Favor Station DIY?

Click here for information regarding Hawaiian Snow shave ice flavors as well as various Hawaiian shave ice toppings.
JenInCincy

Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:03 am

A quick thank you for this board. I am new to the shaved ice biz and found many great tips here:) I have been looking at the Snowie Flavor Station but, this season and most likely next season the is not doable financially. I was curious if any of you have made the attempt to make your own? I have been discussing doing just this with my hubby and have had a few ideas but, I was curious as to if any of you have tried?

Thanks In Advance,
Jen
knowpow
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:25 pm

Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:00 pm

Hi Jen! Even though I'm new to this industry and this forum I'd like to welcome you. I've found an extreme amount of info here. As to your flavor station question, I would say to pass it up and move on to the next idea. I've thought about that and the convenience of self serving customers, but I found a post on here about comparing machines. One poster said that he has owned Snowie stuff and it was't high quality. Another couple of good points brought up is that 1) Children are going to be using the flavor sation and go wild on it, meaning they are going to drain your syrup creating more expense for you as well as labor. 2) The over saturated Ices are not going to taste good and they will not be satisfied customers who bring you repeat business.

This is just from what I've read in the postings, but it makes perfect sense to me. I've took the time to read every post on this forum in my research and I check in every day or two to read any new posts. You should probably do the same thing if you're new in the business and have the time. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience on here.
Good luck.
JenInCincy

Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:36 am

Thanks Much For The welcome! Yea, I did some looking around after the post I made and seen those points brought up and was discussing with my hubby. I was thinking maybe it was not a good idea after doing the additional reading. But, originally the reasoning I was wanting a DIY was the Snowie did not look like good quality.
We purchased a little shack that has been in its location for many years and it is in the middle of a grocery parking lot. I really was trying to think of something more to keep drawing those kiddos back as they LOVE the shaved ice:) I have been doing some researching on some non liable type kids games or something that I could maybe offer for free with the economy the way it is. Just been brainstorming, lol. But, have yet to really think of something that will be what I would think would do the trick.
Thanks again, I am loving all of the input and the knowledge I have learned from here this far:)
knowpow
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:25 pm

Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:06 pm

Jen, I saw a trailer set up as a DJ booth on craigslist for sale. It had what looked like a giant CD on the side of it that you could spin around by hand. Now that gives me the idea that what you could do is make a wheel like that to put on the shack and post things on it like wheel of fortune. Wherever the needle lands is the prize you get ie.. Buy one get one free or half price, buy one get one free on your next visit etc. Each kid say 8 or under gets a spin or one spin per family that comes to the shack. I believe in aggressive marketing like playing some Hawaiian music through a loud speaker, have your kids out there eating a shave ice and having a good time, It'll draw other kids over. Idk, it's just a thought. With some bright colored paint and a little plywood, I think it would be a great marketing tool. For a thirty dollar investment what could it hurt? Plus it has the game concept and you know kids love games and winning stuff. Another idea I've been working on is doing private birthday parties, corporate events, etc. We have a lot of factories around here and they all have a field day where all the employees and there families come to a local park and have a big event. They give away door prizes and stuff. I think it would be worth while to get in touch with the places that do things like that and contract your shave ice to be served there. You can charge the families, or set up an hourly contract rate with the company for unlimited ices, just however you want to arrange it. The factories around here have several hundred employees plus generally an additional 2 to 3 people in the family. That makes for around 1000 people out in the sun doing potato sack races and all sorts of things to keep the active and hot. A shave Ice would be just the thing to cool them down. Food for thought.
JenInCincy

Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:39 am

Wow! Thanks Much for that wheel idea, that could be something:) Well I had my best day yet yesterday with sales (doubled what we normally do) and also met a woman that was just the woman I needed to meet. She is involved in all the school sports leagues as well as a charity for our town. I found out that this year the annual "skirt" game function is being held in our parking lot:) It is a function that the whole town attends:) It is in August so I am really wanting to get prepared, we plan to donate a portion of proceeds. We are going to be getting together to set up some fundraisers for the sports teams which I am excited about too.

