Succeeding in Ice Cream Frozen Dessert Business ?


Hello fellow Members,

Can anyone give me their opinion of how to succeed when Considering
shipping a Counter Top Ice Cream /Sorbet/Gelato Machine to Taiwan…
Points of Consideration:

  • Interested if Taiwanese would enjoy Gelato Style Ice Cream ?
  • What cities in Taiwan would most be appealing to this overall ice cream product ?
  • Would renting a store Front Apartment/ Store / or other be wise ?
    Thankyou all very much for your advice.


There are many and it’s pretty popular I would say. They must be as they are everywhere. People here love “italian” food but hardly any are really authentic tasting.


My observation is that Frozen Yogurt for some reason only works as a fad here in Taiwan. A new store will open once every couple of months, but they never last over a year.

Gelato on the other hand seem to do very well. I’d imagine at this point beside the number of potential customers, you would also have to consider about the amount of competition. Or you would really have to differentiate your brand and advertise the difference in some fashion.

From my personal experience, I rarely want to have any ice cream during the winter in the Northern parts of the island. However, it’s always ice cream weather in Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Hualien and Taitung.


First of all I don’t see why you would want to ship it here yourself as all equipment is readily available here… (also western brands) unless your very familiar with importing it’s quite a hassle) although it might be slightly cheaper but you won’t be able to get qualified service for the machines here…

Secondly if you check the gelato stores here, the ones that are in operation for more than a few years don’t actually sell any gelato (quantitied to western standards) the recipes are so tweaked that it becomes more like shaved ice… Other stores with more authentic gelato usually just sell it as a secondary product or don’t last longer g enough…

I would gladly discuss /give you more insight into this if you like, you could msg me privately


There’s a store here in Taichung called Bella Gelateria which seems to have lasted a while and is doing pretty well. It’s more like authentic gelato and other ice creams. It’s close to Sogo in the centre of town, maybe you could try contacting them on Facebook or dropping by sometime if you’re near here.


Thanks for your reply about the Gelato store. This is interesting. I have always pondered if you have the proper machinery, skills, and location and suppliers with a commitment to succeed and hard work that a business can slowly gain momentum.

Can you exlain to me the process of renting a Store front commercial property, or I have seen people rent a Store front Garage main floor Aparmtnent with great success.

What areas of Taiwan away from Taichung is this idea feasible ? What do you believe the Rental Cost would be for example a smal town like Ching Shui, the commericla rental, or Apartment downstairs rental. Thanks


Honestly, your main problem is location. I do some consulting stuff or small businesses like bars and restaurants helping them promote, plan events, decor, and things of that nature. I know a lot of owners of places and I seen what works and what fails. And I can tell you that I’ve seen some places that taste great, but location sucks and thats really why they failed and closed down.

With that said, don’t spend too much on equipment and try to have too much variety, the cost of that will be too high since you are not a chain and you would have to buy the materials you need yourself. wasted money on materials and equipment is what I see a lot. Instead, keep what you sell simple and approachable and spend more on getting a good location where something like this will sell well.

I can give you more and clearer advice, but I’d have to charge for my services :wink:


Check out 591 for somewhat accurate store rents. It mainly depends on precise location and store size.

I know someone who does rentals in Zhubei, but those are proper higher end retail units which may be beyond your price point.


I would strongly recommend reading Andrews post and taking it to heart. So many food service outfits fail here, it’s really a huge thing to open and close, then restart. And Andrew pretty much nailed why.

Local customers don’t mind shops that look kind of shitty, but they want the price and taste right. Really foreign type flavors only seem to have a chance in the north (taijong being included here). South can work but rarely. In the south it really requires an intimate understanding of the culture and tastes here. Most of my friends and acquaintance s even of Taiwanese descent fail because they fail to realise what the customer wants and needs, and tries to get too fancy.

Also seconded on sourcing within taiwan. If the machine isn’t already here, or Beng copied here, you can have a shop make anything you want relatively cheap.


Was always curious about why I see some Tea or Cafes open for like 1-2 months with a lot of nice expensive interior design/ furniture and then it closes down and all that nice wood paneling is torn into scrap.

Don’t the stores have to sign some 1 year lease agreement?
Who has so much money they can just throw into the decor then tear it all down the next month
Is the idea they tear down quick and move somewhere else?


Lack of funding. They think that once they open cash flow will be enough to keep running.


Don’t they have to sign a 6 month or 1 yr lease?


What does that mean? You pay your rent, pay the warranty and pay for decorating, buy supplies and machines. 6 months later you close down, no money left, you make a deal with the landlord. Game over! Taipei City has a 1 million NT$ guaranteed loan offer for under 30’s.


A saw a many stores open for only 1-2 months then tear down. Was wondering don’t they have a 6month lease? Why close down only after 2 months, they still owe 4 months to land lord.


I think that, more than anything, this attests to the fact that lots of people here are extremely motivated not to work for someone else.