.com
And if you use straws, there are color changing straws available too!
Thinking of attending 4th of July events, summer concerts and "movies in the park? Wanna blow your competition away at your next late-night Italian Ice vending gig? Be the coolest vendor with these Glow-in-the-Dark 9 oz. cups to serve your Italian Ice in! Fun and affordable, you could even charge a little more for these special cups. These standard cups simplyi have a flexible glowstick that surrounds the outer rim. Makes you wish you'd thought of it first! They're available in a variety of great colors, and certain to be a hit at the next after-dark selling event!
Sometimes you just can't or don't want to haul your Italian Ice pushcart to a catering event. For instance, last year I needed to get Italian Ice to a pool party. With steps and an access gate, there was no way I was getting my pushcart in there. Plus, this was a small party. I only needed to take two tubs of ice. What saved the day? I bought two of these Igloo Rolling Beverage (er, Italian Ice) Coolers! They held 2.5 gallon tubs of Italian Ice perfectly inside and rolled effortlessly where I needed them to follow. But how well do they keep the ice cold? I placed the Italian Ice inside the coolers (with no other cold keeping mechanism) at 4pm for a 30-minute ride to the pool party. Once there, the temperature outside was 90 degrees, the hottest time of day. It sat on the pool deck, while guests served themselves. It was then taken to someone's home and sat, with the Italian Ice still inside, until midnight (the party was going strong!) when more was eaten. And guests reported that the ice remained at perfect temp and texture until at least that point, when they went to sleep. By 4:00am (a full 12 hours later with no refrigeration), the Italian Ice had just begun to get too soft to scoop. Not bad at all! The Rolling Italian Ice Cooler makes a great piece of rental equipment, as well, for extra business income. Mobile ice for mobile parties!
I'd like to bet most Italian Ice vendors buy their pushcarts and start out selling at events and festivals. But eventually catering becomes a staple of the business. And while the heavy, bulky pushcart may get the job done, it's no fun toting that thing around to indoor events or working it through doorways, especially when there's an easier way! This nifty rolling cooler cart provides you with everything you need to get the catering job done... wheels to move the Italian Ice, double flip doors for easy serving, a bottom tray useful for cups, spoons and napkins, and even a drain hole for easy cleaning. The 80-quart capacity will hold two 2.5 gallon tubs comfortably, with room leftover for reusable cold plates (see below). I know this because I measured it myself! But wait! There's more! Assembly requires attaching the legs and tray to a very useful cooler. So, for those of you who don't "roll that way", keep the legs off and carry the cooler by its included side handles. It's available in three colors: silver, sand beige, and red. And it can be found online from $180 to $300 for the exact same unit, so be sure to do your pricing homework! But I saved the best for last. When the time comes, do like big-name companies and have the cooler professionally wrapped with the graphics for your company. Now you're big time!
Worksman Cycles of New York is making the smallest, lightest, non-refrigerated Italian Ice cart around! This cart's cabinet measures 25" x 25" x 25" and features high quality all stainless steel exterior (non-magnetic). The interior cabinet dimensions are 22" W x 22" L x 21" H, capable of holding 8 standard-size buckets, 4 over 4. It comes with a 20" x 20" flip top door and has 2" of insulation on the side walls and the top. Bicycle tires measuring 16", plus a front caster wheel, make for easy maneuvering. And it weighs only 120 lbs. unloaded. It's great for the Italian Ice vendor who wants to get into the business quickly and inexpensively, at a cost of only $1350. Depending on length of time intended to vend and the day's temperature, you may or may not need dry ice or reuseable cold plates. To learn more, call Worksman Cycles at 800.BUY.CART prior to ordering to make sure this cart will work for your intended use.