I had thought about the Hawaiian music, think that is a must. The shack logo is a Tiki with a surf board and would love to find some LARGE tiki's. I was thinking people would love to do pics with them:)

You have been doing quite well at landing the events, kudos to you! Love all the ideas you have been throwing my way. If you think of anymore, please share:)
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IceMan326
Posts: 396
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:43 pm

Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:24 pm

Wheel of Fortune, very interesting. A little creative marketing is all it takes sometime. If you ever go ahead with it, please take a picture and show us. I bet it would look and work awesome! ;)
I love Shave Ice, period. :D
GoBigKauna

Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:42 pm

I know there are a lot of people who don't like the flavor station here. But I will give you first hand information.

#1 Will kids go crazy and use up to much flavoring? For the most part NO. You will get a kid every so often go crazy but most kids put less syrup on than you would yourself.

#2 If you at a huge event like a 4th of July Show where you have 3-4 hours to serve 1000's of people you will do 2-3 times more business with the flavor station period.

#3 Now if you are setting up at a location on a permanent basis then I high suggest you don't use a flavor station. You would want to have a good selection of flavors as you won't have the on going rush like at a huge event.

What I do if I have a permanent location is I carry 48 or more flavors that I pour myself. When I'm running event in my other setups I use the Flavor station. The fact is people at events/festivals love the flavor station. people will walk right by 3 other vendors to get to me because of it.

It also save you money as you can run a busy event with 1 person or two is it real big and not have to HIRE the extra help.

My two cents..
Brian
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:10 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:33 am

Health Department never has issues with these? What do they want if you set them up? I know it will vary from HD to HD but they are all typically on the same page.
richweav

Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:56 am

A stand alone flavor station is a great idea, however if you attach it to the side of a trailer or truck, you will be infringing on the patented "flavorwave" design used by Kona Ice. I can assure you that they will protect their patent through the courts system. Ask Tikiz.
DerekinCanada
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:17 pm

Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:46 pm

My 12 year old and his friend have a small summer shaved ice snow cone business, selling mainly at local summer fairs. I built them a homemade eight-flavour dispenser for around $100 using the following parts: 8 one quart plastic vinegar bottles ($1.25 each including vinegar), 8 spigots/taps from the wine arts store ($8 each), a wooden dowel ($3) to keep the bottles together by putting the dowel through the handles, covered with a plastic tube from a Hallowe'en "Grim Reaper" scythe ($1), a shelf cut out of a used plastic tulip bulb container that I got for a dollar ($1), a plastic storage container ($10) to enclose the unit, cottage curtain rod holders to hold the dowel in place ($5), "L" shelf brackets, nuts and bolts, hose washers, a C-Clamp ($5), and some discs cut out of a dollar store plastic cutting board using a hole saw ($1).

The dispenser is attached to their folding table using a "C" clamp, and has held up to heavy winds and many kids. Due to the location of the spigots on the bottles, the last bit of syrup in the containers can't be dispensed, but that is not a big problem. The only engineering feat was getting the spigots onto the bottles, which have fairly small access areas at the top. I'll leave that up to you to figure out!

Here's a picture: Image

For higher volume operations, the dispenser could be scaled up to use gallon vinegar bottles instead of quarts. I wash and sanitize the storage container each night in the sink, and empty the vinegar bottles and put them in the dishwasher every week or two. I described the system in detail, complete with photos, in the annual health department certification application. They examined it, on a routine inspection long after issuing the certificate, and were very impressed with it. They have no problem at all with kids dispensing the flavors themselves, as this is done with many other products, such as slushies and fast food restaurant beverages.

It was in operation this entire summer season, works well, and enables the young operators to concentrate on making snow cones, handling the money, and topping up supplies, rather than pouring flavors. They tell me they would never go back to pouring syrups themselves as it is very time consuming to wait for the customers (mainly kids) to make up their minds about the flavours they want. Now the transaction is complete when the unflavoured cone is handed over, and the kids can take as long as they want! The kids love it, and many really get into combining several flavours for rainbow patterns. They are told that if they underpour, they are welcome to come back for more syrup, but, in general, they seem to know how much to add, and we have seen very few "drown" the snow in syrup. Hint: loosen the lids on the vinegar bottles to make the flavors flow better.

I'll admit that it does use a bit more syrup, but they can process many more customers, making it much more profitable, and managed to triple their profits over their first summer, where they weren't using the dispenser. The taps are spring loaded, returning to the closed position quickly, so the kids cannot leave them running. The "splash zone" at the bottom of the storage container is wiped cleaned often during the day. The bottleneck is currently their ice shaver (a home variety Little Snowie), but they are moving up next season to a larger machine, and expect to increase throughput (and profits!) greatly.
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