These Salad Vending Machines Have Become One Of Chicago’s Hot Lunch Spots

Founded in 2013, Farmer’s Fridge’s fresh salad machines, with salads starting at $7, are now in place across Milwaukee

and Chicago–and the company is looking to expand.

In one of his first jobs after college, Luke Saunders happened to take a sales job that required driving 1,000 miles a week through Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky. Dinner, most of the time, meant fast food. Lunch might be a bag of chips or a soggy burrito from a convenience store. Saunders realized there needed to be a better way to access healthy food anywhere.

In 2013, he launched the first prototype of a solution: a vending machine that would serve fresh salads, restocked daily, with kale, spinach, quinoa, and other vegetables, grains, and fruit layered neatly in glass jars. The first location, next to Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s in a food court in downtown Chicago, was soon getting five-star reviews on Yelp.

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