When it comes to the ice cream retail business, George Dunlap has seen it all. From ice cream flavors to ice cream push carts and from store layout design to operating dessert businesses, he has collected an enviable amount of experience in every area of this competitive field and is ready to share it with those who are just starting out.

A very busy man, he is now operating the Sales and Marketing department of the C. Nelson Manufacturing Company in Oak Harbor, Ohio, specialized in frozen dessert equipment, while doing design and consulting work for soft and hard ice cream companies. He also finds the time to create a series of podcasts about the joys and challenges of the ice cream industry. Today, he is the one who answers our questions and tells us how he can help new ice cream business owners.

George Dunlap helps entrepreneurs in the ice cream retail business

George Dunlap

How did you start in the business? Tell us about your company.

My experience in the ice cream field stretches back to the ’70s and my family’s business, where we specialized in hand-dipped ice cream and a custard-like dessert. After this, I ventured for nearly a decade into ice cream machine distribution to finally step into the flavoring design and manufacturing business serving both large companies and mom-and-pop stores.

Today, I work within the C. Nelson Manufacturing Company helping entrepreneurs in the ice cream retail world. The company offers ice cream carts, dipping cabinets, cold plate freezers and other equipment necessary in the operation of an ice cream business. My field of experience extends from ice cream mix formula development and new product design to equipment selection, design, layout and operation training.

Dipping cabinets for ice cream shops

C. Nelson dipping cabinets for Charlie & Tango Ice Cream and Smoothies

What is your role in the company, and what are your daily responsibilities?

During my 48 years in the industry, I have been active in most areas pertaining to the operation of ice cream shops. I apply that experience on a daily basis when assisting single-shop owners or national chain stores with the custom design and effective use of individual cabinets in their business.

My main job is to ensure that our customer unique needs are supported by our equipment and to address any downstream service challenges. 

What is your most popular product right now?

Our scooping cabinets are number one on the list, followed by our specialty cabinets (custard, shake/smoothie, mobile carts). All add up to a large, unique and diversified equipment offer.

Custom designed equipment for ice cream stores

Bomba’s Slush Mobile Push Cart, C. Nelson

Are there any new hot products we need to know about?

In the age of COVID, the key is doing more with less. Since many people have switched from eating out to the food-to-go option, business owners need to get inventive in order to survive or thrive on the market. Today, the once humble mobile dessert shops are more popular and an option worth considering.  

What is the best way for someone starting a new business to contact your company? How can you help?

My website is my electronic business card, where I explain new business owners what I can do for them, and where they can contact me. Another option is through the C. Nelson website.

I can assist those who enter the ice cream retail business with the store layout design aimed for maximum efficiency and with an experienced eye towards review and design. During this process, it is important to stay focused, and I help my customers do just that. 

Mobile beverage cart for fountain drinks

Custom designed beverage cart by George Dunlap from C. Nelson Manufacturing Company for Columbus Zoo, Columbus, Ohio

If you are thinking to open a new business or are in the process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

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