bloomberg.com – The appeal of a vending machine is that it delivers food you can eat on the spot, like peanut M&M’s, potato chips, Oreos, or soda. Newer innovations such as the cupcake ATM and the salad-stocked Farmer’s Fridge check that box, too.
Most people don’t consider raw steak to be ready-to-eat, unless they’re following an extreme cave man diet.
But Joshua Applestone, founder of Applestone Meat Co., sees the future in vending machines filled with strip steaks, pork chops, and Italian sausage. He’s installed four of them at his four-year-old location in Stone Ridge, in Ulster County, N.Y., near the trendy town of Woodstock. Each is filled with a different type of protein: beef, pork, lamb, and ground meat and sausage. He has to restock the machines constantly to keep up with demand. Later this year, Applestone is expanding to Hudson, where the store will have at least seven machines. By early next year the company will open in Scarsdale, where he’s planning for 10 machines, and later in 2019 he’ll open in Manhattan, with possibly even more.
Accessibility is key to this unlikely success; customers don’t have to get to the butcher shop by 7 p.m. or buy questionable leftover product from a late-night market. “We’re not in the 1950s anymore, where everyone works 9 to 5 and eats at the same time every night,” Applestone says of 24/7 accessibility to meat. “Life is chaotic. At best.”
The quality of his product helps assuage concerns that might be associated with pulling a $21.99 bone-in rib-eye out of a vending machine. Before he started his namesake company, Applestone co-founded Fleishers Craft Butchery, where he helped establish the cult of whole-animal butchery that gained acclaim in such places as Brooklyn. He sold the company in 2013.
When Applestone Meat opened, it was as a processing facility for farmers; there was no retail component. That represented a problem for a town like Stone Ridge, where locals were aware of the quality of meat inside the building.
Meat lovers rejoice!!! Finally we have the Redbox of meat sweats!! Some one needs to give Joshua Applestone a big fat wet one right on the lips for this genius concept. This is exactly the world i wanted to live in, where i could have ribeye steaks, and pork chops, accessible at anytime of the day without having to wait in line at the butcher store, or butcher counter at my local grocery store. Unfortunately the vending machines are only located in New York State, but once Applestone gets his shit together, Meat Vending Machines at every CVS and Walgreens in America.
Thank you Joshua Applestone, you are the hero America has been looking for!