Favor Station DIY?

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DerekinCanada
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:17 pm

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby DerekinCanada » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:49 pm

When building my 8X1 quart flavor dispenser, I stumbled upon another solution, in a 1.25 gallon size. The H2O Slimline Ultra containers, from Arrow Plastic Manufacturing Company in Illinois, are clear plastic with a spigot, and available at Walmart for about $10. Get a melamine-coated shelf board, elevate it with some bricks, put a number of these containers on the shelf side by side, add a plastic tray of some sort to collect the syrup that spills, and you're in business. You may need some Velcro on the bottom of the containers so they don't fall off the shelf when empty.
Here's a link to the H2O Slimline Ultra at Walmart Canada:
http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/h2o-slimline-ultra-125-gallon/6000187969434
Description: Sleek Dispenser holds 1.25 Gallons of your favorite beverage. It has a convenient built-in handle and easy-touch tap. Fits neatly into your refrigerator for everyday use. Made in USA - BPA Free.
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Arrow also makes another version, less rounded than the Ultra The ones I have seen "in the wild" have a better spigot than illustrated here (similar to the Ultra one).
http://www.arrowplastic.com/store/catalog.asp?item=28
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Last edited by DerekinCanada on Fri May 06, 2016 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DerekinCanada
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:17 pm

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby DerekinCanada » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:20 pm

Another summer has gone by (we've only got one event left), so I thought I'd update you on this year's improved version of our DIY Flavor Station. We started with a deeper container from Rubbermaid (measures approx. 9" deep X 16.5" X 23"), which gave us ample room to keep the taps in their "out" position, and put the container cover on for transport. The greater depth also results in less spillage onto the ground when the customers are adding their own syrup. We replaced the one "C" clamp in the middle with two, on each corner (this container had convenient recesses in those locations). This hides the clamps more, and makes the unit more stable, The best change, though, was drilling holes (using a 1.5" spade bit on an electric drill) in the top of the unit, so that we could put the covers of the vinegar bottles through the top. This allows us to fill the bottles, as they empty, with syrup concentrate and sugar water. This means we do not have to remove the bottles to refill them - a huge timesaver. As long as you add the concentrate first, and the sugar water second, the syrup is adequately mixed without shaking. We Velcroed some labels on the top of the container so we know what flavor we are adding without having to look at the front of the unit.
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Note: I included only two of the 8 bottles it holds for the picture, so you can see the shelf, etc.

This change also allowed us to eliminate the dowel, plastic dowel cover, and curtain rod hanger, as putting the covers of the bottles through the top held them well enough that these were no longer needed. It also gave us more room underneath for the shaved ice, as the Snowie 1000 that we upgraded to tends to make taller cones. We also purchased an LED light "stick" that we tape on to the Flavor Station top to light the unit during night events (e.g. fireworks). The plastic in the Rubbermaid unit is clear enough that the light shines through.

We made new flavor labels for the front of the vinegar bottles using business card stock in our home printer, had them laminated so that they are waterproof, and attached them to the bottles with Velcro.

We used the same vinegar bottles and wine arts store spigots, and the same plastic shelf, "L" brackets, nuts and bolts, and Velcroed-on metal sign that we used in last year's initial version, so our only new costs were for the spade drill bit ($7 for a good one), the light stick ($25 at Costco), a new container ($15), and the lamination ($10 for extra thick).

We also purchased two 1.25 gallon dispensers with spigots that we use to mix and dispense the sugar water. http://www.amazon.com/Arrow-Plastic-00765-Dispenser-1-25-Gallon/dp/B008Y651RO/ref=pd_sim_79_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=07MPF78JHBR6AKJ1XABD&dpID=41%2B7E8sCuEL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_. We started with a larger dispenser, but it was too heavy for the boys to use easily.

This improved dispenser system worked very well, and combined with the much faster ice shaver, resulted in a huge increase in business again this summer.
Last edited by DerekinCanada on Fri May 06, 2016 5:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.

mattream
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:53 pm
Location: Parker, CO
Contact:

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby mattream » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:44 pm

Thanks for the detailed updates.

"Almost thou persuadest me to create a flavor station!"
Matt
MaunaSnoa Shave Ice
http://www.facebook.com/MaunaSnoa

ShaveIceSupply
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:44 pm

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby ShaveIceSupply » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:03 pm

I must of skipped this post, thanks for bringing it back up. Seems like a pretty cool and cost effective idea, plus you can create multiple units and relatively easy to clean.
Providing quality shave ice products in Hawaii and all over the mainland for over 20 years. Visit http://www.shaveicesupplies.com.