Up until now, I and many people I spoke with thought the only size of propane tank available was the standard 20lb. tank used for grills and such. And every pushcart manufacturer I talked with for a custom cart with sink slapped on the 20lb. tank for heating the water, which would require pushing around an additional 38 pounds of cart weight. Now let's add on the 4-8 tubs of ice and the steel of the cart itself and see if that baby moves easily. If, like me, you are looking for a way to shave off the bulk and weight on a pushcart with sink, or even a standalone sink, consider the Worthington 4.5lb mini tank your new best friend. This ultraportable tank has all the same standard connections and safety specifications of its big brother (including handle holes for carrying), but it's remarkably lighter and easier to tote around to events at 6 inches shorter, 3 inches thinner, and 5 lbs. lighter, unfilled. Since propane for a sink burns rather slowly (only when you use the hot water), you don't need to have much on-hand for a full day's event. When using the larger 20lb. tank, you are essentially toting around spare fuel everywhere you go, even when you don't need it. Save yourself the backache, space and weight, and consider buying a 4.5lb. tank, plus one for back up.
What could go better with that sweet, refreshing Italian Ice than something salty? If you haven't yet thought about cross-selling items on your pushcart, you can start off with prepackaged potato chips and tortillas. Where will you put them, you say? Look up! The spokes of your pushcart umbrella are an ideal place for hanging chip displays. Don't waste that retail space over your head and directly in your customer's line of sight. For the small cost of one or two of these hanging displays, you can increase the amount of each customer sale, with little effort on your part. The hanging displays come in a small selection of both sizes and colors, to suit your needs or match your operation. They're sold online from between $4.00 to $20.00 each, so shop wisely. But definitely shop!
This cool, new, award-winning gadget lets you vend Italian Ice with light at night and music whenever! Nothing makes the time go faster or attracts customers like great music. Keep your cart clutter-free by installing this unit overhead on your umbrella pole! Especially great for carts without electricity. Enjoy all these features:
Price: $200 USD
If you've scooped at night, then you know any light can be a wondrous thing. Now you can have light right where you need it - inside your freezer compartment! This fantastic little gadget that works just like the light in your refrigerator and perhaps better. Equipped with LED lights, which never need replacing, the light can be set to "ON", "OFF" or "AUTO". Set it to "ON" when you want continuous light. Set it to "AUTO", and the light will only turn on when motion activated by the opening of the freezer lid or by your hand, whichever it senses, and then turns off when no motion is detected. This saves battery power and eliminates your having to manually switch it on and off. It's also mountable inside your pushcart freezer with double-sided tape or screws, included. The unit runs on batteries, which are also included. And it's waterproof. All this for only $20.00. So now you can scoop Italian Ice well into the night, easily being able to see what you're doing, with the new Portable Cooler Light.
While this may not be the sexiest highlighted Cool Product, it's most certainly one of the best! The Cordless Winch from WARN (actual company name) makes loading a heavy Italian Ice pushcart effortless. If you've ever tried pulling or pushing an Italian Ice cart up a ramp for transport to a selling location, then you know it's nearly impossible to do alone. But now, the one-man or one-woman operation is thoroughly possible. No need to drain your car battery's power, either. The Cordless Winch comes with two rechargeable batteries, so one is always ready to go. Simply connect one hook of the winch to the frame of your vehicle's carrier or trailer and the other hook to the underside of your pushcart (it helps to have loading hooks installed on the frame of your cart) and press the power button. The WARN Cordless Winch will pull the cart up the ramp for you with ease, with its maximum pull load of 1000 lbs! And unload your cart safely in the same manner. No risk of a runaway cart!
There comes a time in the Italian Ice business when you will have to transport Italian Ice in some way other than your cart, say from your supplier to your commissary or from your commissary to an event. And with the warm temperatures during Italian Ice selling season, you need a way to keep the ice cold for a long time. Whether you're transporting two, four, or six tubs, the ice cream tranport bags by Samco Freezerware will help you keep your cool. Sold in 1000 Denier nylon outer shell with zipper and velcro closures, they are heavy duty transporters that can take the abuse vendors will give them. Their best feature is the high density foam found on the sides, top and bottom, fully encasing your Italian Ice in thermo-protective insulation. Add your reuseable cold plates to these bags to maintain your product at ideal temperature even longer. Samco also sells polyester fiberfill insulation transport bags at a lower cost, for shorter transport or storage times, as well as heavyweight insulated blankets in various sizes. To learn more or purchase, visit Samco Freezerware.
