Quick Summary – Kona Ice
Startup Costs: $127,750 – $151,550
Revenue Range: $110,000 – 140,000
First 5 years: $3,000
6-7 years: $3,500
8+ years: $4,000
What is this franchise about?
Kona Ice is transforming the idea of the friendly neighborhood ice cream truck with a more colorful, fun shaved ice experience. The company has over 1,000 of the tropical-themed shaved ice trucks nationwide and is the 13th fastest growing franchise in the country.
What does it sell – and how is money made?
- Kona Ice’s mission is to sell an experience. They provide their own line of flavors through their patented Flavorwave, have several types of equipment for any occasion, and because of their success in generating revenue, they have been able to give back millions of dollars to communities across the country.
- The mobility of the shaved ice truck makes it easy to sell shaved ice at different locations and perfect for parties and other social events.
- Franchisees can own multiple kinds of Kona Ice equipment, which allows owners to sell shaved ice in almost any environment.
What type of entrepreneur is it perfect for?
The franchise offers minimal investment with high profitability, an easy start-up process, and a “be you own boss,” flexible job. It’s perfect for side hustlers of all ages.
Locations: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
The Kona Ice Story
We often get asked about our story – “How did Kona Ice come about?”; “Where did this idea come from?” There’s a lot to be said about the reason a company is started. It defines the purpose of the brand. It gives us our identity. This whole crazy company started with an experience – a bad experience. Born out of that bad experience was a desire to make a good experience.
An ice cream truck drove up to Tony’s house – you know the kind. It was creepy, dirty, and off-putting. So much so that his youngest daughter was hesitant to even approach it. This got his wheels turning: What if the truck was clean? What if the driver was warm, friendly, and presentable? What if the product was actually really good? What if they actually cared about the community they served?
After all, the ice cream truck driving around is a time-honored tradition. At one time, it wasn’t creepy and scary. It used to be all those things he had wondered. He thought there was a way we could get back to that place, but this time with shaved ice. And that was the beginning of Kona Ice.
Those questions that initially ran through Tony’s mind are the cornerstones of our brand: cleanliness, friendliness, a delicious product, and giving back to our community. The story of how Kona Ice started has informed who we are as a brand. Those core principles are all things that make up who we are as Kona Ice.
The Kona Ice Franchise Process
Now that you’ve seen the numbers, what’s next? Here’s a list of next steps:
1. Gather information: Take a look around our website – there’s plenty of information to gather and digest.
2. Contact us: Check out our Contact page and fill out the form. A Kona Ice representative will contact you.
3. Apply: A Kona Ice representative will take you through the process of the application, providing information and answering questions to help determine if the franchise is a good fit.
4. Review FDD: We will send you a copy of the current Franchise Disclosure Document to review.
5. Evaluation Call: The next step is to get on a call with our CEO, Tony Lamb.
After you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be cleared to sign all the paperwork and be on your way to Kona Kollege!
A former marketing consultant and door-to-door vacuum salesman, Tony Lamb had an interesting ice cream truck experience.
When his daughter ran outside to meet a neighborhood ice cream truck, Lamb noticed the questionable condition of the vehicle and handling of the products.
“The truck had smoke coming out of it, and the driver wasn’t even wearing a shirt,” Lamb told Business Insider. “I thought, ‘what if there were a business that guaranteed a good experience at the ice cream truck?’”
This experience inspired Lamb to create Kona Ice, giving the ice cream truck concept a much-needed update. Lamb’s trucks feature a tropical style of music and a Hawaiian themed décor and design. They also provide customers with the opportunity to make their own shaved ice.
The Kona Ice success didn’t explode immediately. In fact, Lamb created five different prototype trucks, followed by many updates and tweaks. It was until after the fifth truck that Lamb felt comfortable with the product in 2007. These updates were worth the wait, as Kona Ice sold 13 franchises within only their first year of operation. During the second year, there was 30-40 percent attrition in neighborhood sales, which allowed Lamb to enhance the Kona Ice business model, according to Fox Business.
Since the start of the franchise, Kona Ice has significantly lowered the sugar content in their frozen treats, prioritizing fruit first. Currently, Kona Ice has sold more than 900 units since its beginning.
CNBC MAKE IT
“Door-to-door vacuum salesman to $120 million shaved ice truck franchise”
“Get a free tropical shaved ice on Tax Day. Tweet your zip code to @KonaIce to find the Kona Ice truck’s location in your community.”
FOX & FRIENDS
“This is the nicest truck I’ve ever seen. Usually when you see an ice cream truck, it’s falling apart. I have suffered through many a sub-standard sno cone in my life – this is delicious.”
“For two years, since the inception of the USDA’s Smart Snack Initiative, Kona Ice has been leading flavor innovation efforts.”
- Kona Ice uses Kreations Flavorings, which meets all federal nutritional school standards.
- Kona Ice offers a customizable business model with four different additional pieces of equipment.
- Kona Ice provides customers with a unique self-serve system where they can make their own treat.
- The company works to give franchisees 100 percent satisfaction.
- Kona Ice uses a fixed royalty system. In other words, no matter how successful your Kona business is, the royalty stays the same.
The Kona brand also engages in fundraising opportunities in local communities across the country. Whether it’s for a school or sports team, a client can book a Kona truck for any fundraising needs or activities. Kona supports fundraising programs by providing a percentage of sales give back. So far, Kona Ice has given more than $40 million in giving back to local communities. This participation encourages others to consider Kona Ice for their future events.
What will you get when opening a Kona Ice Franchise
A KONA ICE TRUCK
AKA THE KONA ENTERTAINMENT VEHICLE
• state-of-the-art, mobile shaved ice truck
• over 800 trucks all around the country
• patented Flavorwave®
Our Delicious Product
• sweetened with pure cane sugar and all-natural stevia leaf extract
• fortified with vitamins C & D
• offering proprietary, trademarked flavors
• Smart Snack approved
THE KONA ICE BRAND
Experience Kona Ice
• creating a one-of-a-kind self-serve experience with our patented Flavorwave®
• brand power with over a thousand points of sale, in over 45 states in the U.S.
• ability to interact with our Kona Ice characters on our app
• steel drum music on-board the truck reminiscent of being in the islands
A KONA ICE SUPPORT TEAM
Your Corporate Team
• 24/7 equipment support staff
• a team of creative and marketing specialists including designers, animators, marketers, and social media experts
• an annual Kona Konvention
• merchandisers, trainers, regulation experts, advisors, and educators