Farmer's Fridge: A Fresh take on... Fresh!

The Lempert Report
November 06, 2014

Giving the typical vending machine a "healthy" makeover.

More of us are looking to buy local, fresh foods - but for many its not as convenient as they would like. What if you could give the typical vending machine a "healthy" makeover?   Luke Saunders is Founder of  Farmer's Fridge, who says that he has done just that. And this innovation might just be what local farmers government officials and shoppers are looking for.

Luke Saunders Founder/CEO Farmer’s Fridge

I've always been a healthy eater. I grew up in a family where we had a vegetable garden, always been very into eating healthy. Then I was traveling a lot for work, and I could just not find healthy food options that I wanted to eat. Especially grab and go style where I could just pick it up and keep going through out the day. So i started to think about ways that I could solve that problem and it came to me that by distributing it in a kiosk you could have a little bit of a smaller footprint and go places you couldn't go with the traditional retail space. 

What makes us really unique is that every day we're getting fresh produce, in our kitchen. We prep that, kitchen starts at 5AM..then our delivery driver shows up at 8.30 and starts delivering to every machine in Chicago. When I was doing research for this and thinking about it as a consumer the number one obstacle people have is when buying food out of a vending machine, they don't know how long its been there. So right away we made sure that our value propositions were there, we would make the food everyday, even more fresh that what you're going to get at a restaurant because we're prepping them so close to when they're going to go in your food. 

Phil: But will this innovative vending machine make local, fresh foods more appealing and more accessible to people who might not necessarily buy it?

Luke: We are an accessible option for organic local produce, especially at our price point and because of our operating structure because we make things in big batches in the kitchen we're able to get that to an affordable prices point. But I do know that what we're always struggling with is that some people have a perception that they're paying some kind of premium for these organic or local vegetable. When actually we could buy local produce cheaper than what you get the typical produce for because it's in season.  Our goal is to be a national company and have really healthy, accessible food available to as many people as possible. Farmer's Fridge is really a fresh take on fresh, we're good food, good for you, good to go and we're really changing the way people think about fresh, healthy food.