Monday, December 26, 2011
Vending machine in Frisco offers healthy choices
Machine stocks yogurt, vegetables, and fruit.
Frisco residents who attend the Frisco Family YMCA on Main Street may have noticed a new addition to the healthy facility: Fresh Healthy Vending.
Dallas resident, Becky Rose-Castaner and her husband Julio Castaner recently purchased 10 of the machines and have placed them throughout the Dallas and Collin County area.
According to the company website, www.freshvending.com, the San Diego, Calif.-based Fresh Healthy Vending "is the leading healthy vending company in the U.S. and the only vending company that offers 100 percent juices, yogurt, smoothies, veggies and fresh fruit in every one of its healthy vending machines."
Castaner said she and her husband initially wanted to participate in a business that they believed in.
"We started talking with them [Fresh Healthy Vending] and we thought this was something that would be fun, and we believe in and kind of live by," Castaner said.
She said she was initially looking to add the machines to local area YMCA facilities; however YMCA wanted to test the machine and see if it was a good fit.
"We were looking at trying to get into some YMCAs initially; they wanted to test them in a couple -- and if they like them, want to put them in all the YMCAs," Castaner said.
Pam Atkins, associate executive director of the Frisco YMCA Main Street location, said the machines have been at the facility for about for months, and the response from parents and members has been positive.
"We are an association that tries to promote healthy food choices and we had had some requests for vending machines," Atkins said. "So, to try and meet the needs of our members in getting them snacks, we tried to do so with healthy choices."
Castaner said the machines are currently in Frisco, Richardson, Dallas, and Denton, but she hopes to expand to other cities and locations like hospitals, high schools, and colleges.
"It's a good way to start kids off, having a healthier snack option ... they don't even have snack machines at YMCAs, but they allow these to go in," Castaner said.
The machines offer healthier chip and snack fruit options as well as yogurt, apple sauce, and smoothies.
"Basically everything in the machine -- nothing has any partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, no high fructose corn syrup, no food coloring, so it's all natural and organic," Castaner said.
Castaner said she believes the healthier food options are one of the new trends for vending machines.
"It's a pretty new concept, but I do see this is where vending machines will go," Castaner said. "A lot of the high schools and schools already locked out their vending machines during lunch -- the ones with the unhealthy snacks."
Due to the short shelf life of the products, Castener said the machine will notify her with an email if a product has not been sold and could spoil. She added, some locations sell out of their products two to three times a week.
Currently, the Frisco YMCA facility does not have plans to add the machines to its other location on Internet Boulevard.
"It's more of a corporate setting, so we have a water vending machine over there," Atkins said. "They haven't requested it the way the families have over here."
The Frisco YMCA on Main Street is located at 3415 W. Main Street.
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