We have quite a few requests for desserts and the chocolate chip cookies I have been baking don’t seem to be satisfying the customers sweet tooth. I know many places offer dessert pizzas and cinnamon sticks with icing. Curious as to what others offer in the way of desserts? If you do offer dessert pizzas, what flavors do you find sell best?

All wholesale food companies carry desserts. We use Sweet Street and Juniors cheesecake. Your margins won’t be as good as pizza, but it is a great add on sale. Roll them out one at a time until you get an idea which ones your customers use. Right now we have a dozen different desserts, 5 or 6 constant, and 5 or 6 we rotate into the mix depending on the season. Good Luck

We adapted a dessert pie from the “Dough Doctor”…brush a normal dough with melted butter, arrange sliced apples. We used to use fresh sliced, now have gone to a “fresh sliced…from a can with no complaints”, a struddle topping (chopped butter, oatmeal & brownsugar) generously coating the apples…a sprinkle of cinnamon…and it’s finished with a drizzle of caramel fudge sauce. Oh My!

We’re a full menu restaurant in addition to our pizzas so we also bake our own Red Velvet and Carrot cakes, do a Lava cake, and oh…do this one. 5X5 puff pastry squares, take equal parts Nutella, cream cheese and sour cream…blend those, put about 2-3 tbls on the puff pastry…fold it over into a “turnover”…we finish with a dusting of powder sugar and a nice drizzle of Hershey’s DARK chocolate syrup. We serve two per order…but that’s probably too much. But folks LOVE them! They pair so well with some of our Stouts and Imperial Stouts it’s crazy!

We deliver pints of Ben&Jerry’s ice cream.

After years and years of carrying the likes of Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen-Dazs ice cream we just switched to carrying Blue Bell pints. B&J or HD both were over $3 a pint wholesale thus making the retail price make me inventory more than I sold. BB is $1.43 a pint which enables me to move my price point down to $2.99 a pint and having that $1.57 “profit” help lower labor costs.

Just food for thought

We find no reason to match grocery store prices on pints that are delivered. Our cost on them is still under $3.00. We charge $6.00 for a pint brought to your front door and we go through hundreds of them per month making about $3.00 on each one. (except for the ones we give away).

Free ice cream has been one of our best promos for over a decade. Perceived value is higher than the cost. Sell pies at full price and give them a pint rather than pushing the discount.

I like the sound of ice cream pints, I never thought of offering such an item. Very clever! I was entertaining the idea of doing cannoli and having a few different flavors in addition to the traditional flavor. However, having to pipe each cannoli as they are ordered doesn’t seem efficient and the market we are in doesn’t seem conducive to “higher end” italian desserts. The apple dessert pizza sounds delicious, I will have to give that a test run. Thanks!

You might consider zeppole (fried dough) as am option. If you take your pizza dough and cut into .5 oz to 1 oz little balls, and fry them off (I suspect you can bake them as well) . . . then a light drizzle of butter/liquid margarine and toss in cinnamon sugar or any number of flavorings, you will get a big winner. They are little doughnutty goodness. Simple, low COG and tastey. You will always have the dough on hand, too. You can use the more aged dough that you would not be perfect for pies. Just don’t use dead dough.

They are great savory as well, with garlic and romano/parmesan cheese. Even just garlic margarine/butter.

Those offering pints of ice cream:

Where do you purchase the product? Does it come in 2nd-hand through your normal distributor or are the ice-cream companies bringing it to you directly?

And for those delivering the ice cream, what are your using to keep it from melting on the road?

In our area Meadowgold distributes a lot of choices in ice cream. We can get Dryers, Haagen Daz, Ben & Jerry’s and others from them. They come by the store once a week (or more if needed in high season) and restock our freezer to the level we specify. We do six flavors which is one full shelf in our double door true freezer.

The freezer holds the ice cream at a little below zero, the drivers take them as they walk out the door. Just do not put them in the hot bag and you will be fine. We have been doing this for over 12 years.

I started by purchasing pints of Edy’s direct from them but a new route driver increased the minimum order to the point that it was too difficult to maintain inventory. My distributor brought it in and now I order it just like any other items I purchase.

As far as delivery, I had custom bags made that will fit up to four pints and an ice pack. The were not cheap, in the $17 range but they have lasted well. We keep reusable ice packs in the freezer along with the ice cream.

Another important factor to keep in mind is you do not want to use a frost free freezer to hold your ice cream. In it’s thaw cycles the ice cream will soften up too much.

That advice is absolute GOLD! So many folks don’t realize that at home . . . and it can wipe out a large inventory if it cycles too often , . . . ice crystals and worse. So glad you brought that up.

furiously scribbles notes

Pints come in sleeves of 8. With a little history it is not too hard to keep two weeks worth on hand and rotate the new stock. One shelf in our freezer holds 30 sleeves pretty easily which is 240 pints. Since re-order is just a count and fill operation for the Meadowgold guy he just comes in and brings each stack of sleeves up to the level we specified and does the product rotation for us.

You do want to have your defrost cycle set to a time when you are closed. We have had no issues with any of this except when the freezer needed repairs.