Tuesday, September 29, 2009

86 Days and Counting...

TIL CHRISTMAS!!! Ahhh...yes, it's true folks. There are only 86 days until Christmas 2009 has arrived. So, have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Me either!

Well, why not get a jump on the purchasing frenzy now. One of the easiest ways to do your shopping is to order your gifts online and have them shipped directly to you. No driving around, no need to stand in long checkout lines - shop from the convenience of your home and get the items you want the easy and affordable way!

HawaiianShavedIce.com has created a great Gift Center that showcases some great snow cone and shaved ice packages. The Gift Center is arranged into four, easy to use categories:

1. Shaved Ice & Snow Cone Gifts for the Whole Family
2. Shaved Ice & Snow Cone Gifts for Individuals
3. Shaved Ice & Snow Cone Gifts Listed by Price
4. Shaved Ice & Snow Cone Gift Certificates (so your friends or family members can return to HawaiianShavedIce.com and select their own gift).

Check it out and get a jump on your holiday shopping now. The big day will be here in a flash!

Water Quality – Suggestions and Solutions for Poor Quality Water

Water quality varies greatly throughout the entire United States. The vast majority of our customers who operate their own shaved ice or snow cone businesses are able to use their water straight from the tap when making their shaved ice syrups and block or cube ice. However, if the water quality and the taste of the water in your area of the country is not the best, you may need to have the water filtered or buy bottled water for your syrups and ice making.

If the water in your area has an unsuitable taste, we suggest making a small batch of shaved ice or snow cone syrup with your current water supply to see if the large amount of sweetness from the sugar in the syrup overpowers and masks any bad taste originating from your water. If your syrup still has a “funky” taste, try using an over the counter water filtration system. However, if your water is really bad, then we strong advise you to contact a water quality specialist in your area to find out how you can get the best quality water at a reasonable price. Yes, it’s an added expense for your business. But, in the long run customers will appreciate your dedication to serving them a high quality, great tasting product.

HawaiianShavedIce.com Now has a Facebook Fan Page!

That's right, HawaiianShavedIce.com has made the 'leap' into the world of social media. We have created a Facebook Fan Page. If you are already a Facebook user, please visit our fan page. Please add us as friend. We just started the page and are thrilled to see that we have 115 friends already. Wow! If you are not using Facebook just yet...well, what are you waiting for? It's free, so sign up today and give it a whirl.

We have discussed the importance of using social media for your business and now we're putting it to the test ourselves. We hope to be able to give you honest, first hand experience and recommendations based on our own usage of this powerful, free marketing tool.

We look forward to putting together some creative uses for our Fan Page. Do you have any suggestions for ways that you'd like to see us use it? If so, please feel free to leave us a comment here on the blog. We appreciate and invite your input!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cream Flavors

Give your customers the option of choosing a cream flavor when they order their next shaved ice at your stand.

In a separate container, combine 7 ounces of flavored syrup to 1 ounce of evaporated milk. Stir well and pour the mix on top of your customer's shaved ice to give it a rich, creamy texture. It always works best if the creamy mix is chilled before use.

This recipe is most often used with Vanilla, Banana, Peach, Strawberry, Dreamsycle, Pina Colada, Coconut, Strawberry Cheesecake, Almond, and Egg Custard. But, we recommend that you test other flavors as well - you might come up with a very popular flavor for your stand.

To make a quart of cream flavor, combine 28 ounces of our award winning ready-to-use flavored syrup with 4 ounces of Evaporated Milk. Once evaporated milk is added be sure to keep the mix refrigerated. The mixture will usually will last 5 to 7 days.

This is a great way to add some variety to your menu. If you wish, you can probably charge an extra $.25 per serving for the additional cream that is added. This will boost your average sale price and ultimately increase your profits too.

Good Resource: 10 Tips for the First-Time Business Owner

While reading through some other business related posts this weekend, I came across a good resource for people who are thinking of starting their own business. The article was written for Entrepreneur magazine and is entitled "10 Tips for the First-Time Business Owner."

There are some very good points made throughout the entire article and it's definitely worth reading and considering the information given in it.

My particular favorites are points #1 and #2. In point number one the author makes the following statement, which I really appreciate: "Do one thing perfectly, not 10 things poorly." Focus on what you do really well and use it to your advantage!

In point number two, I appreciate the author's frankness about the impetus behind starting a small business: "Do what you love. Businesses built around your strengths and talents will have a greater chance of success." I think there is a ton of truth behind that mindset. If you're passionate about your business (whether it selling snow cones or building high-tech complex machinery), you stand a much greater chance of success if your heart is in it.

So, if you're passionate about snow cones or shaved ice...then be dedicated to your business and refine your processes and business plan constantly in order to give your customers the best product possible. In doing this, you will ultimately succeed!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Newton Grove Movie Night Oct. 17th, 2009

All of us here at HawaiianShavedIce.com are excited and pleased to be involved in another Newton Grove Movie Night. We love the opportunity to work with, serve, and enjoy spending time with our friend and neighbors. So, if you live in the Newton Grove, NC area, you are invited to join us for:

What: Outdoor Movie Night, featuring E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, a Universal Pictures Film starring Drew Barrymore rated PG.

When: Saturday, October 17th 2009 at 7:00 PM Gates will open at 6:30 PM. The movie will start around 7:00 PM

Where: Weeks Park in Newton Grove on Hwy 701 S, on the baseball field

Admission: FREE to all

Concessions: FREE Popcorn, snow cones and drinks to all those under 18 years of age. Adults will be able to purchase concessions.