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DerekinCanada
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:17 pm

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby DerekinCanada » Fri May 06, 2016 5:10 pm

Yes, cleaning is a cinch. I take out the vinegar bottles, and put them, with lids off and spigots open, on the top shelf of the dishwasher, on sanitize mode, and hose down the Rubbermaid container (outside). No little plastic hoses to clean like the Snowie units.

Benchkey
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:13 pm

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby Benchkey » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:47 pm

I do like the serving bottle idea from DerekinCanada. Taking this a step farther, there are also bottle pumps that sell in bulk for $.28 US. While I purchase from http://www.bulkapothecary.com/categorie ... /closures/ there certainly are other suppliers of same/similar products. The pump could virtually eliminate anyone over-pouring.

Obviously you could even have rectangular gallon bottles lined up in a similar fashion with pumps, although they would take quite a bit of deck space. Still if on a free standing table they could be positioned down both sides of the table or on a circular table.

Whatever you decide upon, think about Health Department inspections.

Benchkey
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:13 pm

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby Benchkey » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:59 am

Another company from which I purchase is http://usplastic.com/ . The offer a wealth of products that might be handy to any shave ice business. , Again I've no connection other than as a customer to US plastic.

DerekinCanada
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:17 pm

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby DerekinCanada » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:04 pm

Note that we haven't found overpouring to be a problem, except for a few times when the customer put the spigot into the 'locked on" position and walked away. We now know that Tomlinson makes spigots that don't lock on as well as the ones that do, so you should track down the non-locking model.

A couple of updates:

On recent visits to the USA, I noticed that vinegar does not seem to be available in the rectangular containers that we use in Canada - the ones I saw are round and clear and unsuitable for syrup dispensing.

If you can't source Canadian-style vinegar bottles, US Plastic and other companies sell a number of models of rectangular plastic bottles (search for "F-style") that should be suitable. Try to get them in natural as opposed to white so the colors of the syrups shine through, or try a sample first.

Also, Snowie has recently announced an 8-spigot "Flavor Station Cube" that will sell for $399, and has two rows of four syrup containers. It appears to be a very compact and sturdy unit. It doesn't appear to have a way to elevate the unit and catch the syrup drips, so you'd have to provide a solution to that yourself.
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If you want to build something similar yourself, the Snowie unit uses clear syrup containers that appear to be very similar to the Rubbermaid Square Canister, available at Walmart and other places in half and one gallon sizes for under $5 each.
rubbermaid.jpg
You would need some clear plastic hose and connectors, as well as 8 spigots, and find or build a plastic box with handles, and contrive a shelf or some other way to elevate the syrup containers above the spigots.

As for our homemade unit, over the winter we plan to drill holes in the base area of our Rubbermaid storage container and find or make a tray to fit under the unit, so that we can facilitate cleanup by having the excess syrup drip through the holes into the tray. We may need a cheap squeegee (or larger holes) to help the flow.

DerekinCanada
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:17 pm

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby DerekinCanada » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:16 am

Here's a few pics of our version 2 flavor station in action. As you can see, it fits on the table in front of the ice cooler. We fill the bottles from the back of the unit, resting the sugar water container, which has a tap, on top of the closed cooler. We added fresh squeezed lemonade to our product set partway through the season, as the young entrepreneurs had time on their hands due to a faster ice shaver, and not having to pour syrup, and we had most of the ingredients (ice, sugar and water) on hand anyway. They sold 250 shaved ice and 150 lemonade in six hours at their last event of the season. The customers are also welcome to add flavor to their lemonade (lemon lime and blue raspberry are popular) at no extra charge.
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RookieHawaiian
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:25 am

Re: Favor Station DIY?

Postby RookieHawaiian » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:34 am

DerekinCanada wrote:Here's a few pics of our version 2 flavor station in action. As you can see, it fits on the table in front of the ice cooler. We fill the bottles from the back of the unit, resting the sugar water container, which has a tap, on top of the closed cooler. We added fresh squeezed lemonade to our product set partway through the season, as the young entrepreneurs had time on their hands due to a faster ice shaver, and not having to pour syrup, and we had most of the ingredients (ice, sugar and water) on hand anyway. They sold 250 shaved ice and 150 lemonade in six hours at their last event of the season. The customers are also welcome to add flavor to their lemonade (lemon lime and blue raspberry are popular) at no extra charge.


NICE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D


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