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With the low cost of used shipping containers many people are now using them to create unique homes and small businesses.

We’ve been tight lipped about this for the past six months but we’re finally ready to reveal what is without a doubt the coolest project we’ve ever fabricated at Michigan Imagery!

Bunker Busters Ice Cream located on the corner of Larch & Oakland in Lansing, MI

Last year the owner of Pro Fireworks reached out about building an ice cream parlor for his Lansing location. With 14 locations across the state the client wanted something that could potentially be moved so a 20ft shipping container was the perfect solution. The shipping container that was purchased had only been used once so it was in great condition but there were a lot of modifications to make before they could start serving ice cream.

Custom made ice cream parlor

First a plasma torch was used to cut out the windows and door. These were then framed out using plain steel c-channel bars. To offer the guests some shade an awning was constructed using 3″ square metal tubing that was welded onto the top of the container.

Custom made awning and serving counter

The awning features eight laser cut galvannealed panels with sheets of frosted acrylic on top. A serving counter was also fabricated using press broke stainless steel with a matching laser cut design on the front. The inside of the container was fitted with studs on the walls and ceiling followed by plywood and FRP was to ensure it was a food-safe environment. Once the framing was complete a certified plumber and electrician were brought in to handle all of the plumbing and electrical needs. The windows were then installed by our good friends at Spartan Glass.

20 foot one time use shipping container

Because this is essentially a large metal box a large air conditioning unit was installed to ensure things stay cold inside. In an effort to conceal the AC unit and prevent potential theft we designed and constructed a shroud using square steel tubing that was later powder coated light blue. A custom made railing was also fabricated using the same steel tubing and then bolted on the top of the container on all four sides.

Unique accent pieces fabricated out of metal

To add some more flare several accent pieces were constructed for the back side of the ice cream parlor. 2″ square steel tubing was welded together to wrap around the corner of the container. We also created some laser cut panels with purple ice cream cones attached to them that were cut on our Lincoln Electric plasma table.

All together this project took over six months to complete but we here at Michigan Imagery couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. There were so many details and custom fabrication that went into this job that we couldn’t fit them all in one blog post so look for a part two coming in the near future. If you’re interested in what other cool things people are using shipping containers for check out our other blog post by clicking this link.