What to Bring: Blankets, Chairs and Bug Spray

Additional Information: Please call 910-594-0827

Please visit www.NGMovieNight.com or visit the Facebook page.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. (courtesy of Dictionary.com)

Keywords to consider from this definition: considerable initiative and risk.

As many of you already know, starting your own business is a serious commitment. It involves a great deal of risk on your part. But most business owners who stick with it and build up a successful business will tell you that the risk is definitely worth the reward.

In the blog here, we feature articles that we find about shaved ice, snow cones, and cotton candy from all over the globe when we can find appropriate information. We do this because at 1-800-ShavedIce.com, HawaiianShavedIce.com, and CottonCandyExpress.com, we admire the entrepreneurial spirit and we understand it...from the risk side and the reward side.

So, we offer this recently found article about a gentleman in Florida delving into the snow cone business. He's garnered some positive attention for his business locally and that's great. We hope that he'll continue to work hard and invest in his company! Check out the article about Mr. Trujillo.


Cotton Candy Toothpicks?

I don't normally feature things like this, but I'm making an exception due to the 'uniqueness' of the product and the fact that we don't offer anything like it at CottonCandyExpress.com.

So, the title says it all...cotton candy toothpicks. Now, you can take that carnival atmosphere with you where ever you may roam. Hey, some people love cotton candy. I do. My kids do. My wife does. So...why not try some cotton candy toothpicks? If you have to pick something out of your teeth, it might as well be an enjoyable experience, right?

Check them out and feel free to order some! If you do purchase them...let me know if you like them!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

StickyLife.com, A Great Branding Resource for Concessionaires and Other Small Businesses

After discussing branding in our last post, I thought it would be prudent to make a recommendation and put some creative branding ideas out there for you to ponder.

As mentioned, branding makes a huge impact on gaining and retaining customers. We have touched on logo design several different times throughout the blog and by now I'm sure you realize just how important a great, eye-catching logo is in establishing a great brand for your business.

Now that you have your logo...use it. Promote yourself. Promote yourself in creative ways. Don't be afraid to use your logo...after all you created it to be the visual identifier of your business.

One creative place to easily and economically use your logo to create branding and promotional products is at www.StickyLife.com. StickyLife.com is in the product customization business and is an ideal place for you to experiment on various ways to promote your business through the use of creative marketing materials.

StickyLife.com offers several great products that appear to be perfect tools for promoting your shaved ice, snow cone, or cotton candy business. For example, kids love temporary tattoos. At StickyLife.com, you have the ability to create your own customized temporary tattoo! Imagine being able to hand out a temporary tattoo to every kid that comes up to your concession stand. How cool is that? The kids will definitely think it's cool! Parents and grandparents will appreciate your willingness to please their kids and grandkids too.

I will be featuring a few more unique ways to use StickyLife.com for your business in coming posts. Most importantly for now, I encourage you to visit StickyLife.com and check out all of the cool ways you can use their site to create products that will promote your business!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


What sets you apart from your competition? We have discussed several things that definitely assist you in differentiating yourself from your local competition such as:

* Superior Customer Service
* Competitive Pricing
* Offering Superior Products Made from the Best Equipment and Served in High Quality Materials

These things all make a huge impact on gaining and retaining customers.

One thing we haven’t discussed much at all is branding and the important role it has in creating your identity as a business. Branding is a “package deal” because it involves several different things. Here are a few things to get you thinking about how to shape your branding or polish/revise what is perhaps a dated or weak branding strategy.

1. Logo Design. Your logo is the visual icon for your brand. Creating a unique, visually appealing logo is an important and critical step in establishing your company’s identity.
2. Purpose Statement. What do you stand for? Say something. Let people know what you’re passionate about. Think about Ben & Jerry’s…they are more than just ice cream; they are a company that stands for a cause.
3. Make purchasing your product an experience, not just a transaction. Give them something positive to remember.
4. Give Back. You rely on the community around you for your customers. Make sure that you in turn are active in the community with your business. Get behind a local cause and support it…either financially or with your time.
5. Be dedicated to always being the best and only offering the best of everything to your customers.

This certainly isn’t comprehensive by any means, it’s just meant to get you thinking about the process of developing your company’s brand.

More to come…

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cotton Candy at Home

Do you have a residential cotton candy maker? If so, we have a great product for you!

CottonCandyExpress.com is pleased to offer our customers the best floss sugar available. Flossugar is made from a special sugar that is not too fine, not too coarse.

It's packed in a sealed 3.25 pound carton. Simply open the box and pour it into the spinner head of your machine. There's no messy mixing or unsanitary sugar buckets to frustrate you. Each carton yields 60 to 70 servings of delicious cotton candy.

Flossugar currently comes in three different flavors: Lime Green, Orange, and Watermelon. Order today and have it on hand for your kids. Cotton candy at home makes a great after school treat! Order now and save during our End of Summer sale.

Specialized Syrup Bottle Cleaning Brushes on Sale!

I'm sure you are well aware of this already, but those syrup bottles are hard to clean! Whether you use quart bottles or gallon jugs for your flavored syrups, you have experienced the difficulty of trying to get into the nooks and crannies and get them clean and ready to be refilled.

Well, we've got some good news for you! At 1-800-Shaved-Ice.com, we have found the best cleaning brushes available to make this formerly difficult job a much more pleasant and productive experience!

Finally, a way to get those long neck, quart bottles clean. The quart bottle brush is 16 inches long and has a tapered 4 inch brush head with wrap-around bristles on the tip, capable of reaching all of the hard to clean spots.

The cleaning brush for the gallon jugs is also 16 inches in length, but features a brush head that is 10 inches long. This is a sure fire tool to get those jugs cleaned and ready to use again.

Both of these great brushes are on sale right now, so get 'em cheap during our End of Summer sale!