This article took place back in 2009, but we have never posted it to our site. I would like to put that content here now so everyone can read it.
I could not find the exact link, but I found the page with the cover and the reference to Gordon speaking about the profitability of Shaved Ice in the Carnival industry.
I was unable to copy the content as well, so I will type it here:
Midway Personality: Gordon Rupp
By Carnival Staff
Gordon Rupp and his older brother Carl Rupp, who Gordon says was “the genius behind this,” started Snowie about thirteen years ao. While eating dinner, the two brothers decided to start a company and named it Snowie, a shaved ice company that manufactures everything from the kiosks to carts, flavors and anything that it takes to get involved in the shaved ice industry. Their goal was to sell their products to the public and to people who want to supplement their income or possibly do it full time. Most of their customers are parents who want to show their children the value of owning a business and people who just want to make extra income in an easy way with a small investment.
The Rupps grew up on a farm near the small town of Taylorsville, Utah just outside of Salt Lake City. With a barn in the back yard that was full of tools and equipment, their Dad always had projects for the boys. Instead of buying a new motorcycle, their Dad would buy a used one that needed to be repaired, thereby, teaching them how to “fix things.”
During his college years Gordon invented a bicycle rack for cars. After doing that for many years and already having the manufacturing equipment in his shop, it was easy to get into the shaved ice business. Snowie became such a big success that he and Carl eventually devoted all of their time to the shaved ice business.
Gordon says that one of the reason for their success is that they offer a turnkey operation. Some of their competitors don’t offer kiosks, carts, or flavors while the Rupps offer over one hundred flavors. “For $20,000, we literally offer everything that is needed to get into the shaved ice business,” says Gordon.
The Rupps have a large warehouse in Salt Lake City where they manufacture everything. “We weld, we print all of the details for the buildings, we vacuum form the plastic parts on the shavers, we create our own molds for the fiberglass parts. We’re very hands on,” says Gordon, adding, “we make everything except the t-shirts.”
They offer a mobile unit called the Snowie Bus that can travel anywhere on its own. The Snowie Bus that the Rupps exhibited at the IISF trade show took about two years to design and make. Currently, they are working on six busses that are already sold. For the mobile unit, the cost begins at $30,000 and that’s just the shell of the bus, which is actually a used mini Astrovan. The additional costs depend on whether the customer wants to sell shaved ice or ice cream. They come in many colors but yellow seems to be the color of choice.
They realized that the carnival industry was a potential business gold mine after they setup at their local fair.
As for the future, the Rupp brothers would like to see a Snowie in every community. The bad economy presents a opportunity for Snowie to help people get back on their feet, sometimes making three or four hundred dollars a day.