Small Venue & Retail Concessions

One of the most appealing reasons for selling concession foods is that you can do it almost anywhere. A concession or snack stand can be a great way to add convenience and variety to another venue. Grocery stores, restaurants, ice cream parlors, and community centers, as well as public parks and pools, are just a few of the areas where concession businesses thrive. With the right machines and supplies from Gold Medal you can start creating mouth-watering snacks that can draw in new customers and satisfy everyone. Get the resources you need to help you run your concession stand, including marketing tips, product and menu suggestions, informative articles, and more.


What’s the Best Commercial Shave Ice Machine?

How to Choose the Right Ice Shaver

With low start-up costs and high-profit potential, it is a great time to start a shave ice business. In order to be successful, you need to buy an ice shaver that is reliable, easy to operate, and high-performance.

Determining which machine is best starts with understanding the basics, knowing what questions to ask, and being aware of the factors that matter most.


The Difference Between Snow Cones and Shave Ice

They are known by many different names: Sno-Kones®, Hawaiian shaved ice, snow balls, and more. While they are all frozen treats, they’re not all the same. (Learn more about the history of snow cones and shave ice.)

Here’s how shave ice shapes up. Shave ice is like snow, and, ironically, snow cones are crunchy. The texture of shave ice holds the syrup flavors better. Sno-Kones® are considered more kid-friendly and are often found at schools, youth sports, and fundraisers. Shave ice has more appeal to adults and can be extremely versatile in venues. It is considered the more gourmet option. The presentation is classier and shave ice businesses typically feature a large collection of flavors to choose from. In terms of cost, snow cones are less expensive. However, because shave ice has a higher perceived value, it can be sold at higher prices. There are many advantages to starting a shave ice business, but in order to purchase the right shave ice machine, you have to properly evaluate all options.


Guidelines for Purchasing a Commercial Shave Ice Machine

Here’s what to look for when you decide to buy an ice shaver:

  1. Texture of Ice:  How fine will it shave ice? The fluffy snow consistency is what sets shave ice apart. Make sure to test it for quality.

  2. Capacity:  It’s simple. The more ice it can hold, the less downtime you will have. Less downtime means you can serve more customers efficiently.

  3. Blades:  This is central to the operation of your ice shaver. You need high-quality blades that can stand the test of time. Ask how often you will need to sharpen or replace the blades.

  4. Motor:  This can be a critical area where some equipment fails. If you try to save money by going with a less powerful motor, it can cost you in the end. Ensure the motor is heavy duty and proven dependable, yet not overly noisy.

  5. Foot Pedal:  Hands-free operation means you can maximize service to your customers. The ease of operation will save you time.

  6. Portability:  Many shave ice businesses are mobile. So, a bulky machine just won’t suffice. You need a balance between sturdy, and convenient.

  7. Service:  If something goes wrong with your ice shaver, who has your back? Your supplier should have services available for regular maintenance as well as any emergency situations that could arise.

  8. Warranty:  A manufacturer should back up their product. A solid warranty gives you peace of mind that your equipment is covered.     


Create a New Shave Ice Experience with BluBear

front-perspective view of gold medal's blubear industrial shave ice machine

The BluBear™ ice shaver is the latest innovation from Gold Medal for shave ice businesses. Designed with insights from those in the field, BluBear™ is the finest way to shave ice. Get all the features important to operators, now available in one machine.

  • Variable shave settings – from coarse chunks to the finest flakes
  • Maxim-Icer accessory extends shaving time without reloading; this means less downtime
  • A convenient foot pedal accessory comes standard for hands-free operation
  • A user-friendly, easy-to-operate, and easy-to-clean design
  • Lightweight, compact, and portable, it’s simple to transport
  • Sleek appearance allows the machine to fit in any setting
  • Heavy-duty motor, yet still quiet enough to not disturb customers


To learn more about shave ice and other frozen treats, download our eBook, Guide to Frozen Treats.

If you’d like to see the BluBear™ in action, contact your nearest Gold Medal distributor and request a demo.