I bought an ice cream shop—now it brings in $1.2 million a year

The reality of owning a small business is not as glamorous as most people may assume. It's hard and it's stressful. There's a lot on the line, especially when you have debt involved, when you're trying to expand, when you're putting all of the capital back into your business. It's a challenge to look forward into the future and not get anxiety from the unknown. I'm Sean Allard, I'm 27 years old. I own Novel Ice Cream in Arizona and my business brought in $1.2 million in sales in 2023. We have two locations in Arizona, one in downtown Phoenix and the other in downtown Mesa. I decided to buy a novel ice cream back in July of 2023. Before buying novel ice cream, I was in dental consulting for about 3 1/2 years, wanted to jump into a creative industry and ultimately serve a a good product. This is a cookie Monster cone with Fruity pebbles. This goes for 4:50. This is our staple, our dough melt. It's an ice cream stuffed doughnut. This here is only 495. The blueberry sorbet. So this is our single cone. This is only 395. I planned on going to dental school and I worked with dentists for most of my postgraduate career. So it's sort of ironic that we took a full 360 and are now working in the environment that may cause people to go to the dentist. This is our headquarters. This is right down the street, like two or three minutes down the road. And this is where we house all of our ice cream, paper products, supplies. This is where we deliver everything from every morning as well, right? So we've broken down the warehouse into a few different sections. We've got all of our cups and some of our beverages over here. We've got kind of our utility desk here, all of our beverages for both shops. And then we have a ton of general toppings, cones, syrups, things like that over here. And then if you jump back here, you have all of our ice cream. I bought Novel Ice Cream in August of 2023 for about $1.1 million. I used an SBA loan and put 10% down using Family Capital. I took home $0.00 in net income in 2023 and lived primarily off of savings to reinvest back into the business. And looking at 2024, we're projected to do $1.3 million in sales and I will take home about $40,000 in net income. You just got here. We're going to move some stuff. OK. All right. Talk to you there. Yeah, bye. OK, good. I went to my family and presented them the opportunity to buy novel ice cream. They really like the idea. And so my parents loaned me that $110,000 and over the next five years, I hope to pay that 110,000 plus interest back. A lot of the things that happen inside and outside of the shop would be extremely, extremely expensive if I didn't have the support around me. I consider myself extremely, extremely lucky to be in a position where my family would graciously offer to support me in that way and help build a family business together. This is like so much, so much better. So this is called the Greenbelt in downtown Mesa. We have a few shops down this corridor right here. You see our second location that opened back in 2019. How's the ice cream? Good. What'd you get? Heck yeah. Thank you guys so much for coming. I appreciate you. Have a good day, guys. Thank you for stopping by. Have a good rest of your day. As of today, we have 20 team members broken up between shops at around 10 each. Our gross margin sits between 35 and 37%. Our profit margin sits between 2 and 4% due to all the capital that we're reinvesting into growth. We get ice cream deliveries on a weekly basis. We have a separate ice cream manufacturing facility, so this is our delivery van. This delivers everything out of our headquarters to both of our shops. So we deliver ice cream on a daily basis, doughnuts and all of our paper products to both of our shops. This is our bag of ice cream pans. Usually we have two bags per shop, so we have each individual pan in here. So this is a dozen of our uncut doughnuts. This is our well known ice cream stuffed doughnut. These are picked up from a separate manufacturing facility on a daily basis. So these were made about an hour ago. So in Arizona around this time, it starts getting pretty hot. As you can see, the sun is out right now. It's about 90° and about two to three weeks from now we're probably going to hit around 100 hundred and 10°. In the summer months. It's a little unbearable to be outside, so we do slow down a little bit from July to August. Our busiest months are actually October through December and then starting back up again in March through May. We are going to be moving some stuff to our third location, which is being built out right now. It's a trailer, so this is our third location. This is a a fixed trailer that we're putting up in downtown Peoria, which is the West side of Phoenix. This is 20 feet. Hopefully have everything installed within the next month and 1/2 or so to open up middle of July. The cost of this trailer specifically is around 28 to $30,000 all in with equipment and everything. We should hope to close this thing out at about 35 to $40,000. Many, many, many, many hours a day of just ordering and placing and pivoting, trying to figure out how all this stuff is going to fit in a 20 foot trailer. All that stuff. It's fun on a day-to-day basis. This game is very or business in general is stressful. It is hard, but that is what comes with the territory. And again, no matter what the size of the business is, you are going to face those challenges, people problems, product quality problems, whatever it may be, it's always going to be hard. So wrapping your head around that reality, it's going to make your day-to-day a lot easier versus trying to expect things to go a certain way.

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