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As I write this the market is down 429 points…the third day of dramatic loss of value. The U.S. debt rating has been downgraded and our president says somebody ought to do something. That somebody is you!

At this point the only person that can look out for your well being is you. Not the government with their food stamps and lifelong unemployment checks. Not GE or other mega corporations that find loopholes to pay no taxes. And certainly not the 50% of Americans who pay no income tax. The savior of your livelihood is you and your ability to make money.

 To this end I suggest you BREAK FREE and become your own boss. Get into the Italian Water Ice business or sell hot dogs from a cart or sell hand made goods at a county fair. My job is to tell you more about Italian Ice. Basically, you are selling 6 cents worth of sugar, water and flavor to the customer for $1.50. Not a bad profit! Many would tell you that the formulas are super secret and handed down from their great great grandfather from Genoa Italy. Well guess what? I’m their so called great great grandfather and I’ve never been to Genoa Italy…I’m not even Italian! Let me prove my point. Here’s my so called “secret” formula to make two big tubs of lemon ice:

6-8 lbs. sugar
14  quarts water
2    quarts fresh lemon juice
6    California lemons – the zest only – just for looks

Freeze for 18 minutes in an Emery Thompson 24 quart batch freezer and that’s it!! Every other flavor you come up with will be just as easy. The total cost is about $6.50 for the two tubs. It will yield 640 ounces of product. If you sell a quarter pound portion of Italian ice to the customer (4oz.) then your gross profit will be $240.00. Take away your food cost of $6.50 and you have a net profit for the two tubs of $233.00!! Not a bad business to be in!

Ices sell in hot weather because Italian water ices cool you off and they are inexpensive to purchase. Ice cream – the other product this machine makes – can actually make you thirsty when the outside temperature goes above 85 degrees. So this is a warm weather business. But not so fast…you’re not through making money yet. You know that fancy restaurant in your town? Their chef would love to sell something called Sorbet (sȯr-bāy) which Italians call Sorbetto. Instead of selling lemon, cherry, grape and watermelon Italian ice, now you’re selling mango, papaya, grapefruit and Champagne sorbet to the Executive Chef. The chef loves this product because he can send it out to the table as an intermezzo between courses or as a light and highly profitable dessert at the end of his fabulous five course meal. AND you can sell it to the restaurant all year round! So with just one Emery Thompson Batch Freezer you have two separate and highly distinctive businesses. Now I have you working 15 hours a day (like me) and the money is pouring in. Not bad, eh?

So what will it cost to start your own business? I’d say about 12,000 to $14,000 will get you into the ices business if we include machinery, cabinets, flavors and paper goods. You don’t need a big fancy store to make ices – especially if you’re doing a push cart or wholesale. Find a part of town that is less expensive and rent a modest amount of square footage. You can always spend more….later.

A word of caution. Italian ices are a mostly cash business. Your main ingredient is tap water. Do not be like my customer in New Jersey who went into an IRS audit wearing a Rolex watch, a Tommy Bahama shirt and turns to the auditor and says, “can you hurry this up…my chauffeur has the motor running on the Bentley.” Always pay the government “your fair share.” After all, there are a whole lot of people on government assistance counting on you showing up for work today!

Had enough? No? Good. Because now that you’ve been in the ices business for a year and you’re making good money, it’s time to consider making old fashioned hard ice cream and/or Artisan Gelato. After all, you’ve got the location; the Emery Thompson Batch Freezer; the sinks; the freezers and most importantly….the customer base. With a high quality dairy blend of milk, cream, sugar and skim milk along with top grade flavors, you can produce your own frozen dairy desserts for your existing restaurant customers. Did I mention country clubs and hotels? They buy ice cream too. The food costs are a bit higher for ice cream but the return is very good and now you have expanded your base of operations without additional equipment costs.

You started this article with no job and if you listen to the news pundits  - not much future. At this point you have two ices businesses and are expanding into ice cream/gelato. How’s that for being your own boss…your own entrepreneur?

By, Steve Thompson
Emery Thompson Machine