No matter the weather, fans of frozen treats will flock to ice cream stores or the frozen desserts section in a grocery store. Indeed, the NPD Group found that in any given two-week period, 40% of Americans will enjoy ice cream. Which goes to show — an ice cream party is likely to be just as popular in cold weather as in warm. However, if you’re stocking up for a birthday party, free ice cream as a reward (say in school or for a club), or are taking the plunge and setting up your own ice cream store, you’ll need ice cream shop supplies (or at the very least, ice cream party supplies). Ice cream cups and ice cream spoons are a must and if you’re getting really fancy, look into gelato cups or frozen yogurt cups too.
Why Are Ice Cream Buffets Such a Good Party Idea?
For one, they’re pretty universal in their appeal, fairly easy to set up, and simple to customize (thank you toppings!). There’s more brands of lactose-free ice cream becoming available (that are affordable), so if anyone has a lactose intolerance, that can be worked around (or you can get sherbet). It also tends to be a less expensive option than say, pizza or another type of celebratory food.
Generally getting three to four different kinds of ice cream and a host of different toppings will make for some pretty satisfied people. Whipped cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and marshmallows are all popular choices. Most ice cream party supplies are disposable, which helps make clean up a breeze. Gelato cups, ice cream cups, spoons, and other supplies are often recyclable as well.
What Should I Include In My Ice Cream Party Supply List?
Ice cream cups or bowls, spoons, and napkins are definitely a must. Along with cups and spoons, consider having a couple different kinds of cones available too (sugar cones and waffle cones are the most popular).
If you’re throwing a fancier type of soiree and plan to include gelato or frozen yogurt, having gelato cups or frozen yogurt cups is also a good idea. You’ll also need scoopers (and pro tip: if you have a bowl of hot water to dunk the scooper in between scoops, the ice cream will likely scoop much easier).
For an array of toppings (like fruit, marshmallows, cookie crumbles, and so on) having them arranged in small side dishes can also make the line move a little faster. It requires a little more preparation on the setting up side of things, but it’ll help everything go more smoothly.
Scoopers may want to have plastic aprons on, just in case things get messy, and having paper towels or reusable cloths on hand to wipe down the ice cream table as you go can help expedite clean up. For little ones, small plastic bibs might also be a good idea to keep them (relatively) ice cream free!
Where Can I Find Ice Cream Supplies in Bulk?
Big box stores or stores that sell in bulk are likely good places to check, though those options might be more generic. You might also check your local dollar stores or drug stores as well. There are also stores that sell wholesale and likely have a much broader selection in terms of colors, patterns, sizes, and materials.
For these, it’s likely best to search online. And generally speaking, searching online is often a good way to go — some stores will offer free shipping over a certain amount and you can get it delivered to your doorstep quickly. If the order is large enough, the store might just bundle shipping into the price, so what you see is essentially what you get (minus tax).
And as for the ice cream itself, most ice cream stores have tubs available that you can purchase, so that’s relatively easy to source.
Consider hosting an ice cream buffet for your next celebration, reward, or party. It’s a people-pleaser for sure and likely everyone will be able to find something that they like, whether it’s in an ice cream cup or in gelato cups.