Selling ice cream and other frozen treats can be a pretty good job to have in warmer weather and even year-round in warmer climates. The ice cream truck is a classic image that comes to mind when most people think of buying ice cream bars and treats on a day out, but not everyone who wants to sell ice cream is keen on purchasing and then maintaining a relatively sizeable vehicle. Nor do they want to take on the liability of driving a truck perpetually near running kids. For many, a cart is a more sensible and accessible option, allowing them to both be mobile and cost-efficient. If you are thinking of getting an ice cream cart, be sure you look at the differences between what cart owners need to do versus what truck owners need to do to successfully start up that business.
"Potentially Hazardous" Food Prep
In food selling, there are "potentially hazardous" and "non-hazardous" foods, and those terms do not refer to what you usually call hazardous. In this case, potentially hazardous means subject to spoilage and having a good chance of becoming contaminated and dangerous to eat because of its storage conditions. Ice cream is considered potentially hazardous. A sealed bag of chips is not. Ice cream that is in its own sealed wrapper (e.g., an ice cream bar) is potentially hazardous but more allowable than ice cream you'd scoop yourself.
Many cities and counties have restrictions on what food carts can sell and what you can do based on this distinction; for example, San Diego County, California, says in Point 6 in their Mobile Food Facility Operations FAQ that they do not allow pushcart operators to scoop (or portion) ice cream. So you could sell wrapped bars but not scoop ice cream if you had a cart. Of course, if you're looking at keeping the operation small, then selling pre-portioned ice cream is perfect for you.
You May Have Location Requirements
Research where you could sell with a pushcart or small ice cream cart. Some cities allow vendors like you to walk through residential neighborhoods with the cart; others want carts in public areas only, like parks and plazas. When you find out your city or county's rules, look at where you'd be able to sell to ensure you'll have enough chances to build a following.
Ice cream carts can be a lot of fun to stock and use. You only need to be sure that if you buy a cart, you know what the laws in your area are. They can be very different from what ice cream trucks and even full food trucks are subject to.
For more information about operating an ice cream cart, contact a local service.