Kaoshiung for Gelato Business ?


I am new to Taiwan and want to pick the best City in Taiwan to start my Gelato Business. I want a city that has a population that craves ice cream and gelato,. A city that has opportunity for this kind of business for a Foreigner.

I would also need to have Access to Gelato Supplies, such as Powdered Mixes, Fruit Flavorings, etc. Also a city that has access to reasonable rental prices for business and Home and a Large Student Population which would avail my business.


In terms of temperature and rent levels, K-town is not a bad place to start.

You could also look into Zhubei, which has high purchasing power, lots of kids (high birthrate compared to the rest of Taiwan) and is under-retailed.


Here in Kaoshiung, I think there is enough Ice Cream shops, but the most popular here is soft serve Japanese style for youth markets (I guess in most of Taiwan). As mentioned , other areas with less retail may be better.


Craving for ice cream in Taiwan? Not in any city here, the only thing they like to buy is as said ‘Japanese’ soft serve (cheap) and shaved ice with weird toppings.

The next thing you said, powdered mixes, fruit ‘flavorings’? How about real handmade craft/artisan ice cream. Now that’s a new market worth exploring.

Unless you are Turkish and do tricks while scooping ice cream, little chance.

Or you need to have deep pockets and are called ‘Cold Rock’ or ‘Heagen Flash’


There is definitely demand for :ice_cream: in Taiwan. Especially in the summer.


We just had one gelato place open here in Xindian. I would have thought it could be a hit right on. 60 nuts a sizeable cup seems all right to me for a flavorful, rich, creamy treat. But seems the acquisition power in our area, alas, is not in its favor. Strangely enough, a couple of blocks away, 350 to 500 nuts is the norm. So my advice is yes location location location.


I’ve helped many restaurants and bars. And let me tell you the most fetal mistake. Spending money on the best equipment and too many equipment for too many things. Adding on to buying supplies to many items on the menu. Location is what you need to pay for. And once you get some money and made a good name, you can open a second branch and even upgrade the place. But spend the money mostly on getting a good location and simple menu.


Thanks for your reply, are you listed on the services topic on Forumosa Andrew, I would be interested in finding someone to assist me with my restaurant business, location, and supplies, and marketing . And if it is allowed to contact you somewhere else on this board to discuss this, then advise me where a discussion can take place. thanks


They have a great association of foreigner owned venders and food restaurants. You can also join the Kaohsiung Q&A Facebook page. They are very friendly and helpful people.
Here is a random link to a page that may be useful. I’m not sure how current it is. But, it will get you a good look into the community. Good luck.


As long as you offer something different, new, out of the normal. Cheap will also go a long way.

Cold Stone is different, Haagen Daz has an immense marketing budget, and is almost in every retail store, many buffet restaurants, and probably a good sales team.

If you are the cookie cutter type of place, very hard. People in Taiwan have already many choices of cheap, high volume ice cream. Oh, and don’t forget, convenience stores are your competitors.


Hey, i’m not familiar with Kaohsiung at all. So i would have a hard time helping you out. The key is to start small and simple. You don’t need 50 flavors, you don’t need a huge store, you don’t need to hire multiple people. You’ll also probably find anyone you hire to not give a shit, or at least as much as you. So that can hurt paying for someone to not care about making a profit. Find a key location and put money towards it. Even if your ice cream isn’t that good, you’ll still be better off getting foot traffic from a busy area buying it than the best gelato with many flavors in a area that’s not that great.


Sounds easy, but it isn’t. In the real world, even on top locations you need a good product, I witness every week store closures around here. Pain point? Exaggerated rents mostly. Even top tier brands shut down frequently because of greedy landlords, annoying neighbors. For some it’s just the product that people don’t want because there are better and cheaper options around.


I think for him, he needs to think of a top location where people would want to get something like gelato. For example, a chic shopping street that young women goes to. Something like gelato would appeal to them as they shop with their friends imo. Or maybe some place young girls and guys would often go on dates. Nice place to stop by and get a gelato for guys and girls out on dates walking around. Top location for each business can mean different things. Like he obviously may not do well at like a jade market with a lot of older folks…or who knows. Maybe the grandmas will me all about the gelatos.


people here like to throw a lot of money in a fancy locale, hire designers, spend a lot in setting up… and do not leave a lot of money to survive. They please themselves and want to set up busines sto show off, not to serve the customer. They think “their vision” is more important than the reality of the market. And fail completely, when they have to downsize, and cheapen beyond belief not only from their original model, but what is actually an acceptable product.

Therefore, I believe in baby steps, in keeping your eyes open and listening to the environment. Do not spend all your cartriges at once, and least of all, on your ego. You need things to be simple and smooth and head towards a goal of survival.

Look at all the “famous” places that have gone broke in less than a year. No fancy gimmicks, no celebrity endorsement, no fashion will save you if your costs are too high, if you do not have a system in place that runs rain or shine whoever is at the helm.


My experience selling ice cream is that Taiwanese don’t buy ice cream when it’s hot during the day (probably their superstition not to eat or drink cold things when it’s hot, hence the reason why they drink hot water instead of cold), foreign tourists on the other hand don’t care. Taiwanese start buying late afternoon and will also look at the price more than tourists do, getting the price point right is also very important. You might have a good product and you think you have the price right and still little sale, maybe the price is not really right.


yup, lots of places invested too much into setting up with too much things they don’t need. Also, many places like this have a natural life cycle so be prepare for either expansion, or save up for another idea. I would say 3 years things go in and out if they’re lucky. Look at all the food places that have stayed opened for years…cold noodle places thats so cheap and crappy, small mom and pop shops, those places stay open because the owners do everything. Have like simple menu items, some even like 1-2 things to get but they do it well.


I think the gauging of landlords might have something to do with why they go out of business. I know for a fact of cases that solely turned about rent, ‘famous’ store, high sales, next lease renewal just hold on, it will increase.


And don’t forget, many of them own the place they do business in or are satisfied with a back alley store or even a place on the street. And they are OK with the few thousands they make in a day. And when they are on a busy street, it organically grew over years. Some even say goodbye to their small place and start renting it out for loads of cash.


Yep, that said, look at all the dtrink places right now. Thanks to a very hot summer, they are settying up every ten meters. However…

Yes, even in Kaohsiung. So let’s see how many of those survive.

And for Ned Stark’s sake, please do not open a gelatreria in winter. Spring, maybe, but drink places remain open on hot drinks. Unless you do gelato and hot coffee… and even then, I find it hard to believe you will survive with a new business. You could book a neat place after CNY, when the broke ones migrate en masse.


Oh they always do that. If it is successful, then the landlord wants a piece of the pie.

Cure yourself with a 2 to 3 year lease, as far as you can afford, where you can recoup your investment and then set up in a better place, or diversify. Several locations can help to stay in teh business without sinking…unless you open all at the same time without order or plan othe rthan a huge bar side with flashy bottles that no one uses, in a space where you can fit 2 or 3 more tables.