Apparently, people in the know, those who sell street food or items at craft and art shows, have been searching out a functional and attractive vendor apron. And it didn't exist until one woman on Etsy showcased a superior apron and found a niche product... the best vendor apron. If you spend hours selling remotely, you know that you require a useful apron that not only holds your money, but holds it safely and can carry other essential items, like your cell phone, a pen and keys. Enter the Original Vendor Apron by MZDesigns. Available in a bunch of colors and patterns and worth every penny for being the ultimate in function and durability. The zippered pocket safeguards your cash in the perfect spot, front and center where it's most naturally accessible. A key holder on the side is ideal for locked storage of products, and the side pocket is well-sized for any cell phone, easily reachable for those credit card sales or business card exchanges. Finally, a slot for a pen or stylus rounds out the apron perfectly. No more frustration and unprofessional searching around your cart or booth, and no chance of losing or misplacing those all important items. Now your business is truly portable! To learn more or purchase, click here.
Coldmaster Ice Cream Crocks are a revolutionary product that can be used in a number of useful ways. These crocks, which come in black and white, hold 3 gallon ice cream or Italian Ice buckets and keep the product at or below 32 degrees for up to 8 hours. The many uses include simply holding your Italian Ice buckets in place inside your pushcart. But, of course, they're designed more functionally than that. The interior walls of the crocks hold eutectic liquid which maintains the cold temperature, even while sitting out in a room with ambient air temperature at 76 degrees! These can replace reusable cold plates in any pushcart, but are exceptionally well-suited for the non-refrigerated cart. Simply freeze the crocks the night before at 0 degrees, for approximately 8 hours and you are good to go. And if your Italian Ice vending business takes you into catered events, then these crocks work wonderfully in the absence of your cart. Place your Italian Ice buckets inside the crocks, and then place the crocks on a serving or buffet table. What could be easier? On the downside, the crocks are not cheap, by any means. At roughly $170 each, they will set you back, but are designed for a long time of convenient use. To learn more, visit Carlisle Food Service Products. To find online retailers, click here "Carlisle Coldmaster Crocks".
Make your Italian Ice vending life easier by purchasing one of the many built-in cup dispensers available now. These units come in stainless steel, for that polished look, or in plastic, for a lightweight approach to cup organization and dispensing. Forget sitting the cups on your cart where they get knocked over by you, your customers or the wind, making it unsanitary to use them. Cut a small hole in your cart, and drop a spring-loaded dispenser into the slot, allowing you to reach for a cup easily and reliably. Or have one installed while building your custom cart. No more using two hands to separate sticking cups, either. These units come in pre-set sizes or in newer adjustable varieties that can handle cups in whatever diameter rim you use, so you can change cups down the road. Other units on the market can be mounted on the outside of your vending cart, rather than built in. But you can put one anywhere, just use industrial strength Velcro®. Learn more
The Eccotemp L5 Portable Water Heater is one amazing and affordable tankless water heater. Meant to be used outdoors, and powered by connecting to a propane tank and water source, this unit can be (and has been) modified by food vendors for use on their pushcarts. Though it comes with a showerhead attachment, it can be custom-fitted with a faucet spout. It can also be connected by way of modified fittings to use disposable propane containers, making it possible to create one nicely sized and functional water heater to satisfy your Health Department's handsink requirement.
Kinetics Group's portable sink touts "hot and cold water at any location is now an affordable reality." This lightweight kit can be mounted on a pushcart solving the problem of handsink requirement by many Health Departments. Kinetics Group is based in Australia, but the Handiwash, and soon-to-be CSA certified Miniwash (hot water only smaller model) is being distributed worldwide.
If you don't yet know, vending Italian Ice can be a repetitive pain in the... (ahem)... hand! Hours of scooping Italian Ice (albeit with accompanying cash) can wreak havoc on your wrist when using the traditional disher with thumb release mechanism. But one company has come to the rescue of Italian Ice vendors everywhere by creating the first ever ergonomic ice cream/Italian Ice disher! These dishers can be used by people who are left or right handed, big-handed or small, with the option to use either your thumb or your fingers to release the spring mechanism. It's your choice! So when your thumb gets achy, you can squeeze your entire hand to keep scooping for a few hours more. The Zeroll Company offers these dishers in thirteen sizes (with matching color coding), and they are sturdy and up to the task. The dishers are also NSF rated, and intended for commercial use.
To learn more about dishers in general, read the following blog posts: